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Join us for a day-long seminar on recruiting and hosting international students and issues surrounding the internationalization of U.S. campuses. The event is taking place on September 25, 2019, in Montgomery, Alabama, and is hosted by the U.S. Department of State’s EducationUSA global educational advising network in collaboration with Alabama State University in partnership with Study Alabama.  Share best practices with other higher education institutions, learn about U.S. government resources for promoting U.S. colleges and universities to students overseas, and discuss ways to build networks for both student recruitment and student support. Speakers will include U.S. Department of State officials, U.S. Department of Commerce officials, representatives from higher education associations, college and university leaders as well as other experts in the field.


According to the latest data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, education service exports ranked 5th among service exports in 2018 (reference).  During the 2017/2018 academic year the U.S. hosted over one million students (1,094,792), and reported  $45.3 billion in education exports, which supported over 455,000 U.S. jobs. The states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida in aggregate accounted for $3.4 billion in education exports (international students), supporting over 38,000 jobs, hosting over 98,000 students in 170 colleges and universities. This export from these six states reflected a critical overall decline in international student numbers of 13.6% over the previous year according to the 2018 Open Doors report. International Education is of critical economic value to our states both regionally and nationally for its contributions to our communities, research, business, entrepreneurship, attraction of Foreign Direct Investment, our local export economies, economic development and much more.  For more data on each state see the following links: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida.  For every seven international students enrolled, three U.S. jobs are created  and they all support the local economies in every community received through spending on housing, living expenses, education, innovation, entrepreneurship, and much more. (updated 7/31/2019)


Agenda is subject to adjustments as speakers and panelists are confirmed.

Special thanks to the funding support from Export Alliance of Alabama as sponsors of  breaks and lunch.  A special thanks as well to colleagues from the U.S.C.S. Birmingham U.S. Export Assistance Center and the Alabama International Trade Division of the Alabama Dept of Commerce for their facilitation of this support as well as aspects of the program.  We also need to recognize the vital contributions of Alabama State University, the Governing board of Study Alabama, Jefferson State Community College, Jacksonville State University and the U.S. Dept of State EducationUSA colleagues for their help in making this entire seminar possible.  Finally thank you to all who participated in the event from across the region and nation.

8:00 – 8:30


Registration – Coffee/Juices (hosted Export Alliance of Alabama)
Location: Abernathy Auditorium Lobby

8:30 – 9:30







Welcome with Opening Remarks and Goals for the Day.
Location: Ralph D. Abernathy College of Education Building
, Abernathy Auditorium

  • Alabama State University Welcome, Dr. Quinton T. Ross Jr., President bio
  • Alabama Commission on Higher Education Welcome
    Dr. James E. Purcell, Executive Director bio / Dr. Michael Walker-Jones Outreach Coordinator
  • EducationUSA Welcome – Jamie Sharp Global Educational Programs Deputy Director, U.S. Department of State
  • U.S. Commercial Service Birmingham/Atlanta – Robert Stackpole/Amy Ryan
  • Study Alabama Board – Stacye Thompson
  • Dr. Linwood Whitten, Director of Diversity and International Affairs Title IX Coordinator, NSE Coordinator

9:30 – 10:15



Strategies for International Student Outreach: Governmental Entities
Location: Abernathy Auditorium

10:15 – 10:30


Break – Coffee and snacks (hosted Export Alliance of Alabama)
Location: Abernathy Auditorium Lobby

10:30 – 11:30



Strategies for International Student Outreach: Professional Associations Panel
Location: Abernathy Auditorium

11:30 – 12:00



Strategies for International Student Outreach: The Use of Agents
Location: Abernathy Auditorium

12:00 – 1:30



Networking Lunch (hosted Export Alliance of Alabama) – network with with speakers, U.S. Commercial Service representatives from Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana and with:

BRAZIL U.S. Commercial Service: Vania Resende, US Commercial Service Belo Horizonte, Commercial Specialist, CS Belo Horizonte
MEXICO U.S. Commercial Service: Martha Sanchez, Contact information, Commercial Specialist, CS Mexico City
REAC EducationUSA: Maria Mercedes, Regional Educational Advising Coordinator (REAC) for Canada, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, out of Mexico City
REAC EducationUSA: Melissa Deschamps, Regional Educational Advising Coordinator (REAC) Middle East & North Africa, out of Doha, Qatar

Free Resources:  EducationUSA Global Resource Guide 2019 (pdf), 2019 U.S. Commercial Service Education and Training Services Resource Guide   Location: The Great Hall of Teachers – and  Abernathy Classroom 204

1:30 – 2:30



Best Practices in International Student Support  – Panel
Location: Abernathy Auditorium

2:30 – 2:45


Break – Coffee and snacks (hosted Export Alliance of Alabama)
Location: Abernathy Auditorium Lobby

2:45 – 3:45 Breakout Panels – Discussion
Location: Abernathy Auditorium and The Great Hall of Teachers

  1. Using the EducationUSA Network to Maximize and Refine Recruitment Strategies
    Speakers: Jamie Sharp, Global Educational Programs Deputy Director, U.S. Department of State; Susana Guzman, EducationUSA Program Officer, U.S. Department of State.  EducationUSA Presentation PDF Format.
  2. Working with EducationUSA Regional Educational Advising Coordinators:
    Speakers: Melissa Deschamps | EducationUSA Regional Educational Advising Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa;  Maria Mercedes | EducationUSA Regional Educational Advising Coordinator for North America, Central America and the Caribbean

3:45 – 4:30


Wrap-up, Closing Remarks, Participant Feedback
Location: Abernathy Auditorium

Concurrent One on One Speed Meetings September 25th with each Commercial Service and EducationUSA Country representative are available for participants.  Such meetings will be 15-20 minutes long during AM and PM block’s of time.  If you are staying overnight there are limited times on Thursday September 26th AM as well.   To schedule a time email: Amy Ryan, Commercial Service,  Be sure to reply to her AND  Time slots are LIMITED and assigned on a first come first served basis.  Location: The Great Hall of Teachers – and  Abernathy Classroom 204  

Note: Rooms subject to change based on final program and total participants.

Updated 9/20/2019


This event was open and free of charge to all accredited higher education institutions located primarily in Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Florida; however others from the Southeast Region were welcome to apply.  Attendance was limited to two representatives per campus.  Campuses with additional needs should contact us directly (see contact information below).

The event REGISTRATION form was available here via a Google Form (Link CLOSED). If you have any questions or problems with the form email

For local information on Montgomery area  accommodations, driving directions and SEMINAR PARKING information (see link).

For additional assistance with questions, program information, etc. please contact us:
EducationUSA – Susana Guzman 202-632-3226
Alabama State University – Dr. Linwood Whitten, 334-229-4713
Study AlabamaDr. Jim Ellis, Executive Director, 251-404-8601


EducationUSA is the U.S. Department of State’s global network of over 435 international student advising centers in over 180 countries and territories. EducationUSA promotes U.S. higher education to students around the world by offering accurate, comprehensive, and current information about opportunities to study at accredited U.S. colleges and universities. It also provides services to the U.S.  higher education community to help meet recruitment and campus internationalization goals. EducationUSA’s basic services for students are free of charge and are aimed at helping students find the “right fit” in a U.S. institution. Learn more at  contact: Susana Guzman 202-632-3226


The U.S. Commercial Service, has a global network of 100 offices located in every state throughout the U.S. and over 100 offices located in more than 75 countries. Education services is a critical element of our trade relationships with countries worldwide. Promoting study in the United States strengthens our economic development through innovation, workforce development, and attracting foreign direct investment. Increasing trade and investment opportunities for U.S. educational institutions and entities is, therefore, a top priority at the U.S. Commercial Service, the export promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration.  The Global Education and Training Services team provides support for international outreach to students, potential partners, and agents.  For more on your LOCAL U.S. Commercial Service offices located in your state see information at the following links: Alabama office, Florida office, Georgia office, Mississippi office, Tennessee office, and across the US.


Alabama State University is a comprehensive diverse student- centered public HBCU committed to global excellence in teaching, research and service. Alabama State University was founded in 1867, in Marion, Alabama, as a school for African-Americans. The school started as the Lincoln Normal School with $500 raised by nine freed slaves now known as the Marion Nine, making ASU one of the nation’s oldest institutions of higher education founded for black Americans.  Today, Alabama State University, located in Montgomery, Alabama, is a widely respected, world-class institution of higher learning which welcomes students of all races. It offers nearly 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, from its historic teacher education program to its new, high-demand programs in health sciences, new Ph.D. in microbiology and minor in international business.  The students who attend ASU are as diverse as its academic offerings, with students from more than 40 states and various countries seeking a top-notch education that extends far beyond the walls of a classroom. With a 20 to 1 student-faculty ratio, students receive the personal attention, mentoring, encouragement and knowledge needed to achieve their dreams. For more on Alabama State University contact: Dr. Linwood Whitten, 334-229-4713


Study Alabama Logo

Study Alabama is a nonprofit State of Alabama and US IRS recognized 501(c)3 (as of 2015) consortia of Alabama K-12, community colleges and universities established in collaboration with the State of Alabama Department of Commerce International Trade Division (Made in Alabama) , U.S. Commercial Service, Alabama Commission for Higher Education (ACHE) and the Alabama Community College System (ACCS).  Study Alabama has as its objectives:  to raise the profile of the State of Alabama higher education sector as a global study/research destination with a focus on international student enrollment, the education abroad goals of the member institutions, to foster awareness of the role of the Alabama Higher Education members in supporting economic development and international trade throughout the of State of Alabama, and to encourage collaboration with the higher education sector by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Alabama Department of Commerce and other local and regional commerce and economic development entities in the State of Alabama.  For more on Study Alabama contact:


If you have any questions about the seminar, please contact

EducationUSA – Susana Guzman 202-632-3226
Alabama State University – Dr. Linwood Whitten, 334-229-4713
Study AlabamaDr. Jim Ellis, Executive Director, 251-404-8601

updated 7/30/2019