Welcoming 33 Higher Ed Professionals to the APSIA Advisor Forum

Welcoming 33 Higher Ed Professionals to the APSIA Advisor Forum

From April 30 to May 2, 2024, APSIA welcomed 33 advisors from 21 institutions in 15 states to the 2024 Spring Training Workshop for the APSIA Advisor Forum.

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


Tuesday, April 30 kicked the week off with a look at the many career opportunities within international affairs. Carmen Iezzi Mezzera, hosted a conversation between Robyn Battles (TAMU Bush Alumna) and Alden Hartopo (American Univ. SIS Alumnus). Speakers talked about navigating their journeys in the public and private sectors respectively and the importance of students communicating their skills rather than listing ‘flashy experiences.’ They both suggested advisors challenge students to find internships, fellowships, study abroad, and other opportunities outside of the “campus bubble.” 

Wednesday, May 1’s conversation between Robertson Fellows JaKyah Beatty, Graduate Student at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, and Eugene Parrish, Graduate Student at the University of California, San Diego School of Global Policy & Strategy was moderated by Sydney Song, APSIA Graduate Fellow and Graduate Student at Texas A&M University Bush School of Government and Public Service. Speakers provided insight into how to decide whether to go to graduate school, what program is the right fit, and when to pursue the degree. Advisors should remind their students that they are much more than their GPA and experiences, speakers said, even as imposter syndrome was a common theme that affected the motivation of students completing their applications. 

Late that Wednesday, Kristina Biyad, Outreach Director with Foreign Policy for America (American Univ. SIS Alumna), and Joyce Pagan, Chief of Staff to Pittsburgh City Councilperson Bob Charland (Univ. of Pittsburgh GSPIA Alumna), shared ways students can gain international affairs experience in their local communities. Moderated by José Antonio Lucero, Professor at the University of Washington Jackson School of International Studies, the panel emphasized that international opportunities exist all around. Speakers shared personal obstacles that prevented them from pursuing study abroad opportunities, but explained how they are still able to work on global themes like immigration and climate change in their current roles with local government and nonprofit organizations.

The week concluded on Thursday, May 2 with a look at what APSIA is and how the Forum assists advisors. APSIA’s Executive Director Carmen Iezzi Mezzera (American Univ. SIS Alumna) shared events, resources, and many ways APSIA helps advisors bring public and international service-related content to their campuses. 

To learn more about the APSIA Forum, please click here.

To learn more about the PISA network, please click here.

Attendees came from a variety of institutions, including

  • Atlanta Metropolitan State College
  • City College of New York
  • Hallmark University
  • Hamilton College
  • Montgomery College
  • North Carolina Central University
  • Our Lady of the Lake University
  • Rutgers University - Camden
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • University of North Texas
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Washington

The 2024 APSIA Forum is made possible by many generous investors:

University of Pittsburgh