Our International Students: Where They Came From, How They Got Here, and What We're Doing for Them

The international student population at Miami has increased rapidly in the past five years. With undergraduate students from China leading the growth, East Asian students now comprise around 80% of the international student body. This recent phenomenon has promoted student diversity, and has also created new expectations for the Miami community to support international students in their transition to U.S. college life and ensure their academic success. In this workshop of the international student series, you will hear about our international student population at Miami, how they were admitted, how they got here, and what services we are currently providing to assist them. There will also be a small panel of international students to share their personal experiences with the admission and arrival process.

Presented by: Molly Heidemann, Amy Cockrell, and Jennifer Ward, International Student and Scholar Services; and Aaron Bixler, Office of Admission

Molly Heidemann, Senior International Student and Scholar Advisor, has advised a growing population of international students and scholars (visiting professors and researchers) at Miami University since 2008. She began her career as a Foreign Student Advisor at Indiana University in 2005. During her time at Miami, Molly has had the opportunity to participate in the inaugural cohort of the Institute for Miami Leadership Development (2011-12), to travel to China for three weeks with the Student Affairs in Higher Education Study Tour (2013), and to be very active with NAFSA: Association of International Educators. Originally from Sidney, Ohio, she earned her B.S. in Psychology from Xavier University in Cincinnati and went on to obtain her M.A. in Social Science from the University of Chicago, where she focused on Arabic students' attitudes toward counseling.

Molly Heidemann, Senior International Student and Scholar Advisor, has advised a growing population of international students and scholars (visiting professors and researchers) at Miami University since 2008. She began her career as a Foreign Student Advisor at Indiana University in 2005. During her time at Miami, Molly has had the opportunity to participate in the inaugural cohort of the Institute for Miami Leadership Development (2011-12), to travel to China for three weeks with the Student Affairs in Higher Education Study Tour (2013), and to be very active with NAFSA: Association of International Educators. Originally from Sidney, Ohio, she earned her B.S. in Psychology from Xavier University in Cincinnati and went on to obtain her M.A. in Social Science from the University of Chicago, where she focused on Arabic students' attitudes toward counseling.

Amy Cockrell, M.S., International Student Advisor, joined Miami University in July 2012. She is responsible for advising international students and scholars, providing counsel regarding immigration, academic, cultural, or personal issues. She supports university retention efforts by working with international students identified as at-risk academically due to academic standing and through faculty and staff referrals.

Jennifer Ward has worked at Miami University for 2.5 years as the International Program Coordinator Advisor. Her main duties include coordinating International Student Orientation, planning cultural programs, and offering F-1 immigration advising. Prior to working at Miami, Jennifer received her Master's in Higher Education with a focus in Student Affairs at University of North Texas, where she also worked as a Graduate Assistant in the Study Abroad Office for both University of North Texas and Texas Women's University. Jennifer's international interest stems from studying abroad in Spain as an undergraduate and afterwards living in the Netherlands where she also taught English as a second language.

Aaron Bixler has been involved in international education for the past 16 years, including over 10 years of experience in both international undergraduate and international graduate student admission at Miami University. Aaron received his Bachelor's degree in International Studies from Miami University and also holds a Master's degree in this same field. Aaron has served as the Associate Director for International Recruitment and Support Services in Miami's Office of Admission since 2012.

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