International Scholars Workshop

October 5 & 6, 2021
10:00am-1:00pm Atlantic/San Juan Time (Both Days)

In the first two years of the workshop (2019 and 2020), a 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, maintained their well-being, and dealt with complex and nowadays politically-charged immigration and visa policies, which could be a sole factor in determining the post-graduation career choices and academic career success in the U.S. (Peri, Basso, & McElmurry, 2016; Zong & Batalova, 2018). Above all, as panelists and participants shared about their experiences, struggles, hopes, and fears, a space was opened up to hear one’s struggle as part of a larger thread; we hope and aspire for creating and maintaining this space exactly for this generative thinking and healing—a collective success.
The 2021 ASHE conference theme calls for spanning and unsettling the borders of higher education. Dr. D-L Stewart, notes, “I find myself … captivated and unsettled by thoughts of borders in higher education--how they are both solid and porous, as well as how they operate to marginalize, exclude, and delude the adherents of the liberatory possibilities of higher education” (ASHE 2021 CFP, p. 5). As international students and scholars, we are well familiar with borders as they define our legal status, our academic and career opportunities, and our well-being. Inside institutions of higher education, we navigate boundaries that are most of the time invisible; we realize them when we hit “a wall” and “when one attempts to cross a limit” (Ahmed, 2012, p. 129). Borders and walls are constitutive of the abyssal cartography of modern knowledge, rendering “the other side” as simply “the realm of incomprehensible beliefs and behaviors which in no ways can be considered knowledge” (de Sousa Santos, 2007).
As we are writing this description in June 2021, we realize our lives are fractured in spacetimes divided by post-pandemic futurity of the U.S. and the evolving pandemic in countries where many of our family and friends live. Long-term challenges, such as travel restrictions, delayed visa and immigration services, postponed research projects, job market constraints, and well-being (Koo, 2021) also call for attention. Thus, in alignment with the theme of the 2021 ASHE conference, we ask: How can we bring our whole selves into our scholarship, teaching, and career pursuit, in academia and in the job market? How do we deal with the visible and invisible walls that aim to limit our success? How do we center our lived knowledge and our Othered ways of knowing to unsettle the abyssal thinking in institutions of higher education and in our scholarly fields?  
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.

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 members.

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. Network with other scholars from international backgrounds.
  3. ​Build navigational capital in the areas of graduate studies, legal constraints, and short- and long-term career advancement.
  4. Develop individual strategies of personal wellbeing.
  5. Become a member of the larger community that supports international students and scholars.

2021 Schedule

Sections on the following topics will be covered throughout the two days of the workshop, in an interactive format:
Day One, October 5 

Topic 1: Graduate school experiences as an international
  • Rishi Raj (Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi)
  • Shinji Katsumoto (University of Iowa)
  • Wolayat Tabasum Niroo (Old Dominion University)

Topic 2: Research development, collaboration, and networking
  • Jungmin Lee (University of Kentucky)
  • Lisa Unangst (Ohio University)
  • Dongbin Kim (Michigan State University)

Topic 3: Living well and wholesome as an international student/scholar
  • Christina W. Yao (University of South Carolina)
  • Nayoung Jang (University of Iowa)

Day Two, October 6 

Topic 4: Navigating academic and non-academic job market in and outside of the U.S.
  • Anatoly Oleksiyenko (University of Hong Kong)
  • Hyunny Ro (University of North Texas)

Topic 5: Navigating the legal landscape (e.g. immigration, job market, status changes)
  • Julie Sinclair (Michigan State University)
  • Jennifer Minear (American Immigration Lawyers Association)

Topic 6: Career beyond tenure and moving to different institutions
  • Xueli Wang (University of Wisconsin - Madison)
  • Tatiana Suspitsyna (Ohio State University)

Format of the Sessions:
  • Check-in, Welcome, and Introduction to the first-day of the workshop
  • Panel Discussion on 3 topics (TBD) [interactive]
  • Break
  • Small Group Roundtables with Panelists [interactive with break-out rooms]
  • Break
  • Large Group Discussion and Q&A [interactive]
Optional: On-Site Networking Opportunity during the ASHE General Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Planning Committee

  • 2021 Event Chair: Milad Mohebali (University of Iowa),
  • Jeongeun Kim (Arizona State University)
  • Zarrina Talan Azizova (University of North Dakota)
  • 2022 Event Chair: Katie Koo (University of Georgia) 


  • Registration Fees:
    • Graduate Student $20 (ASHE member)
    • Early Career $30 (ASHE member)
    • Non-Member: $40
  • Registration Closes and Payment Deadline: September 28, Noon Atlantic/San Juan Time
  • Learn more about accessibility for this event at
  • 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.