International Student and Scholar Services


Educating International Students and Scholars About Common Scams and Frauds

Thursday, June 2
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Room: CCC, Mile High Ballroom 4AC

Scams targeting international students and scholars continue to become more prevalent and sophisticated. Learn how to recognize common scams, identify resources, implement policies to help prevent individuals from becoming victims, and assist students and scholars if they have been impacted. SEVP and legal/law enforcement representatives have been invited to attend.

Learning Objectives:

Bronwen Watts

Assistant Director of Programming
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO

Bronwen Watts is Assistant Director of Programming at Colorado State University. She was previously the PDSO and ARO for Virginia Tech's Graduate School campuses in the National Capital Region. She has worked in international education in some capacity for more than 10 years, working specifically with international students and scholars for over 4 years doing programming (orientation, extended orientation, cultural, etc,), and immigration advising.

In her roles as PDSO and ARO, Bronwen Watts worked with many students and scholars targeted by email and telephone scams in the last few years. She has worked help educate individuals each semester, developing resources and training to help students and scholars. She has also worked with local law enforcement, SEVP officials, and within her university to develop resources and find support for individuals who have become victims and lost money.

Bronwen has an M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration, specializing in international student services.

Masume Assaf

Director, International Student and Scholar Advising
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, Pennsylvania

Masume Assaf has advised international students at Penn State for 30 years. She has served on NAFSA's Board of Directors and is a frequent presenter at NAFSA conferences. Assaf was the recipient of NAFSA's Region VIII Award for Outstanding Contributions to International Education in 2005 and received the former Region IX Award for Outstanding Contributions to International Education in 1990. In 2006, she received the Administrative Excellence Award from Penn State. Assaf co-authored the original NAFSA F-1 Regulations for Beginners CEP workshop with Linda Gentile as well as the recently revised electronic edition. She has served Region VIII as newsletter editor and chair and served NAFSA as chair of CAFSS (now known as KC ISSS). In 2013 she was awarded the Homer Higbee Award from NAFSA in recognition of distinguished and continuous service and mentoring of fellow NAFSAns. She has a BA in Near Eastern Studies and Political Science from New York University and an MS in TESOL from SUNY Albany.

Senem S. Bakar

American University International Student & Scholar Services
Washington, District of Columbia

Senem Bakar has more than 20 years of experience in international education, ranging from international recruitment to advising international students and scholars. Bakar provides leadership to NAFSA’s Embassy Dialogue Committee to promote international education exchange. Bakar serves on NAFSA’s Trainer Corps for advanced J-1advising and foreign credential evaluations. She serves on the scholarship selection committees of the Boren, Fulbright, the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program and the U.S. Department of State Critical Languages Scholarship Program. Bakar has been interviewed by the US Department of State, various sections of the VOA, NBC, ABC, WETA, WAMU, NPR and several foreign media on international education matters. Bakar managed international recruitment and admissions between 1994 and 2000 at American University prior to joining student services. She received a NAFSA award for Outstanding Contributions to International Education in November 2015.


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