2024 CIHE Networking Roundtables Program

Thursday, April 4, 2024
11:00am - 1:30pm Central/Minneapolis Time
Virtual Event, held via Zoom

The ASHE Council for International Higher Education (CIHE) offers annual Networking Roundtables for Early Career Scholars and Graduate Students, as well as more seasoned Scholars.

What are the CIHE Networking Roundtables?

The main goal of the CIHE Networking Roundtables is to facilitate new connections and potential relationships between faculty, staff, researchers, and students who are interested in international and comparative higher education.

The Networking Roundtables value supportive, mutually beneficial, and authentic relationships where participants can build professional connections through a rewarding online experience. The Networking Roundtables are based on the commitment to offering a safe and supportive platform that will encourage and promote ongoing learning and growth, both personally and professionally, to all our participants.

Who should attend?

Early career scholars, researchers, and graduate students who are interested in international and comparative higher education are encouraged to attend the roundtables.

What will the CIHE Networking Roundtables look like?

While authentic mentoring relationships take time and repeated encounters to develop, this initial virtual meeting can provide opportunities for scholars and practitioners at different career stages to network and develop relationships within the ASHE-CIHE community. In order to accomplish this goal, participants will join virtual roundtables that are based on career and research interests, needs, and goals. Each ‘roundtable’ will be in the form of a virtual meeting room where an established scholar will facilitate an informal discussion on a specific topic.

Learning/Program Outcomes

This event will empower participants to:

  1. Identify helpful resources for scholars and practitioners working in the field of international and comparative higher education.
  2. Share advice and insights about common challenges in planning and conducting work in the field of international and comparative higher education.
  3. Develop tools and strategies for navigating academic and/or non-academic careers.
  4. Create a network of mentors, colleagues, and/or peers with similar interests and goals.
  5. Develop strategies for success to support one's professional pursuits as a scholar/practitioner.


Welcome, Land Acknowledgement, & Introductions

Hannah Minghui Hou

Hannah Hou, PhD, Event Co-Chair
Assistant Professor, Southern Illinois University

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Dr. Hannah Minghui Hou joined the SOE faculty in 2023. She holds Ph.D. in Higher Education from Old Dominion University, M.Ed. in Curriculum, Instruction, and Innovation from Northwest Nazarene University, and B.A. in English from Xi’an Eurasia University in China. Her research focuses on international and comparative higher education, student mobility, racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and student development. She serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education.

Brandon R.G. Smith

Brandon R.G. Smith, Event Co-Chair
Doctoral Candidate, Michigan State University

Roundtable Sessions

Topic 1: "Navigating the Tenure Track Faculty Job Market"

Santiago Castiello-Gutiérrez

Santiago Castiello-Gutiérrez, PhD
Assistant Professor, Seton Hall University

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Santiago Castiello-Gutiérrez, PhD is an Assistant Professor of higher education at Seton Hall University in the Department of Education Leadership, Management and Policy. Dr. Castiello is also current co-chair of the Critical Internationalization Studies Network and Associate Editor for the Critical Internationalization Studies Review.

Matthew A. Witenstein

Matthew A. Witenstein, PhD
Assistant Professor, University of Dayton

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Matthew A. Witenstein is Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Administration at the University of Dayton. His US work focuses on immigrants in higher education and international educational experiences while his international/comparative education research focuses on higher education quality, organization and governance issues. He is co-editor of the Palgrave Macmillan book series “South Asian Education Policy, Research and Practice”, Associate Editor of the journal Diaspora, Indigenous and Minority Education, Editorial Board member of Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice and of Perspectives in Education. Witenstein is the author of numerous peer reviewed articles (including in Teachers College Record, International Review of Education, Journal of Career Development and Ethnic and Racial Studies) and book chapters. Matthew is past Secretary and Executive Board Member of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) while having served CIES in various leadership roles for more than a decade. He has been an invited speaker at higher education institutions, ministry and government agencies throughout the US and South Asia. He greatly enjoys playing and watching tennis as many times a week as possible and deeply engaging with the world through his travels.

Topic 2: "Developing a Research Agenda and Preparing a Research Statement"

Charles F. Mathies

Charles F. Mathies, PhD
Assistant Professor, Old Dominion University

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Charles Mathies is an Assistant Professor in the Higher Education program at Old Dominion University (USA). He also holds ancillary appointments in the Finnish Institute for Educational Research (KTL) at the University of Jyväskylä and in the Higher Education Group (HEG) at Tampere University in Finland. Dr. Mathies’ research focuses on the role of global markets, politics, and infrastructures in the movement of knowledge, data, and people across borders. Dr. Mathies has represented higher education organizations from Finland and the USA on multiple projects funded by OECD, UNESCO, and the European Union (EU). He earned his PhD in Higher Education at the University of Georgia specializing in public policy and quantitative data analysis. Prior to joining academia, he held multiple positions (18+ years) in institutional & strategic planning and student services in universities in the USA and Europe.

Sharon Stein

Sharon Stein, PhD
Associate Professor, University of British Columbia

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Sharon Stein is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia. She is the founder of the Critical Internationalization Studies Network, a co-founder of the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures Collective, and author of Unsettling the University: Confronting the Colonial Foundations of US Higher Education.

Topic 3: "Navigating Grant Processes"

Melissa Whatley

Melissa Whatley, PhD
Assistant Professor, School for International Training

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Dr. Melissa Whatley is an Assistant Professor of International and Global Education in the School for International Training’s Graduate Institute. Her research applies quantitative and mixed-methods approaches to improve our understanding of policies and practices that impact access and equity in US international education, particularly in the community college context. She is author of An Introduction to Quantitative Analysis for International Educators, published with Springer. Her research has been featured in journals such as the Journal of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, the Journal of Studies in International Education, and Higher Education.

Christina W. Yao

Christina W. Yao, PhD
Associate Professor & Program Coordinator, Higher Education & Student Affairs MEd; University of South Carolina

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Christina W. Yao, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Higher Education and Program Coordinator of the Higher Education and Student Affairs Master’s program at the University of South Carolina. She is a qualitative researcher who studies undergraduate and graduate student engagement and learning in higher education. She operationalizes her research focus through three connected topical areas: international student mobility, scholar-practitioner preparation, and racial equity in education. Dr. Yao is involved in several professional organizations, including Chair for the Council for International Higher Education (CIHE) for the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) and continued involvement with the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES). She also serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Higher Education and on the editorial board for several journals, including the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education and Journal of College Student Development.

Plenary Panel: "Navigating Transitions Early In Your Career"

Moderated by Event Co-Chairs Hannah Hou & Brandon R.G. Smith

Amy Scott Metcalfe

Amy Scott Metcalfe, PhD
Professor, The University of British Columbia

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Dr. Amy Scott Metcalfe is a Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Her research focuses on higher education in Canada and the North American region, including (post)critical approaches to internationalization, academic labour and mobility, and critical policy studies in education. Dr. Metcalfe has a particular interest in visual research methods, with an emphasis on photographic methodologies, art historical approaches, and visual analysis.

Gerardo L. Blanco

Gerardo L. Blanco, EdD
Associate Professor & Academic Director, Center for International Higher Education at the Lynch School of Education and Human Development; Boston College

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Gerardo L. Blanco is associate professor of Higher Education and academic director of the Center for International Higher Education. His research explores explores the intersections of quality and internationalization in higher education with a focus on accreditation, rankings and international assessments.

His research has been published in leading journals, such as Higher Education, Studies in Higher Education, the Comparative Education Review, and the Review of Higher Education. Gerardo has held leadership roles in the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), and the Association for the Study of Higher Education's Council for International Higher Education and serves on several advisory and editorial boards. In 2017, he received the "Best Research Article Award" from the Comparative & International Education Society's Higher Education SIG. In 2014 and 2020, his work received honorable mentions from the same organization.

Natalie Cruz

Natalie Cruz, PhD
Associate Director of Global Strategy and Initiatives; Emory University

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Natalie Cruz is a higher education leader and practitioner-scholar focused on international education. She is an associate director of Global Strategy and Initiatives at Emory University, where she leads the implementation of initiatives to advance Emory’s global strategies. She has held various faculty and practitioner roles in several different countries around the world, and her quantitative and qualitative research focuses on international student mobility worldwide, international students’ experiences in underresearched contexts, and increasing access to intercultural learning experiences.

Questions & Answers Session

Conclusion & Thank You

Event Co-Chairs

Hannah Hou
Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Brandon Smith
Michigan State University

Please feel free to reach out to the event chair with questions about the content of the event. Questions about registration or event logistics can be directed to the ASHE Office at (202) 660-4106 or office@ashe.ws.


  • The registration fee is $10 for ASHE Graduate Student members, $20 for ASHE members (non-student), and $35 for non-members until regular registration close at noon Central/Minneapolis time on Saturday, March 30.
  • A $10 late registration fee will be added to registrations received after noon Central/Minneapolis time on Saturday, March 30 through noon Central/Minneapolis time, Wednesday, April 3, when late registration closes.
  • Learn more about accessibility for this event at ashe.ws/accessibility_prodevevents
  • During registration, participants will agree to the ASHE Virtual Events Code of Conduct, provide information about accommodation requests, and answer a few event-related questions.
  • All ASHE Professional Development events encourage participants to engage throughout the event in various ways. To provide an environment that is conducive to learning and engagement, and to provide a safe and supportive space (to the extent possible), Professional Development events are not recorded.