New addition to Global Engagement Office to bring fresh perspective

While the Global Engagement Office welcomes a new staff member, it also beckons the commencement of a multitude of changes.

Davis Covin has joined the GEO as the new Assistant Director of International Students and Scholars.

Covin has worked with international students since 2007, with St. Edward’s being his fourth school.

“I have only been here two weeks but I have felt very welcomed by everybody,” Covin said. “I have known some of the staff for a while just from paperwork and conferences through student transfers, so when I saw the job posting it really spoke to me.”

Covin’s position involves meeting with the international students, advising, helping with visa issues and swapping majors.

Covin gained experience by advising students from larger schools such as Austin Community College and the University of Texas at Austin. However, because he interacted with an overwhelming amount of students, he felt as if their connections weren’t as close.

“At ACC, we had 42,000 students. It’s tough to keep track of everybody one by one. At UT we had the same problem,” Covin said. “We had so many [students], that sometimes it wasn’t quite as personal. Here at St. Ed’s, I think we really do value personal connection.”

The university’s approach to admissions also attracted Covin to the university.

“I was really drawn by St. Edward’s attempt to look at students holistically. At my other institutions, we split it up,” Covin said. “I think it’s better if we look at students as a whole instead of bits and pieces of what they can offer.”

GEO Administrative Coordinator Nicholas Tafacory said Covin’s experience will allow him to become an asset to the office.

“Davis is definitely going to change the process of things and make them more intuitive, more precise and more streamlined,” said Tafacory.

Tafacory said time has been used more efficiently by both himself and McLelland. He also acknowledged that it will continue to be vital to define the roles and responsibilities of each employee in the office.

“Now that Davis is taking over advising, Alex is going to go back to programming and my role is going to be getting our databases back to tip top shape and getting different data requests for offices on campus,” Tafacory said.

Meghan Ryan, GEO office specialist and general advisor, has also taken on a new role. As a way to accommodate the office’s need for advisors, Ryan will begin advising students interested in study abroad.

Christine Trinidad, student advisor, will start a new job in November, Tafacory said. In the interim, Ryan will serve as study abroad advisor.

The office will also hire a new graduate assistant to help with general advising.

“We’re playing musical positions in the office until we can get Christine’s position back hired,” Tafacory said. “So, that’s kind of an overview of what is changing in the office right now.”