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International Student Response Task Force Update - July 20, 2020

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International Student Response Task Force Update

July 20, 2020

Dear OU community,

This update provides the names of the Task Force and Student Advisory Group members to date, and announces a Town Hall for international students, to be held next week.

In response to last week’s directive by Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) threatening the visa status of international students, President Harroz and interim Provost Irvine announced the creation of the International Student Response Task Force, as well as a parallel student-led International Student Advisory Group. While ICE has rescinded the guidance, the task force and the advisory board will work to address a broad range of vulnerabilities faced by international students during the pandemic challenges, as per the initial charge.

The membership of the Task Force includes:

  • Steven Cavallo - Associate Professor, College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences
  • Laku Chidambaram - Senior Associate Dean for Academic Programs & Engagement, Price College of Business
  • Rebecca Cruise - Associate Dean of Student Services, College of International Studies
  • Josh Davis – Executive Director of Student Affairs, OU Tulsa
  • Mackenzie Dilbeck - Vice President of Marketing and Communications
  • (Chair) Scott Fritzen – Dean, College of International Studies and Associate Provost for Global Engagement
  • Craig Hayes - Director of International Admissions and Recruitment and UWC Scholars Program
  • Randall Hewes – Dean, Graduate College and Senior Associate VP for Research & Partnerships
  • Belinda Hyppolite - Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, and Chief Diversity Officer
  • Lori Klimkowski - Registrar, OUHSC
  • Robyn Rojas - Director of International Student Services, College of International Studies
  • Randa Shehab - Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, College of Engineering
  • Mitchell Smith - Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, College of International Studies
  • David Surratt - Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
  • Chris Walker - Associate Provost for Faculty and Student Affairs
  • Ann West - Associate Vice President for Research and Partnerships
  • John Woods - Executive Director of Government Affairs
  • David Wrobel - Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Nima Zecavati - Director, International Faculty & Staff Services, Human Resources & Immigration Attorney, Office of Legal Counsel, OUHSC

The International Student’s Advisory Group is comprised of students nominated by OU Student Government Association, the student-run International Advisory Committee (the umbrella organization for OU’s many cultural clubs), HSC Student Affairs and Tulsa Student Affairs as well as nominations from the Graduate College and International Student Services. The goal is to have broad representation of the international student population and one US student familiar with the situation. The group will meet early next week to determine their structure and discuss their charge.

Its members to date include:

  • Bujana Allushi (HSC)
  • Amer Begovic
  • Zharina Casil
  • Tatenda Dzvimbo
  • Guilherme Fonseca
  • Saurabh Gawde (HSC)
  • Rich Gay
  • Alex Gray
  • Youssef Kamal
  • Michael Lowry
  • Fabiana Monte
  • Siraj Muhammad (Tulsa)
  • Oyindamola Okuwa
  • Aida Sertovic
  • Simran Sethi
  • Yue Zheng

Finally, the College of International Studies is partnering with Student Affairs to hold an International Student Town Hall event Wednesday, July 22nd from 2:00-3:30 pm.  I will be joined by colleagues Vice President David Surratt, Dr. Rebecca Cruise, Robyn Rojas and Nima Zecavati to share updates and listen to international student concerns.  All OU international students will be sent an invitation to the event separately.

Further updates of the Task Force will appear at  Please register here to receive the updates, and please note that international students may contact International Student Services at, and general comments or questions about the task force may be directed to me at

Thank you for your interest in this common cause.  We look forward to engaging with you in these difficult times on behalf of international students at OU.

Scott Fritzen
Dean, David L. Boren College of International Studies
International Student Response Task Force Chair