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Global Hops

Introducing Global Hops - The OIA Newsletter

September 18, 2019

""The office of international affairs wearing their school colors.

Greetings from the SDSU Office of International Affairs!  The 2019-2020 academic year has gotten off to a rousing start, and we are thrilled to welcome 130 new international students as well as welcome home a record number of SDSU Jackrabbits – 501 – who studied abroad last year.  OIA staff worked diligently over the summer to prepare for new arrivals, support our SDSU global ambassadors, and create new opportunities to engage the world together with our faculty, students, and staff here in Brookings.  Needless to say, we are excited to see everyone back at school and look forward to our future accomplishments.


I’m very happy to be starting my position as Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs at SDSU, and I look forward to leading our team of professional international educators. (I’m also a history professor who is an enthusiastic judge at National History Day competitions.)  It’s fun to share my transition with several colleagues new to SDSU or in new roles.  Jennifer Farland, our coordinator for international student recruitment, started on the same day as I did in August 2019 and enjoys a homecoming to her native South Dakota.  Jennifer Wingate, who has taught English as a Second Language in the past, has assumed the coordinator’s position in our English Language and Culture Institute this semester.  We also welcome Doriane Paso, a new ESL instructor who is also not a stranger to SDSU.  We don’t want to overlook a relatively new member of our office – Melisa Zaug, our Senior Secretary, started her position in April 2019 and has quickly become a key team player.


We are using this page to share student, faculty, and staff stories with our colleagues, and we will update it regularly to showcase the international achievements in our Jackrabbit community.  Our stories will also emphasize a few simple ideas:


  • #YouAreWelcomeHere – SDSU and Brookings roll out the red carpet for nearly 1,000 international students and scholars who are studying, teaching, learning English, conducting research, or working in Optional Practical Training positions on campus and around the country.  We value their contributions to our community and stand ready to assist them as they engage our country and our many cultures.  Our outreach to global students through international partnerships, education agencies, and SDSU faculty and alumni relationships enriches every Jackrabbit’s experience on campus and supports South Dakota’s workforce and economic development.


  • “If Not Now, When?” – There is no better place for a student to explore the world than an SDSU education abroad program.  Whether it’s a faculty-led experience, Spring Break Abroad, a summer internship, or an entire semester or year studying at a partner institution (and yes, that’s possible here at SDSU), an education abroad experience transforms students and helps them develop those cultural competencies and skills that will support their future goals in education and professional life.


Our staff brings decades of experience as educators and professionals to the SDSU community.  We encourage you to learn more about OIA by reviewing our website, attending our regular presentations of All Things International and other events throughout the year, and visiting with us in Briggs Library 119.