International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS)

Sessions

Supporting Muslim Students in U.S. Urban and Rural Educational Settings

Tuesday, May 30
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
LACC, Room 403

Muslim students face unique challenges when studying in the United States, but can their experiences differ at an urban or rural institution? Using Columbia University, Kent State University, Trine University, and the University of San Francisco as case studies, the presenters will compare the experiences of Muslim students at these locations and provide methods for creating a secure and supportive environment.

Learning Objectives:

Shelly Helgeson

Assistant Director
University of San Francisco

Shelly Helgeson has a diverse set of skills and professional experience that focus on bridging diverse communities through education, programming and facilitated understanding. Currently, she is the Assistant Director at International Student and Scholar Services at the University of San Francisco where she advises a culturally diverse population of 1800+ international students in topics ranging from U.S. immigration compliance to cultural and academic adjustment.

Shelly is also a film producer and editor, specializing in social issue based stories that not only provide her with artistic expression, but give voice to marginalized communities. She has worked on the Emmy award winning documentaries “My Reincarnation” and “By the People: The Election of Barack Obama”. She volunteered as Technical Supervisor for “Voices of Tibet,” an initiative to collect and preserve the oral histories of exiled Tibetan elders living in Indian refugee camps.

Originally from rural Ohio, Shelly attended Ithaca College on a merit scholarship where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor's in Communications and Religious Studies. She received her Master’s degree in Public Administration from University of San Francisco.

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Shelly Helgeson

Salma Benhaida

Director-International Recruitment, Admissions and Sponsored Student Services
Kent State University Office of Global Education

Salma Benhaida is the Director of International Recruitment, Admissions and Sponsored Student Services at Kent State University. Salma is responsible for international recruitment, admissions, and sponsored student services across the eight-campus system of Kent State University; Additionally, Salma acts as liaison between Kent State University and various sponsoring agencies and embassies. She holds a B.S. in Accountancy and a M.A. in Communications from The University of Akron. In addition to English, Salma is fluent in French and Arabic.

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Salma Benhaida

Mari K. McHenry

Director of International Community Services
Trine University

Mari McHenry is the Director of International Community Services for the Office of International Services at Trine University. She leads a team dedicated to enhancing the international student experience with orientation, cultural programming, integration to the community, and exploring beyond the classroom. Her responsibilities also includes partnering with fellow campus departments in ensuring the success and retention of the international student community.

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Mari McHenry

Mazaher Tejani

Assistant Director
Columbia University

Mazaher is currently an Assistant Director at the ISSO at Columbia University, where he oversees the processes for SEVIS compliance for about 13,000 international students, as well as the issuance of initial documents for almost 5000 newly admitted F-1/J-1 students. Prior to this, he oversaw similar processes at the Office of Global Services at NYU, where he also received his MA in International Education, specializing in cross-cultural counseling, and education and development.

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Mazaher Tejani


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Supporting Muslim Students in U.S. Urban and Rural Educational Settings

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