More than 50 Advisors Join PISA Network

More than 50 Advisors Join PISA Network

From October 3-5, 2023, APSIA welcomed 52 advisors from 47 institutions in 28 states to our online Fall 2023 Public and International Service Advisor (PISA) Training Workshop. The PISA Network now includes ~700 undergraduate and community college advisors in 48 US states.

Recordings of the week’s sessions can be found on APSIA’s YouTube page.


Tuesday, October 3 kicked the week off with a look at the many career opportunities within international affairs.  Kelly Thornburg, Director of the Office of Scholar Development at the University of Iowa, hosted a conversation between Pat Austria Ramsey, Country Practice and Innovation Director at the Institute for State Effectiveness (Yale JSGA Alumna), Bonnie Devenney, Environmental, Social, Governance Analyst with ServiceNow (UCSD GPS Alumna), and Susan Falatko, Foreign Service Officer with the US Department of State (GWU ESIA Alumna). Despite work in different sectors, speakers agreed that each of their careers enabled them to use their curiosity, “scrappiness,” and time management skills to be of service to others.  They also talked about the importance of relationship building/networking and strong writing skills.

Wednesday, October 4 welcomed advisors back for two sessions. The first conversation between Zach Marentay, Admissions Officer at the University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy, Kathryn Meyer, Director of Admissions and Recruitment for the Texas A&M University Bush School of Government & Public Service, and Michal Sela, Head of Admissions at the Geneva Graduate Institute, compared graduate degrees and explained ways to make graduate school affordable. Moderated by Tracy Pintchman, Professor and Director of the Global Studies Program at the Loyola University of Chicago (PISA Network Co-Chair), the panel celebrated how programs in international affairs and policy “feed students’ need to change the world” and “serve the public good.” International Affairs programs provide students with an interdisciplinary “prism" through which to find solutions to global problems (including economics, business, political science, etc.). Public Policy looks closely at the domestic US public sector, often through quantitative analysis.  To know which program is the right fit, advisors should help students learn about the structure of the degree, understand the institutional culture of the school, and build relationships with the admissions teams.

Later on October 4, Holly Hickling, Executive Director of The Global Switchboard (Univ. of Pittsburgh GSPIA Alumna), Tyler Vogel, Impact Program Manager with the Community Reinvestment Fund of Minnesota (UMN HHH Alumnus), and Mary P. Yntema, President and CEO of WorldBoston (JHU SAIS Alumna), offered ways advisors can help students link global phenomena to local opportunities. Moderated by David Fletcher, Career Development Advisor at the American University School of International Service, the panelists shared examples of how international conflicts, multinational trade, climate change, human rights conventions, immigration, entrepreneurship, and other issues have manifest in their communities. They hope advisors will ask students what kinds of problems they want to solve and then look for the “bridges” that connect those problems at the local and global level.

The workshop concluded on Thursday, October 5 with a look at what APSIA is and how the PISA Network assists advisors. APSIA’s Executive Director Carmen Iezzi Mezzera (AU SIS Alumna) and International Admissions and Operations Manager Briana Suarez (GWU ESIA Alumna) shared APSIA’s events, resources, and many ways they help advisors bring public and international service-related content to their campuses.


To learn more about the PISA Network, please visit:


Advisors attending the Fall 2023 Online Training Workshop came from:

Alfred University

Binghamton University

Brown University

California State University-Chico

Carleton College

Claremont McKenna College

Davidson College

Eckerd College

Felician University

Florida International University

Francis Marion University

Fuller Theological Seminary

George Mason University

Georgetown University

Grand Valley State University

Grinnell College

Jackson State University

Lansing Community College

Lincoln University of Pennsylvania

Loyola University New Orleans

Martin Community College

Miami University

Muhlenberg College

Obama Foundation

Oklahoma State University

Philander Smith College

Rochester Institute of Technology

Rowan College South Jersey

Salisbury University

Skidmore College

South Dakota State University

St. Olaf College

Sweet Briar College

Temple University

The University of Texas at Austin

Union College (N.Y.)

University of Albany (SUNY)

University of Arkansas Little Rock

University of Central Oklahoma

University of Hawaii at Mānoa

University of Maine

University of Maryland Global Campus

University of Maryland-College Park

University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth

University of Michigan

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

University of Puget Sound



The Fall 2023 Workshops are made possible by many generous investors:


















as well as