Open forums wrap up for director position


Ryan Bretoi/Iowa State Daily

Krista McCallum Beatty speaks to students and faculty about the International Students and Scholars Office in the Soults Family Visitors Center on Feb 8. Beatty, who recently worked for the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, spoke about her goals for the office in the future. 

Nik Heftman

Wednesday morning marked the final of three rounds of open forums for director of Iowa State’s International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO).

Krista McCallum Beatty, director of international student and faculty services at Ohio University in Athens, presented her case for the position.

Beatty’s presentation was centered on campus community and climate. Beatty said it is important for a campus’ community to not get stuck on the “international aspect” of the terms “international student” and “scholar.”

“We would work with the [campus] community to help them understand the international community,” Beatty said. “All students need strong academic interactions.”

Beatty continued by saying that international students and scholars need a sense of belonging. She said that as director, the ISSO would seek to “normalize” the Iowa State experience of international students and scholars.

“We are leaders in developing an internationally diverse campus,” Beatty said.

Her presentation further delved into the realm of integration. In her experience, Beatty said international students and scholars tend to interact with one another more often than the majority student population. 

“This is detrimental to international students and domestic students,” Beatty said. “Integration is critical.”

Beatty continued on the importance of integration, stating that the focus should not solely be the academic success of international students and scholars, but assisting them in developing lifelong intrapersonal relationships as well.

Partnership and collaboration were other points of importance in Beatty’s presentation. These partnerships included collaboration with academic programs, international programs, student affairs and university programs.

“We’re bringing the best and brightest students and scholars from around the world,” Beatty said. “Let’s partner with them as well.”

Beatty pitched the idea of a campus response team to address a number of issues for international students and scholars. She also said her office would develop resources to help international students and scholars understand the academic culture of Iowa State. 

The ISSO’s staff was central to Beatty’s vision. Beatty said she would need to have a staff with knowledge, skills and passion. She said her team should be highly regarded by the campus community.

Beatty’s top priorities for the ISSO included institutional compliance, student and scholar advising, staff development and programming for international students and scholars.

She stressed the importance of hosting an adequate orientation, though she added that orientation starts prior to a student’s arrival. Beatty would also install programming that would reach out to families and spouses of international students and scholars at Iowa State. 

“[We have been] living in an environment where not everyone is welcoming to International students and scholars,” Beatty said. “If [the ISSO] is well respected, resources will become easy to [request].”

Martino Harmon, senior vice president for student affairs at Iowa State, asked the first question of the forum. He asked how Beatty’s office at Ohio University has handled responding to President Donald Trump’s executive order, which is an immigration ban against seven countries.

Beatty said she has worked with NAFSA: Association of International Educators, an organization dedicated to international education and exchange, in an effort to push helpful information out to international students and scholars affected by the ban.

“International Student Services is a dynamic profession,” Beatty said. “I know the vision I shared with you today is not out of reach.”