Do you feel like the pandemic has impacted your ability to stay connected to your colleagues, meaningfully collaborate and participate in ISSS professional development opportunities? If so, then you will be happy to know that IOC’s 2nd annual ISSS Practices and Technology Conference will be April 26th – April 30th!

The conference is user-driven with sessions presented by ISSS colleagues. It is technology and business process focused and geared towards advisors and administrative staff as well as software super users. We had over 150 attendees at the 2020 conference and you can hear what they liked best about the conference in this heartwarming video! This is the 2021 event you won’t want to miss. Submit a session proposal by February 15th. Presenters will be able to attend the conference for free and there will be benefits for colleagues at their home institution. We also need volunteers to help with the conference. Registration fee will be waived for volunteers. Contact Jenny Ravanh at to sign up as a volunteer.

Did I mention that IOC and our partners eShipGlobal and English3 gave away 2 NAFSA annual conference registrations and then, a grand prize? The winners include: Nick Dunn, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Rachel Webb, Bradley University. Grand prize winner Scripps Research Institute’s Karin Edman won a NAFSA annual conference registration, NAFSA membership and more. She won so many prizes that she decided to share with her colleagues.

The focus of the 2021 sessions will be ISSS case management software including sunapsis, Terra Dotta ISSS and Ellucian ISSM. If we have session proposals for Banner SEVIS Connect and Peoplesoft PASS, we will create these tracks. In addition, there will be sessions that are not product specific. These sessions will include IT advocacy, SEVIS product selection and preparing for an implementation. Our IOC team looks forward to seeing you in April! Important Deadlines: Submit session proposal by February 15th. Notification of accepted proposals by March 1st and Registration opens March 15th.


Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Happy New Year! I hope that this newsletter finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy. I’d like to share some wonderful things that happened in 2020 and give you a peek at IOC plans for 2021. Our pride and joy of 2020 was the birth of our new baby: ISSS Technology and Best Practices virtual conference! In case you missed it, no worries as we will have an annual celebration. Our 2021 conference is being held April 26-30th, 2021. You can find more details below in the Conferences section.

Another thing that happened for the first time in 2020 was the Ask IOC event. We will carry this event forward to 2021! The next one is Thursday, February 18th at 1:00 Eastern. It is free and you can find out more and submit questions in advance at International Software Forum .

Speaking of the forum, don’t miss out on opportunities to win exciting prizes by being engaged. If you join the forum and make at least one post or reply to a post between now and the virtual conference, you are entered to win prizes. The smallest prize is a pair of  really cool socks.

And to lift the spirits of our ISSS community we continued our tradition of giving back. We gave hard working ISSS professionals gift cards for caffeine, small businesses and fair trade as well as a NAFSA membership, 3 NAFSA annual conference registrations, animal sanctuary joy, Heifer International and donations to food banks across the country. As a thank you to our clients, IOC gave $500 to  Institute of International Education’s Scholar Rescue Fund and Student Emergency Fund.

We have continued our partnerships with Srini Srinivasan of eShipGlobal and Moroni Flake of English3. Thank you Srini and Moroni! We sponsored and assisted with the San Antonio International Education (SAIE) conference. I’d like to give a special shout out to ISSS wonder women Patricia Ferguson of Alamo Colleges District and Sheena Connell of University of the Incarnate Word for their hard work to make SAIE happen.

In September, IOC turned 3 years old and has blossomed into a team of 10+. Our client base has grown to over 20 institutions that include small, private, midsized, Ivy League, health science centers and major research universities. We are excited to introduce our newest IOC staff: Angélique Pontneau Stevens and Bill Webster. Angélique joined IOC as an Associate Project Manager. She also gave birth this fall to a baby boy, Alexandre. She will resume her work as an International Student and Scholar Advisor at Florida State in January 2021 while continuing to work with IOC. 

Bill retired from Cornell University and is a software developer for IOC. He is living his dream life bicycling around northeastern US, spending time with family, dogs and friends and working for IOC. The other members of our IOC team include: Jason Rowe, Karen Chevrier, Jenny Ravanh, Thomas Stockwell, Steven Sevic, Lucy Zoe, Bryant Tonkin, Naoko Ishida, Alex Borcau and Samrat Ghosh.

We all look forward to seeing you online soon. And dare I say… perhaps we’ll see you in person! Stay safe and stay connected.

Jodi Barnhill, CEO



  • 1kg Chicken
  • 2tbsp Garlic
  • Ginger paste
  • ½ tbsp Red chilli powder
  • ½ tbsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp Cumin powder
  • ½ tbsp Coriander powder
  • 7 cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 10 black pepper
  • 1 spoon black pepper powder
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • half coconut
  • 4 Onions big sliced
  • 2 Tomato
  • 100ml milk
  • 50gm milk toned cream
  • 2tbsp Kasturi Meethi
  • 1tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2tbsp butter
  • Salt according to taste
  1. Marinated the chicken with adding, ½ tbsp turmeric powder, ½ tbsp red chilli powder, 1tbsp black pepper powder, 1tbsp ginger garlic paste, ½ tbsp salt.
  2. for gravy need to grind the onions, tomatos, half coconut, 1tbsp Cumin powder, ½ tbsp Coriander powder, 1black cardamom, 4 green cardamons, 2 cinnamon sticks, and 1tbsp ginger garlic paste make a thick paste in mixture.
  3. Heat 1tbsp vegetable oil and 2 tbsp butter in a big pan.
  4. Add 7 cloves, 10 black peppers.
  5. Saute for few seconds.Add the gravy paste and cook for 5 minutes until the coconut oil get separate in medium flame.
  6. Add the marinated chicken mix well & cook for 3-4 mins in medium flame.
  7. Add 100ml toned milk and salt according to taste & mix well.Now cover the pan for 10-12mins until chicken prepare and keep it in low flame.
  8. Add the milk cream and 2 tbsp kasturi meethi powder & cook for another 1min in low flame.
  9. Serve in a bowl and enjoy with paratha or hot steam rice.

Take a look at all of the recent SEVP OPT Portal updates. The Portal has created compliance and advising challenges. Does your team need help with keeping your case management software in sync with updates that OPT and STEM OPT students make at the Portal? Would you like a guided exploration of how to manage the Portal updates? IOC team has an OPT Webinar and Toolkit Knowledge Solution that takes the guesswork out of identifying changes students made at the Portal. Would you like to see the latest updates to the Portal? IOC is providing them.

April 5th, v.1.7, Portal adjustments:

  • Send email reporting reminders to only science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) optional practical training (OPT) students participating in an active STEM OPT period.
  • Send email reporting reminders to students whose STEM OPT applications are in “Requested” or “Pending” status in SEVIS during the first 180 days of their STEM employment authorization period.
  • Stop sending duplicate emails.
  • Provide an announcement on the login page to advise users when the portal is temporarily unavailable.
  • Address issues with users’ history being unavailable.
  • Stop sending email reporting reminders if the due date for the student’s report will be later than the end date of the authorization.

March 6th, v.1.6, Portal adjustments:

  • When a student changes their email address, they will receive a confirmation notice to both the old and new email address.
  • STEM OPT students will receive a reminder 30 days before their 6-month validation reports and 30 days before their annual self-evaluations are due.

February 13th, v.1.5, Portal adjustments:

  • Stop sending email reporting reminders if the due date for the student’s report will be later than the end date of the authorization.
  • Portal users can now reset their own accounts if they have been locked out.
  • STEM students will now see their reporting and self-evaluation requirements.
  • The Portal will now only email a notice when an employer end date changes if the student is in an Active period of STEM OPT authorization. This is the solution to the misleading email previously received by students on OPT when STEM OPT was added to their record.

With a combined 90+ years of experience with higher education international offices, our consultancy strives to always maintain a Gold Standard level of quality. Our Gold Standards ensure you always receive consistently high quality work from our team. IOC can assist you with any type of international office technology needs. We are not limited to sunapsis. IOC has knowledge solutions and hourly service bundles available on our website.

For sunapsis users, would you like to embed a video in an E-Form? 

Embedding a video from YouTube can provide a powerful alternative to written text on E-Forms. Much like embedding an image to a publicly accessible folder on the internet, a video can be embedded using an “iframe” in html by a few simple steps. The following steps are to embed a video from YouTube, and a similar method can also be used for Youku. To get the YouTube iframe link, go to the YouTube video you wish to embed. Underneath the video, click SHARE. Select Embed from the menu that pops up. Copy the HTML code that contains the iframe link.

Now, navigate to the E-Form you are building in sunapsis and create an Informational Display Only field type. Click on the source code button in the E-Form toolbar and insert the following html:
<p><iframe src=”YOURyoutubeiframeCODE” width=”426″ height=”240″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=””></iframe></p>

The video image will appear in the E-Form Information Display Only field and you will be able to click on it from inside the E-Form and at iStart. Adjust the width and height as needed. Include any other text, links and information in the field.

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Greetings from Northern California and welcome to our first-ever International Office Consulting quarterly newsletter!

I have been fortunate to be part of a community of international education professionals for over 10 years. When I joined ISSS at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I found my career niche as a SEVIS Coordinator/Database Specialist. When I moved from Illinois to California, I continued my work through SISS at University of California, Davis. In addition to the flamboyance of our ISSO spirit and culture, the thing that I love the most about us is our resilience. Resilience is defined as the ability to recover from misfortune, to overcome adversity. We continue to face daunting challenges. Yet, together, we find a way to help one another and keep our ISSS ships afloat.

A couple of years ago, I decided to pursue my dream of being a CEO. I always dreamt that one day I would start up a business. In January 2017 I was a little fledgling perched on the edge of my nest and wanted to jump out and see if I could fly. I jumped, and it was terrifying! And, yet, as scary as it was, jumping out of that nest was one of the best decisions of my life! Why? I realized that unless I am uncomfortable, I am not really doing my favorite thing which is being and becoming. I started out with two clients. I have many people in each of those international offices and others around the country to thank for believing and investing in me.

I realized immediately that I needed help to run a business. So, then, I asked a colleague Steve Sevic if he would like to consult with me. Thankfully, he said yes! By fall, we had 4 clients, and I formed International Database Experts, LLC. Jason Rowe, Charlie Hammons, Casey Dague, Steve and I formed a team. Steve created business cards for us. He put my title as CEO! Thank you Steve for deciding I was CEO-worthy and for sticking with me through thick and thin! Steve became our CTO, and Jason stepped up as COO. Jason has taken our company to a whole new level with his unique combination of people, technical and project management skills.

Over the course of a year, some of our team left, others joined and we decided to change our name to International Office Consulting to better reflect the broader nature of our services. As of this newsletter, our team includes: Jason Rowe, Steven Sevic, Thomas Stockwell, Cindy Nair, Lucy Zoe, Bryant Tonkin, Karen Chevrier, Naoko Ishida, Samrat Ghosh, Ryan Pham and Ricky Duong.  Meet our team. We currently offer our services to more than 10 universities.

Jason, Karen and Jodi are looking forward to seeing many of you at NAFSA Annual Conference in Washington DC In DC! On the evening of Thursday, May 30th, our IOC team will be hosting an exclusive event for our clients and prospective clients. Please RSVP. The place and time will be announced before the NAFSA conference. I hope you enjoy our first newsletter.

Thank you to all who have believed in and supported me on this journey!

Jodi, CEO