SHANTI BASU, Photo Editor—The new MyISS portal provides all the information an international student needs to make appointments, maintain their status, and look to the future.
“Like MyDenison, but with added functions,” Assistant Director of International Student Services Chad Buckwalter explained, from his office in Burton Morgan across from Off Campus Studies.
Separate yet accessible through MyDenison, the portal is the latest in a string of recent developments to their offerings. Linked on the International Student Services page under Campus Resources on myDenison, the new site puts academic and immigration information in one spot, increasing functionality for international students and staff alike.
“You can’t always get answers from the staff members immediately, but the portal gives students access at all times to most of the information they might need. It makes useful resources readily available, from scheduling appointments within ISS to when and how to come in and out of the country,” shared Takaharu Higuchi ‘20, originally from Osaka, Japan and a member of the ISS student staff.
Terra Dotta, the software company behind the project, specializes in creating pages for off campus study and international student services programs across the country. After a 12 week implementation this summer, it went live in mid July, and became available to students at the start of the semester.
“It’s great because students can do a lot of things on their own here,” Buckwalter continued, crediting the portal for makes the jobs of ISS staff more efficient by opening up their time to support students through advising and events.
The MyISS is a resource to all current students with Denison login credentials, as well as alumni currently in the US on Optional Practical Training. During this time, students who came to the US on an F-1 visa are permitted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to seek employment or experience to complement their education, coordinated in part by their academic institution following graduate or undergraduate study.
Following themes of accessibility and connection, the The International Student Services staff also worked with University Communications over the past year to add the option to translate the site’s pages. Denisonians can now view their academic information in any language, through built in translation plug-ins. ISS also still has their own landing page, to which the portal adds “more information and functionality.”
Buckwalter sums the new as simply, a way to communicate outwards. Though international students share many facets of the experience of being a Denisonian, college can come with unique challenges. When navigating immigration process for instance, misinformation is not uncommon, and the nuances can be hard to sort out. With the international student community steadily growing at Denison, MyISS is a resource that will continue to help students go straight to the source.