SAC’s Patrice Ballard Receives District Honor During International Education Week
November 19, 2020
Patrice Ballard, senior coordinator of International Students Services at San Antonio College, received special recognition from the Alamo Colleges District for her outstanding efforts in promoting internationalization. She was also recognized for her long-term commitment to serving international students.
The honor was announced during International Education Week, an annual event to celebrate diversity, increase awareness of international learning experience benefits, and continue advancing the mission of globalizing the Alamo Colleges.
“Through your efforts and hard work, our international students have found a home at the Alamo Colleges,” wrote Alejandra Bueno, Executive Director for International Programs at the District, to Ballard in announcing the honor.
“You have been a champion helping others realize the importance of incorporating a global view into the college experience. Additionally, your expertise has been instrumental in assisting all students, gaining a true international education experience through the programs you have organized and coordinated,” Bueno added.
As a senior coordinator of International Students Services, Ballard oversees a multitude of responsibilities, including:
- Ensuring the college and students remain in compliance with the government’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program.
- Issuing Certificates of Eligibility for non-immigrant F-1 visa applicants.
- Managing attendance tracking, database information, and enrollment of all F-1 students in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System.
- Acting as a liaison to various government agencies such as Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Department of Homeland Security.
Ballard sees her role being more than just helping international students navigate their way through a labyrinth of complex immigration rules.
“When I first began working with international students over 21 years ago, I came to understand the relationship and connection these students have with the International Student Services Office is very important,” said Ballard, about her work.
“I am the person they look to for guidance, someone they can talk to, someone they can trust and depend on, someone they know has their best interest at heart even when I say no or tell them something they may not want to hear. Knowing and understanding this is a huge responsibility and is not taken lightly. These students are in my care and it is my responsibility to support them as best as I can,” she added.
International Education Week is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education. The Office of International Programs at the District leads the event in cooperation with its five colleges.