Dr. Stephen Ferst began his career in international education as a student worker in a study abroad office, purely by chance. As an undergraduate student he subsequently spent a semester abroad in Israel. Upon graduating from Rutgers University he was offered a position recruiting for the Study Abroad Office and continued working there for nearly 20 years as an advisor, program manager, overseas resident director, and Director of the office. He currently serves as Executive Director of the Center for Global Engagement at The College of Staten Island in New York where he is responsible for leading the College’s strategic internationalization efforts. Throughout his career he has authored books and articles on creating international partnerships, nontraditional study abroad programming, welcoming U.S. students overseas, studying abroad with disabilities, and legal issues in education abroad. In 2004 he was awarded the Lily von Klemperer Award given annually to recognize people who have mentored other education abroad professionals in the field and who maintain the highest standards of professional ethics while sharing their skills, knowledge, and expertise with colleagues. He is also a tireless advocate for international education and in 2008 was awarded the NAFSA Advocate of the Year presented to recognize an international education advocate who has excelled in grassroots advocacy and who inspires others to make a difference by engaging their elected officials in discussions and promoting policies that support international education and exchange. He recently served as chair of the NAFSA annual conference in St. Louis, as Vice President for Public Policy and Practice, and is currently an at-large member of the NAFSA Board of Directors.
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