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SIG Officers (2020-2021)

Krishna Bista

KRISHNA BISTA (Immediate Past Chair)

Dr. Krishna Bista is an Associate Professor in the Department of Advanced Studies, Leadership and Policy at Morgan State University, Maryland. His research focuses on college student experiences related to classroom participation, faculty-student relationships, and cross-cultural teaching and learning strategies in higher education. Previously, Dr. Bista served as the director of Global Education at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, where he was Chase Endowed Professor of Education in the School of Education.  Dr. Bista is the Founding Editor of the Journal of International Students, a quarterly publication on international education. Dr. Bista serves on the editorial review boards of several professional publications. He has reviewed book projects related to educational research, international and comparative education series for Routledge, Sage, Palgrave MacMillan, and Bloomsbury publications. His recent book is Global Perspectives on International Student Experiences in Higher Education: Tensions and Issues (Routledge, New York, 2018). E-mail:


Dr. Uttam Gaulee is a scholar of international higher education. His research interests include community college systems, development education, and diaspora studies along with interdisciplinary perspectives on education policy, global citizenship, and cross-cultural issues in international development and geopolitics. An assistant professor in the Community College Leadership Doctoral Program at Morgan State University, Dr. Gaulee is an advocate of the idea of community college as a vehicle for social progress and economic development in and beyond the U.S. His recent book is Global Adaptations of Community College Infrastructure (IGI, 2018).  Dr. Gaulee has devoted the past two decades of his academic and professional life promoting solutions related to student success, workforce development, and institutional effectiveness. While serving as program director of the Community College Futures Assembly and Bellwether College Consortium during 2015-16, he collaborated with multiple national commissions and councils of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) to evaluate and promote best practices among community colleges and hosted national policy summits on workforce development, reverse transfer, and talent pipeline management. E-mail:

ROY Y. CHAN (Chair-Elect) 

Profile 3 - ChanDr. Roy Y. Chan is an Assistant Professor of Education and Director of the Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) in Leadership and Professional Practice program in the Helen DeVos College of Education at Lee University. Previously, Roy served as the Director of TRIO Student Support Services (SSS), where he oversaw the day-to-day operations of the program and managed a budget of $1.3 million funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Prior to this, Roy worked at Indiana University Bloomington in the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs (OVPDEMA).

Roy has published widely in the field of international higher education, including the Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, Studies in Higher Education, International Journal of Chinese Education, and The International Journal of Comparative Education and Development. In 2021, Roy co-edited the book, Online Teaching and Learning in Higher Education during COVID-19: International Perspectives and Experiences by Routledge, the first book in the world devoted solely to higher education teaching and learning during the global pandemic. Roy also co-authored the book, Higher Education: A Worldwide Inventory of Research Centers, Academic Programs, Journals and Publications (Lemmens Media, 2014), and co-edited The Future of Accessibility in International Higher Education (IGI Global, 2017).

Roy holds a Ph.D. in History, Philosophy, and Policy in Education from Indiana University Bloomington, a M.A. in Higher Education Administration from Boston College, a M.Ed. in Comparative Higher Education from The University of Hong Kong, and a B.A. in Criminology, Law & Society from University of California, Irvine. He currently serves as Co-Chair-Elect of the CIES Study Abroad and International Students (SAIS) between 2020 and 2021, Founding Chair of the CIES SAIS SIG Awards Committee between 2018 and 2020, and has been an active member of CIES since 2010. Roy has also been involved with the CIES Higher Education SIG, where he served on the awards committee between 2017 and 2018 under the direction of Dr. Rebecca Clothey. In 2018, the Committee of 100 named Roy as the most influential Chinese American scholar-practitioner shaping higher education policy under the age of 35. E-mail:

SHUNING LIU (Chair-Elect) 

Dr. Shuning Liu is an Assistant Professor in Curriculum Studies at Teachers College, Ball State University. She received her PhD from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Dr. Liu has been highly engaged with the study of international student mobility, globalization and education, comparative and international education, global education policy studies, and curriculum reforms since she was a PhD student at UW-Madison. Her current research projects involve the role of international education in the formation of social elites. Her recent research work has been published as a book Neoliberalism, Globalization, and “Elite” Education in China: Becoming International (Routledge, 2020). Her research has also been published in Educational Policy, Annual Review of Comparative and International Education, Curriculum Inquiry, and Journal for Multicultural Education. Dr. Liu has been actively involved in CIES Study Abroad and International Students (SAIS) SIG events and activity planning since the founding of the SIG. Serving as a member of the leadership team, she will continue to work together with our SAIS SIG members. E-mail:

BAOYAN CHENG (Secretary)

Having received my doctoral degree in international education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, I joined the College of Education, the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2008, and am currently an associate professor there. My research focuses on international student mobility and cross-cultural issues with a special emphasis on China. From the very beginning I was a steadfast supporter of a SIG devoted to international student mobility and study abroad. I believe this newly formed SIG will be an ideal platform for members to be engaged in conversations and collaborations related to those issues. Seeing the opportunity to be the SIG secretary as a service to the professional community of international education in general and CIES in particular, I hope to—through working with the SIG chairs, treasurer and webmaster— be a strong advocate for the SIG members as well as research on international students and study abroad. E-mail:

SARAH ASADA (Treasurer)

Dr. Sarah Asada is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of International Studies at Kyoritsu Women’s University, Tokyo. She also has over a decade of professional experience in study abroad program management. Her research interests encompasses international student mobility, comparative international higher education, and the sociocultural context of education. She has conducted research in Asia and the US. Dr. Asada is also currently involved with research on study abroad with the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Her recent book is 50 Years of US Study Abroad Students: Japan as a Gateway to Asia and Beyond (Routledge, Forthcoming). Since 2012, she has been a member of CIES and regularly attends the annual conferences. In addition to being involved with SAIS since its first business meeting in Mexico City, she is also a member of HESIG and has served on its Award Committee since 2018. E-mail:


RYAN ALLEN (Award Committee Co-Chair)

My name is Ryan Allen, recent Ph.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University. My interest in international students started when I did my master’s degree at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. Gaining an education abroad changed my entire worldview and career trajectory. This experience inspired me to consider the international student population from an academic angle. My research interests on these important students in the higher education sector center on international visa policies, the college selection process, cultural difference, and issues related to international mobility.   Because I am a recent doctoral graduate, I believe that I can garner interest from students to our SIG future awards. I know that oftentimes people do not even realize these awards exist. I will work to make sure that our awards are publicized and recognizable. Though this position, I hope that I can grow professionally along with our recently established SIG. E-mail:

SHUAI (JANET) GAO (Mentorship Chair)

I am seeking election to the mentorship chair because I would like to contribute to build support base in comparative and international field where emerging scholars researching in similar areas can receive additional resources and reflect on new perspectives about international research and career paths.  I have participated in both ASHE Mentor-Networking Program and CIES Dissertation Mentoring Program, and found such events are extremely helpful. I am thrilled to help Study Abroad and International Students SIG create and maintain a platform like this. My Background: Janet Gao is currently a scholar at American Institutes for Research and a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership program at The George Washington University.  Her research interests include student mobility, study abroad choice, outcomes assessment, and comprehensive internationalization using both quantitative and qualitative data and methods of analysis. Previously, Janet worked as the Assistant Director for International Office at Drexel University. E-mail:

SUZAN KOMMERS (Student Representative Chair)

As a student representative, I would like to provide a platform for students to connect with peers and faculty with similar research interests, serving two goals. First, I hope to provide graduate students with the opportunity to reach out for a critical peer or to collaborate and share experiences and feedback on each other work. Second, I hope to intensify the collaboration between students and faculty within the SIG by giving faculty the chance to present their work to possibly interested students who would like to contribute. While this gives faculty support in conducting their research, it provides graduate students with the opportunity to gain experience in publishing papers. E-mail:


SHERRIE LEE (Regional Specialist)

I graduated from the University of Waikato, New Zealand. I have a master’s degree in TESOL from the University of Southern California, and I was formerly a business communications lecturer in Singapore, and have taught English learners in Singapore and China.  My doctoral research examines international students’ academic-related brokering practices at a New Zealand university. My wider research interest is in international education and how education providers and stakeholders can better support the aspirations of international students. I am currently the Secretary of International Education Association (ISANA) New Zealand, a sister organization of ISANA in Australia. I oversee the organizational record-keeping and communication channels.  As the regional representative for Oceania, I aim to provide current updates of the international education scenes in Australia and New Zealand, as well as to promote collaborative opportunities for researchers and practitioners involved in international education. E-mail:


University Associate- Chair

PEGGY GESING (University Associate-Chair)

Dr. Peggy Gesing is Director of the Medical and Health Professions education programs and Assistant Professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Dr. Gesing is an adult educator with a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Old Dominion University. The foundation for her research and teaching is built on her experience at multiple top-ranked, research universities and is informed by educational experiences studying and working at urban research universities where she has worked with diverse student populations to provide advising, instruction, and program management. Dr. Gesing’s research agenda examines higher education as a driver of economic opportunity and social justice with a focus on career outcomes and student mobility. Email:



Conference Program Reviewer (Lead)

I am presently both a high school classroom teacher at an international private school in the U.S. and a part-time adjunct for a Masters in TESOL program at Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education & Psychology. The program also hosts a large international student population as well. I am interested in study abroad and international students in the U.S. K-20+.I have researched and co-published a few articles on Asian Americans and co-ethnic communities. I am a more recent member of CIES (I just joined this past term) and am enjoying meeting people within the field of international education.

SIG Representative

Jianhui Zhang (China, Educational Foundations), student affiliate, is a Ph.D. student of the College of Education at the University of Hawaii, Manoa (UHM). She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.Ed. in Higher Education Management from the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to attending UHM, she worked as an administrative staff and a teacher in the International Business School at Beijing Foreign Studies University. Upon graduation, her goal is to pursue a career as a professor at a university. Areas of interest: international education, philosophy for children, educational equity, higher education. E-mail:

Conference Program Reviewer

Jiaqi Li

It would be a pleasure and an honor to serve as Conference Program Reviewer on CIES. If I am elected, and if the Board would like me to serve in this capacity, I have some experience doing this work, having served on other organizations as Reviewer and Chair. In addiction, I am currently an assistant professor of Counseling at Wichita State University. I have been a JIS peer viewer and copy editor for five years.

————————Former SIG Officers—————————–

MANCA SUSTARSIC (Founding/SIG Treasurer, 2017-2019)

Dr. Manca Sustarsic, originally from Slovenia, is a PhD student in Educational Foundations at University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Her research interests include international student mobility and global education. Her current research focuses on the citizen diplomacy: US Department of State scholarship students at a secondary school level and their host families. Manca has had experience working with international and exchange students for the past 5 years. She works as a graduate assistant at the International Student Services. Manca earned her MA degree in Asian Studies from University of Hawai’i at Manoa, and has also studied and worked in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Thailand. E-mail:


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