by Jennifer Parsons
Editor in Chief
Philip Hofer, director of International Student Services, is more than qualified for his new position with 12 years of international work under his belt.
Prior to Hofer’s hiring, Janice Johnson, English as a Second Language (ESL) director, held two part-time positions as ESL director and director of International Student Services.
“The University decided that we needed a full time administrator for both positions,” said Dr. Loretta Rahmani, dean of student affairs, which oversees International Student Services.
This past summer, the University of La Verne interviewed professionals for the position.
“We were looking for someone who knew international regulations and laws, immigration rules and INS rulings. Someone who had a positive spirit, a team player attitude, positive international communication and was a student advocate. Phil Hofer had all of that. He has a wonderful positive attitude and great international communication,” said Dr. Rahmani.
“The job at La Verne was open. My wife and I were looking for a change of institutions and I saw that La Verne had a bigger program of international students. I liked the feel of the place and the people I would be working with,” said Hofer.
Prior to working at ULV, Hofer spent 14 years at Fresno Pacific University (FPU), where he was an instructor in communication and an administrator in international student advising.
Hofer received his bachelor’s in communications from FPU and then went on to gain his master’s in speech communication with an emphasis in cross-cultural communication at California State University, Fresno.
Straight out of college, Hofer spent three years doing volunteer work in Nigeria.
Hofer and his wife, Joy, also spent time abroad in Central America and the Philippines, each for four years, as translators and teachers for a relief and development organization.
“It was meaningful and interesting work,” said Hofer.
Hofer also lived in Pennsylvania for five years, teaching in leadership institutes run by the local Mennonite Church.
“Growing up, I remember seeing pictures in church of people, missionaries, who traveled and worked abroad. Early on, I thought I wanted to be a missionary,” said Hofer.
Although, later, Hofer decided that, because of negative connotations, he did not want to be considered a missionary.
Now, Hofer said, “I think everyone is a missionary whether we like it or not. We carry our values on our back.”
Hofer’s goals as director of international services are to provide a welcome place for international students, to provide accurate information on immigration regulations, to provide support to the large number of international graduate students and to explore the possibility for an active host-family program.
Hofer and his wife currently live in La Verne, within walking distance from ULV, and his wife works for the Tomaás Rivera Policy Institute at Scripps College as an editor and communications director.
As for a long-term career at ULV, Hofer said, “I would like to stay here. I like the feel and its location. I like ULV’s rootedness and its history, but I also like its willingness to innovate and try new things.”
Journalism operations manager at the University of La Verne. Production manager and business manager of the Campus Times.