International student to present

Northwestern College senior Patricia Daka will present a poster session at the NAFSA Region Four conference in St. Paul, Minn., Oct. 27–30.

Daka, a public relations major from Zimbabwe, will present “A Foundation for Change” at the conference. Her session, which describes how international students can play an important role in the way colleges and universities develop and implement recruitment tools for foreign students, was influenced by the work she completed during an internship at Northwestern.

“Over the course of my internship, my main focus was on researching and implementing ways to increase the college’s exposure to students around the world,” explains Daka. “I was able to give insight from an international student’s perspective on how to research and implement ways to better understand the unique challenges of international student recruitment.”

“Patricia’s experience as an international student and a public relations major has helped us to consider and improve on our international marketing strategy,” says Kevin McMahan, associate dean for intercultural development at Northwestern. During her internship, Daka played a part in strategic decision-making processes that helped to spearhead an investment for an online profile for Northwestern, which will act as a search tool for students from around the world looking to study in the United States. She will also form a group of current international student ambassadors to personally respond to inquiries from prospects in their major or their region of the world.

“One important thing I found in my research was the need for candid communication between international students and the college,” says Daka. “It’s important for the college to hear the collective voice of all the international students, not just my own.”

Originally founded in 1948 as the National Association of Foreign Student Advisers, the organization is now known as NAFSA: Association of International Educators.