Samantha McCabe, interim assistant dean and director of International Student Services (ISS), has been selected as the permanent director of ISS. Her new appointment was effective May 1.
McCabe served as the interim lead since October 2019, leading a team of 15 staff members responsible for supporting international students across myriad areas including immigration, programming, advising, career placement, and retention. Prior to this appointment, she held other positions serving international students, such as assistant director of SEVIS compliance and international student advisor.
International students comprise a significant portion of the student body at UW–Madison. More than 5,900 international students were enrolled at the university during the 2020–2021 academic year. These students bring unique perspectives to UW–Madison’s classroom community, classroom learning, and research and innovation. The university continues to be a top destination for international students, with the 2020 Open Doors report listing UW–Madison as #24 for the 2019–2020 academic year.
“With a strong track record connecting with and serving international audiences, I am confident that Samantha will continue to deliver exceptional leadership to ISS and work to ensure that international students are able to excel at the University of Wisconsin–Madison,” said Guido Podestá, vice provost and dean of the International Division.”
“I am thrilled to continue leading this team of dedicated professionals and advancing opportunities for our talented international students,” McCabe said. “The innovation and advocacy for inclusive learning and equitable access for international students is at the forefront of the work we do at ISS. This is an exciting new era to develop long-term strategic and organizational planning to continue our work and intentionally weave international student support into the fabric of campus as a whole.”
In addition to UW–Madison, McCabe served at Grambling State University in Louisiana as an international admissions counselor, Inova Centro De Linguas in Brazil as an ESL instructor, and AmeriCorps VISTA as a job developer for Community Refugee and Immigration Services.
McCabe received her master’s in educational leadership and policy analysis from UW–Madison, where she specialized in global higher education. During her graduate studies, she also took part in a summer abroad to study mixed methods research in education at Makerere University–Kampala in Uganda. She received her bachelor’s in international relations from Beloit College, where she specialized in African studies. During her undergraduate studies she participated in a semester abroad at Augsburg College Center for Global Education in Namibia.
International Student Services seeks to contribute to the successful experience of all students, with an emphasis on international students, studying at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. ISS provides vital services and programs to advance the internationalization of campus and the larger community through dynamic leadership and resources. Currently, ISS is a part of Student Affairs at UW–Madison. ISS, along with International Faculty and Staff Services, will join the International Division on July 1.