International, study abroad programs get new chiefs

On Thursday Jeffrey Nonemaker assumed the new position of director of international student services. Nonemaker is taking the place of Philip Hofer. Nonemaker joined the University in 1983 as director of Nea Makri Residence Center in Athens, Greece. / photo by Zachary Horton
On Thursday Jeffrey Nonemaker assumed the new position of director of international student services. Nonemaker is taking the place of Philip Hofer. Nonemaker joined the University in 1983 as director of Nea Makri Residence Center in Athens, Greece. / photo by Zachary Horton

Robert Penalber
News Editor

Following the recent retirement of Phil Hofer, Jeffrey Nonemaker will serve as director of International Student Services, and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Al Clark will direct study abroad services – effective this week.

Hofer, who held the title director of international and study abroad services, had done both jobs for 15 years.

Nonemaker’s job for the past seven years previously involved international student recruitment and admissions.

“Now I’ll (also) be working on the services side and providing services for them as current international students to get them acculturated into the environment here, to provide legal services and social and cultural services.”

The two offices were split to create a more academic alignment for study abroad services and give international student services, which has seen dramatic growth in recent years, more attention.

Five years ago there were about 170 international students on campus, but since then the number has grown to nearly 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students, Nonemaker said.

“There won’t be any changes on how each office is run,” Dean of Student Affairs Loretta Rahmani said. “The offices will continue to provide the services they have been providing.”

The split will also help focus more attention and resources on increasingly popular study abroad programs, Rahmani said.

The search for an educational experience outside of the classroom is one reason the number of international students at the University has increased.

“International advising has become a job in itself,” Clark said.

Clark will continue with his numerous duties in academic affairs and will work in this new area with Jonathan Reed, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

“I was director before, and now it’s become huge,” Clark said. “So they’re taking that chunk and making it a separate part. There are so many facets to my position that in my case it is only a slight change. I am looking forward to it.”

Clark said his position as director of the study abroad program gradually changed in 2,000 over an 18-month period when he transferred all of his duties.

“Clark ran the study abroad program before, so it’s great because he knows the position and will continue to bring his expertise,” Rahmani said.

The new position will not be foreign to Nonemaker, either.

Nonemaker began his University of La Verne career in 1983 at the University’s now defunct Athens campus in Greece eventually becoming dean of Athens Academic Support.

“That program grew from a very small off-campus program into a satellite campus of the University,” Nonemaker said. “I’ve been dealing with international students pretty much my whole career with the University.”

“Jeffrey will be able to contribute his vision with the wealth of experience he has living and working in another country,” Rahmani said.

“It’s been a real privilege for me to meet so many kinds of students from so many different places and just learn a whole lot about the world just from the students that walk in through your door,” Nonemaker said.

Robert Penalber can be reached at robert.penalber@laverne.edu.

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