UMD: A Globally Connected University

International Student Advisory Board (ISAB)

International Student Advisory Board (ISAB)

Meet the 2021 ISAB members!

Mission

The ISAB is a group of international student representatives selected to serve as a sounding board for ISSS and other campus units. Members are expected to foster and maintain strong relationships with international student organizations and UMD international students to understand their lived experience and challenges. In turn, members possess the ability to collect and share information as necessary. This board is solutions-oriented and seeks to empower students to develop solutions to the identified challenges of international students on our campus. 

You may contact board members at ISAB@umd.edu 

2021 International Student Advisory Board Members

  • Kaihui Song (International Student Experience & Role: Issue Identifier​) is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Geographical Sciences at the University of Maryland. She is passionate about addressing international students' needs and improving their experiences of studying at the UMD. She is interested in cultures and languages; additionally, she enjoys cooking and hiking. She holds a Master's degree in natural resources and the environment from the University of Michigan.
  • Akanksha Bapna (Promotion & Role: Event Planner)  is a Smith School of Business Candidate MS in Marketing Analytics 2021 at UMD. She serves as the President of the Smith Master's Student Association. As well as a Graduate Teaching Assistant on campus and a part of the Track Rep for the MSMA 2021 cohort. Is currently a Volunteer Leader for the non-profit organization TerpTax. Former President for the Smith Master's Marketing Analytics Association.  Prior to UMD, she attended MIT Manipal Undergraduate in Chemical Engineering 2018. Some of her other interests include reading, painting, dancing, and cooking.
  • Mishti Relan (Co-Chair) is an international student from India. She is a junior and Computer Science major who loves dogs and currently has 6 ShihTzus. Mishti loves to travel and explore new cuisines.
  • Nidia Mariana Reyes (Promotion & Role: Administrative Outreach Manager)​ is an international graduate student born in Chihuahua, Mexico. She holds a B.A. in Hispanic Literature from the Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua and a M.A. in Latin American Literature from the University of Texas at El Paso. Currently she is a Ph.D. Candidate in Spanish Literature. Her dissertation focuses on contemporary cultural representations of undocumented migration from Mexico and Central America to the U.S.Her work is collaborative and interdisciplinary, she studies literature, documentaries, and digital projects. In her studies and teaching she is particularly interested in the intersection between social justice and resistance practices, language, community work and digital humanities.In her language classes she is focused on Spanish for heritage speakers. She is an active member of the Latin American Studies Center (LASC) at the University of Maryland.
  • Víctor Hernández-Sang (Promotion & Role: Email Manager) is a Ph.D. candidate in ethnomusicology. His doctoral project examines the performance of gagá (Haitian Dominican music and dance) and racial discrimination in the Dominican Republic through ethnographic and archival research. He completed his master’s degree at UMD with a thesis focused on the performance of palos music in fiestas de misterios in the D.R. and holds a B.A. in music from Luther College, Decorah, IA. In 2019, he was a fellow of the Latino Center at the Smithsonian Institution of the Latino Museum Studies Program. Hernández-Sang is the graduate assistant for the Latin American Studies Center. Prior to UMD, he taught flute, ear training, and English in his hometown, Santiago, Dominican Republic.
  • Sara-Laure Faraji (Co-Chair) is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland. In addition to serving on the International Student Advisory Board, she serves as a Teaching and Learning Transformation Center Graduate Student Liaison and serves on the Diversity and International Student Committee of the Dean’s Graduate Student Advisory Council in BSOS. Prior to starting her doctoral studies, Sara-Laure completed her B.A. and M.S. in criminology at the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Saeed Hadadan (International Student Experience & Role: Issue Identifier) is a PhD student in Computer Science  who says, "As an International Student Advisory board [member], I am privileged to work with many great people, both my peers in ISAB and ISSS reps, to address the challenges of International student lives on and off campus. My focus would be to gather information and find solutions to improve the social life of the international student body.  Feel free to drop me a line about your experience as an International student: saeedhd@umd.edu"

  • YooJean (Stephanie) Moon (International Student Experience & Role: Event Planner)​ is a senior studying Information Science in the College of Information Studies and also pursuing MS in Business Analytics in the Smith School of Business.  "I am from South Korea but I spent half of my life in different parts of the world. Through the diverse backgrounds and cultures I’ve experienced my whole life, I am excited to be a part of ISAB to help the UMD international student community. "

  • Tetiana Tytko (Promotion & Role: Social Media Manager)​ is a Ph.D. student in SLA and a Graduate Assistant in the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at the University of Maryland, College Park. She holds an M.A. in Linguistics from Ohio University and an M.A. in English Language and Literature from Chernivtsi National University. Her research interests include instructed second language acquisition (ISLA), computer-assisted language learning (CALL), and their intersection. Given nearly eight years of EFL/ESL teaching experience, Tetiana strives to showcase the results of her research in the language classroom. Additionally, she is interested in Corpus Linguistics, L2 Writing, and the way technology can aid social issues. Being an international student for over three years, she has become very passionate about the wellbeing and engagement of the international student communities in the U.S. Thus, as a member of the newly established International Student Advisory Board at UMD, she will work to establish effective channels of communications between various international students’ groups. Tetiana can be found online at https://www.tetianatytko.com/ and reached at ttytko@umd.edu.

  • Sohana Nasrin (International Student Experience & Role: Program Coordinator/Manager) ​ is a Ph.D. candidate at the Journalism College at the University of Maryland. She focuses on alternative media, oppositional practices, and visuals in her research. Sohana holds a master’s in media management from the University of Oklahoma, and a bachelor’s from Nazareth College of Rochester, New York. Sohana is an avid road tripper a foreign film enthusiast. 

ABOUT THE BOARD

Representation

Ten (10) board members should represent international students in the following categories: first-year, transfer (SEVIS*), exchange, professional master, academic master and Ph.D. students. The numbers of students for each category should roughly correspond to those proportions of international student campus enrollment. Two (2) members will be asked to serve as co-chairs. 

Term Lengths

  • Summer and Fall 
  • One calendar year 
  • Two calendar years

The term lengths vary to allow for board continuity and smooth transition for new board members. It also allows for students in shorter academic programs to participate in this leadership role. 

Board Member Responsibilities  

  • Attend a retreat at the beginning of the summer semester
  • Actively participate in monthly ISAB meetings
  • Be active in the international student life community 
  • Reach out to international student peers to hear about their experience
  • Learn about ISSS and other campus resources/outreach for international students and share this with peers 
  • Develop and present ”Annual Board Report" to ISSS staff each year

Co-Chair Responsibilities

  • Serve as a resource to other ISAB members
  • Encourage solutions-based approaches 
  • Create an open and inviting environment that fosters professional and proactive discussions
  • Develop agenda items and coordinate ISAB meetings
  • Work closely with ISSS Director, or the Director’s representative,  including monthly meetings to create the agenda and check-in on progress 
  • Co-develop ISSS programs and promote current programs that enhance the integration of international students at UMD
  • Ensure that a final board report is created and presented to the ISSS team annually at the end of spring semester 

Meeting Structure

Monthly meetings will be scheduled a semester in advance with board members’ understanding their attendance is compulsory at the time of application.  Meetings will be held virtually or in person depending on restrictions. The primary goal of the board is to identify student concerns for FY 2021-2022 and provide input to ISSS. The ISSS Integration Program team will advise the group. 

Meeting Dates and Times

  • 3rd Wednesday of the month at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • June 16, 2021 - Inaugural Meeting 
  • July 21, 2021
  • August 18, 2021 

Fall term meeting dates will be determined after the board is selected according to group availability. 

Mandatory Retreat

All ISAB members are required to attend a board member retreat. 

General topic areas that ISAB members may consider focusing on in their first year

  • Career Development services 
  • Navigating a large campus
  • Academic success
  • Social and cultural adjustment
  • Other topics raised by board members and international student community 

Application Process

International Student Advisory Board (ISAB) applications are open and due by November 30, 2021. This is a great opportunity for students to have a positive impact on the international student experience at UMD! Applications for ISAB can be submitted at this link

Review

All applications will be reviewed by a selection committee.

Selection Criteria

 The selection committee is looking for candidates that represent the international student body at UMD. This includes actively engaged students from all academic disciplines, countries, and degree levels. Holding a student leadership position is not a prerequisite for participation in the ISAB. In addition to meeting the representation requirement, applications will be assessed by three overarching criteria. 

  • Relationship building:Desire to develop strong relationships with international student organizations and UMD international students.
  • Seeks to make a difference: Serve as leader to the international student community through the collection and sharing of information around resources and programs available as well as by seeking to understand the obstacles and challenges facing our community. 
  • Solutions-driven: Individuals who are creative, analytical, and focused on developing solutions to the identified challenges of international students on our campus. 

 

For more information or questions please contact Integration Program Manager, Dr. Gabriela Gillespie or ISSS Director, Susan-Ellis Dougherty

Updated 11/16/2021