Published on 18 March 2013
18 March 2013
The University of the Sunshine Coast’s Director of Student Life and Learning has been elected to represent the whole Oceania region on the board of a global organisation dedicated to the success of university students.
Dr Eva-Marie Seeto of Montville has been named the first Oceania Regional Coordinator on the board of the International Association of Student Affairs and Services (IASAS).
IASAS has 700 members in more than 50 countries and holds Board elections every two years. Dr Seeto’s region covers 14 nations including Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
“I feel fortunate to have succeeded, with such strong competition,” she said.
Dr Seeto said IASAS aimed to promote international standards for student services, the professional growth of staff and the development of students.
“USC’s involvement with IASAS ensures that the Oceania region is a key voice in student engagement and success services, and also raises the University’s profile internationally,” she said.
“Many aspects of the student experience are universal – seeking leadership opportunities, improving learning strategies, overcoming homesickness, surviving financially, career planning – but services should meet the distinctive needs of individual student populations.
“Through Student Life and Learning at USC, we provide professional services that enable students to achieve their academic and personal goals, and initiatives to develop a vibrant campus life.
“Connection with IASAS will stimulate fresh ideas for services at USC, enable new professional partnerships, and provide connections for research relationships internationally.”
Through IASAS connections, Dr Seeto last year travelled to the United States for professional development and is currently mentoring a University of Florida Masters student who is examining student services provision.
“It will be invaluable to work with a board that includes the renowned Duke University, University of Sheffield and University of Toronto, and to be able to build the capacity of developing countries as they create their student services systems,” she said.
Dr Seeto, whose own research targets student mental health and engagement, said her goals through IASAS would be to enhance the student experience and facilitate the involvement of Oceania members in the exchange and collaboration of knowledge, ideas and experience.
— Julie Schomberg