International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS)


F-1 Student Advising for Beginners (Monday) - (WS24)

Monday, May 28
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Member Fee: $399.00 | Non-member Fee: $529.00

Learn how to handle the most common requests made of new U.S. Designated School Officials (DSOs). Topics covered include issuing I-20s, maintaining status, employment, practical training, travel and reentry, and program extensions. SEVIS is discussed in relation to international student advising practices and procedures.

Learning Objectives:

Adam Chen

Program Director of Counseling and Student Services
University of Houston Language & Culture Center

Adam Chen serves as Program Director of Counseling and Student Services in the Language and Culture Center (LCC) at the University of Houston. Having emigrated from China, Adam received his B.A. in German Studies. He received his M.A. in Linguistics and M.Ed. in College Student Personnel from Ohio University. He has worked at various offices serving international students in a university setting, including admissions and international student services. He oversees a full range of advising, counseling, and student services for LCC students including immigration requirements and procedures, academic advising, intercultural adjustment, and personal and career counseling.


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Shree Gopakumar

Senior International Services Advisor
Johns Hopkins University

Shree Gopakumar is senior international services advisor, Office of International Services at Johns Hopkins University (JHU). She has been in the field of international education for over 11 years. In her five and a half year at JHU, she primarily advises F and J students and scholars at Medical Campus. Prior to working at JHU, Shree worked for Brevard Community College in Florida as an International Specialist. She received her bachelor degree in Political Science-International Relations track from University of Central Florida. Now a current member of NAFSA Trainer Corps, Shree has presented this workshop at the regional conference for Region 8 in 2017.


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Bridget Flaherty

Assoc. Director of International Students and Scholars
Lewis & Clark College

Bridget Flaherty is the Associate Director of International Students and Scholars at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She has a master’s degree in Communication Studies with an intercultural emphasis from the University of Montana, in which she focused on developing intercultural training for specific departments on campus. She has also interned and taken workshops at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication. She has worked in various areas of education, including spending a year in Japan teaching English as a second language. She was a member of Class VII of the NAFSA Academy in 2010, is a current member of NAFSA Trainer Corps, and has been a presenter at previous NAFSA conferences. In her free time, Bridget loves traveling, hiking, cross country skiing, experimenting with new recipes, and reading.


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Joshua Whitson

Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the Int'l Student Resource Center
Oberlin College

Josh Whitson is an Assistant Dean of Students and the Director of the International Student Resource Center at Oberlin College & Conservatory. He has been involved in advising F-1 students at institutions both large and small, from 2,100 students to 60,000. As a new professional, Josh found NAFSA workshops to be extremely beneficial in developing his confidence, professionalism, and knowledge as an advisor of international students. Now a member of Trainer Corps, training others has become Josh's favorite way to give back to the NAFSA community.


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F-1 Student Advising for Beginners (Monday) - (WS24)

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