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CSU to urge Congress' support of international education

Photo by Heather Middleton

Photo by Heather Middleton

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

A Clayton State University official will go to Washington this spring to help push members of the U.S. Congress to support international education programs, university officials announced this week.

Brett Reichert, the associate director of Clayton State's International Student Services Office, is scheduled to be in Washington March 15-16, to participate in NAFSA: Association of International Educators' Advocacy Day 2011, the university said.

During the event, international education officials from colleges around the nation will converge on the nation's capital to learn about international education advocacy, discuss issues facing international education and foreign exchange programs, and press legislators for policies that promote international education, according to NAFSA's web site.

"The program provides the opportunity to meet and strategize with colleagues from around the country, and to ultimately meet our congressional delegation to discuss relevant issues," Reichert said. "Advocacy Day, though brief, will help take Clayton State University from 'outside the perimeter' of Atlanta, to 'the middle of the beltway' in D.C."

Reichert, in a written statement, said this will be the first time Clayton State has participated in an Advocacy Day event. He added that he applied for, and received, a $500 grant from Clayton State's NAFSA region (Region VII) office, so he could attend the event, because money to participate in Advocacy Day was not included in the current budget for the university's International Student Services Office.

According to a Clayton State news release, representatives from Georgia universities will go to Capitol Hill and engage in a "personal dialogue" with U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), and staff members from the offices of U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.).

"My job will be to present the key issues and consequences set forth in my grant application, notably: Transparency of process, public transit, and immigration reform," Reichert said. He added that it will "provide an historic opportunity ... for a Clayton State staff member to dialogue with members of the new Congress about the needs of our diverse international student population."

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On the Net:

Clayton State University: www.clayton.edu

NAFSA: Association of International Educators: www.nafsa.org