International Scholars Workshop

October 13 & 14, 2020
10:00am-1:00pm CENTRAL/New Orleans TIME (Both Days)

In 2019, the CIHE International Scholar Workshop was launched as a response to the ASHE’s call to reimagine the study of higher education and our collective professional work. At that time, a particularly critical question was, “How we mentor researchers along professional trajectories in and outside the academy?” (ASHE 2019 CFP, p. 2). We observed that the academic experience of international scholars in the U.S. was nuanced and differed from any other marginalized or invisible populations.  During its inaugural year, the workshop aimed at foregrounding this nuanced experience by emphasizing that international scholars had been facing numerous and unique pressures to be successful as graduate students and early-career faculty. The diverse group of the participants shared their insights and experiences of how they maintained a prescribed research agenda, navigated between and within various identities that could extend beyond their nationality, and dealt with complex and nowadays politically-charged immigration and visa policies, which could be a sole factor determining the post-graduation career choices and academic career success in the U.S. (Peri, Basso, & McElmurry, 2016; Zong & Batalova, 2018).

Little we knew last year that the context of 2020 COVID-19 pandemic would only enlarge stratified academic experiences and add novel sociopolitical and psychosocial challenges for international scholars in the U.S. For example, the media outlets USA Today (Durrani, 2020; Schnell, 2020) and Chronicle of Higher Education (Fischer, 2020) highlight some of the immediate challenges, including feelings of being away from families and being quarantined in abandoned campuses or risking not returning to the programs of study. Long-term challenges, such as travel restrictions, delayed visa and immigration services, postponed research projects, job market constraints also call for attention. Thus, in this unprecedented context of COVID-19 and with the alignment of the 2020 conference theme Advancing Full Participation, the critical questions for this workshop this year become, “What are the prospects for advancing a full participation of international scholars in academia and job market/s? What are the coping strategies to tackle the old and new challenges facing international scholars? What systematic and cultural shifts are needed in the field of higher education for international scholars to cease being the “other”?

To benefit from the virtual format of the conference, we invite scholars, practitioners, and students from national and international contexts to participate and engage in the six sessions of this workshop as they see fit to their individual scholarly goals and career objectives. These topics are listed below in the detailed schedule and include topics relevant to student success for those early in their studies, to topics relevant to those who are on the job market, as well as early career faculty and those who are up for promotion.

  • 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 space (to the extent possible), Professional Development events are not recorded.

Who should attend:

  • Doctoral students, recent graduates, post-docs, and early career faculty from international backgrounds
  • Faculty, chairs, and academic programs to participate in this workshop as they seek for ways to better support doctoral students, post-docs, visiting or adjunct faculty, and early career faculty they work with under the COVID-19 introduced circumstances and current political terrain
While the program is proposed under the umbrella of CIHE, it is important to acknowledge that not all international doctoral students and early career faculty are affiliated with research related to international issues and topics. Hence, the recruitment for participation in this program should focus on members of CIHE as well as members of ASHE general conference.

Learning/Program Outcomes
  1. Engage in the facilitated discussions and professional development activities with the speakers whose research centers on academic and professional success of international students and scholars.
  2. ​Build navigational capital in the areas of graduate studies, legal constraints, and short- and long-term career advancement.
  3. Develop individual strategies of personal wellbeing.
  4. Become a member of the larger community that supports international students and scholars.

2020 Schedule

*All time are Central/New Orleans Time.

Sections on the following topics will be covered throughout the two days of the workshop, in an interactive format:
Day One, October 13
10:00AM-10:15AM: Check-in, Welcome, and Introduction to the first-day of the workshop 

10:15AM-11:00AM: Virtual Session 1. Graduate school experiences as an international student
  • Facilitator:  Milad Mohebali (University of Iowa)
  • Ibrahim Bicak (University of Texas – Austin)
  • Ting-Han Chang (Indiana University)
11:15AM-12:00PM: Virtual Session 2. Navigating the legal landscape
  • Facilitator:  Jeongeun Kim (Arizona State University)
  • Jennifer Minear (American Immigration Lawyers Association)
  • Julie Sinclair (Michigan State University)
12:15PM – 1:00PM: Virtual Session 3. Sense of community and maintaining personal well-being
  • Facilitator:  Zarrina Azizova (University of North Dakota)
  • Mary Ann Bodine Al-Sharif (University of Alabama – Birmingham)
  • Katie Koo (Texas A&M University – Commerce)
Day Two, October 14
10:00AM-10:15AM: Check-in, Welcome, and Introduction to the second-day of the workshop 

10:15AM-11:00AM: Virtual Session 4. Navigating academic and non-academic job market in and outside of the U.S. 
  • Facilitator:  Zarrina Azizova (University of North Dakota)
  • Paulina Alejandra Berríos (University of Chile)
  • Masha Krsmanovic (University of Southern Mississippi)
  • Jesse Mendez (Texas Tech University)
11:15AM-12:00PM: Virtual Session 5. Research development, collaboration, and public engagement (e.g., use of social media)
  • Facilitator:  Milad Mohebali (University of Iowa)
  • Gustavo Fischman (Arizona State University)
  • Neda Maghbouleh (University of Toronto)
12:15PM – 1:00PM: Virtual Session 6. Career beyond tenure and moving to different institutions
  • Facilitator:  Jeongeun Kim (Arizona State University)
  • Manuel González Canché (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Dongbin Kim (Michigan State University)
2:00PM-3:00PM: (Optional) Social gathering and networking opportunity (virtual “happy hour”) 

Planning Committee

  • Jeongeun Kim (Arizona State University)
  • Zarrina Talan Azizova (University of North Dakota)
  • Milad Mohebali (University of Iowa)


  • Registration Fees:
    • Graduate Student $20 (ASHE member)
    • Early Career $30 (ASHE member)
    • Non-Member: $40
  • Registration Closes and Payment Deadline: October 6, Noon Pacific