Celebrating Achievements with the Office of International Affairs

By Linh Phung, English Language Program Director

Under the umbrella of the Office of International Affairs are five major units:

  1. Education Abroad
  2. English Language Program (ELP)
  3. Global Focus
  4. International Student and Scholar Services
  5. International Partnerships

The office has five full-time employees: Chris Musick, AVP International Affairs; Karin Chipman, Study Abroad Coordinator; Kate Emory, International Student and Scholar Services Coordinator; Linh Phung, English Language Program Director; and Sylvia Shipp, ELP Lecturer and Student Advisor. Jean-Jacques Sene is a full-time faculty in the History Department, but also serves as the Global Focus Coordinator. There are 13 part-time instructors in the ELP, who all have training and experience in the specific field of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).

As professionals in the field of international education and TESOL, we have been highly engaged in professional development, scholarship, and research in order to continuously improve our practices to better teach, advise, and serve our students. Below are professional achievements (publications, presentations, and awards) shared by some. Other contributions include research projects with refugees in Germany, voluntary work to teach immigrants and refugees in Pittsburgh, advocacy for English language learners in the country, mentoring services provided to Chatham’s alumni, and so on.


Phung, L. (2017). Task preference, affective response, and learners’ engagement in L2 use in a U.S. university context. Language Teaching Research, 21.

Publication date: April 2017
Publication date: April 2017

Reinders, R., Phung, L. & Lewis, M. (April 2017). Study in English: Strategies for success in higher education. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Wender, E. & Powell, T. (2016). Advantages to using young adult literature in the English language classroom. In Wiley TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching.

Yates, S. (2016). What I would say if we were to drown tonight. Pittsburgh, PA: Stranded Oak Press.


Moroz, O. (2016). Gendered influence on ELT identity in Ukraine. Poster presentation at the Second Language Research Forum. New York, NY.

Phung, L. (2016). Understanding, explaining, and developing language tests takes a village. Presentation at the EnglishUSA Conference. Monterey, CA.

Phung, L. (2016). Task preference, task engagement, and factors influencing affective responses. Presentation at the Second Language Research Forum. New York, NY.

Phung, L. (2016). Personalized approach to teaching grammar through systematic error treatment. Presentation at Three Rivers TESOL Conference. Pittsburgh, PA.

Shipp, S. (2016). Building reading competence using graded audiobooks in the classroom. Presentation at Three Rivers TESOL Conference. Pittsburgh, PA

Book review

Moroz, O. (2016). Social class, gender and exclusion from school. TESOL Journal.

Grants and Awards

Karin Chipman, Study Abroad Coordinator, received a grant to participate in Study in Spain Workshop in Madrid, Spain, funded and organized by Study in Spain (Eduespaña) and Spanish Trade Commission, December 2016.

From Schramm’s Farm to Presbyterian Church Tour to Fallingwater

By Kate Emory, International Student Services Coordinator

Pumkin Patch
Pumkin Patch

Throughout the semester there are many opportunities for students to interact with American students and culture: on campus, in the local community, and nationally as they travel. Over the course of the Fall 2016 semester, Chatham students have participated in athletic activities, volunteered at local community organizations, and traveled to Chicago, Seattle, New York, and Washington DC.

The Office of International Affairs has organized local events,  such as a church tour the Presbyterian Church in East Liberty and the Macedonian Church of Pittsburgh in the Hill District, and a day trip to Fallingwater and Ohio Pyle State Park. Sharla Yates, an instructor in the English Language Program, also organized a visit to Schramm’s Farm in Harrison City PA for the students in the US Culture  class.

At Schramm’s Farm students were able to experience classic “fall farm festival” atmosphere, including walking through a pumpkin patch, drinking fresh apple cider, exploring a corn maze, and taking a hay ride. Students were able to pick a pumpkin, which they then used to carve Jack O’ Lanterns in the US Culture class.  Students also participated in the Chatham Harvest Fun Fest on the quad and experienced American autumn activities with their classmates and roommates.

Church tour
Macedonian Church of Pittsburgh

The church tour of East Liberty’s Presbyterian Church allowed students to climb the steeple to the top and learn about the buildings interesting history. Later in the semester students were invited to the Macedonian Church of Pittsburgh to experience a Baptist choir and learn about the African American experience in Pittsburgh.


Fallingwater, a national historic landmark, is considered the crowning achievement of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. We toured the house and learned about the family who lived there, as well as about Frank Lloyd Wright and his work. After the tour, we visited Ohio Pyle State Park, which, despite the name, is still in Pennsylvania. There students explored the small town, ate American BBQ, and began a hike along the Youghiogheny River. Some students expressed relief to experience a “refreshing” break from the rigors of the classroom and explore the state park.

Students enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner on Wednesday November 16th at with hundreds of Chatham’s students, faculty, and staff. There they feasted on turkey, mashed potatoes, yams, green beans, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. During the Thanksgiving holiday, many students will travel on their own to experience other American cities: Washington DC, New York, Chicago, while others will be visiting family or going to their roommate’s home.

Students are encouraged to let OIA know of their interests to assist us in planning these events and trips. Pittsburgh has much to offer students, and we look forward to introducing students to interesting facets of American and local culture.

Contact: internationalaffairs@chatham.edu

International Students’ FAQs

By Kate Emory, International Student Services Coordinator

Throughout the semester, international students have questions regarding what activities they can, and cannot do, in regards to remaining “in-status”. It is important to check with OIA if you are unsure if something will affect your immigration status or not. It is always better to ask, than to find out later that you are out of status! Here are some frequently asked questions:

Q: Can I get a Social Security Number?

A: Only those with employment are eligible for a social security number. International students have limited opportunities for employment, and should check with OIA. To receive a SSN, you must submit proof of immigration status, job offer, and copies of your passport and I-94 to the Social Security Office. If you are applying for a driver’s license but do not have an SSN, you can get a letter from the Social Security Office stating that you are not eligible for the social security number.

Q: I am getting a low-grade in my class, can I withdraw from the class?

A: F-1 students must be enrolled as full-time students to maintain their immigration status. If you will go below full-time status, you must check with OIA first. If you drop below full-time enrollment without immigration authorization, your student status could be terminated. Full time for undergraduate and ELP students is 12-credits a semester; for graduate students it is 9-credits a semester.

Q: I want to travel during Winter break! Can I go outside of the US?

A: Yes. During University breaks, students may travel. Make sure you stop by OIA to get a travel signature on page 2 of your I-20 before you leave the US. An email will go out in December with set times for travel signatures.

Q: I want to get a part-time job in Squirrel Hill, can I?

A: No. If you have an F-1 or J-1 student visa, you must follow the regulations of your visa. Employment must be authorized by either OIA (on campus employment, CPT) or by USCIS (OPT, Economic hardship). Those who work without authorization may have their student status terminated.