Dear International Students and Scholars,
It is difficult to capture 2020, a year filled with ongoing challenges for everyone globally, in a few sentences. Amidst all the hurdles and difficulties of dealing with a pandemic and the constant ever changing immigration rules and regulations, all of us in International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) have continued to persevere and to push forward, empowered with the goal of helping serve your needs.
We were fortunate to onboard our newest team member, Suzanne Pendergrass, Assistant Director of International Student Services, right before we moved to telework. The entire ISSS team continued to think innovatively to engage you and to make each of you, our number one priority. We adjusted our schedules, processing routines and practices, and transitioned to all virtual events, including our spring 2020 and fall 2020 celebration of our international graduates. We phased out our newsletter and introduced our ISSS Views and News blog, creating a more holistic and interactive experience for all. We welcomed our new Global Spartans through a virtual Global Spartan Welcome and have just launched our new international peer mentorship program, iSucceed!, in an effort to provide more peer to peer support for all of you. Our ISSS student leaders (Global Leaders and Advisory Board members) have done a tremendous job of coming up with new and creative ways to connect, including a series of fun social events over the winter break, which we hope you will attend. Finally, we are thrilled to have launched our inaugural Global Spartan scholarship this fall and look forward to continuing to recognize some of you for your outstanding contributions to SJSU and our global community.
As you can see from this brief recap, amidst all the challenges of 2020, the ISSS team sought new ways to stay engaged and to support you and your needs. We continued to enjoy and benefit from your presence, albeit virtually, as part of our Spartan community. We value each and every one of you and commend you on your accomplishments, resilience and commitment to succeed. We are strengthened by your different backgrounds and perspectives and treasure the diversity you bring to our already multicultural and dynamic community.
On behalf of all of us in ISSS, I wish you a restful and peaceful holiday season and break. I sincerely hope that the time off will provide a respite from the uncertainties and stresses of 2020 and allow you to start fresh with renewed energy and goals for 2021. Congratulations on finishing the fall semester and for all you have accomplished in 2020, despite the extenuating circumstances.
As a reminder, ISSS will be closed for the holidays from December 24th, with the last advising appointments taking place from 9-11am on December 23rd. We will resume normal business hours on Monday, January 4th. We look forward to our continued engagement with each and every one of you, in the new year. Wishing you joy and peace in 2021!
Parinaz Zartoshty, Director of ISSS