Enrollment advisor advocates for international students
Drew Boatman, an enrollment advisor and financial aid specialist at Dakota County Technical College, received a grant to attend NAFSA: Association of International Educators Advocacy Day 2014 March 18–19 in Washington, D.C. Drew joined more than 140 international educators and students from 32 states who traveled to Capitol Hill to meet with their congressional representatives and advocate for international students and immigration reform. He was part of a Minnesota contingent that included representatives from the University of Minnesota, the University of St. Thomas, and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.
“I had almost no experience with advocacy at such a high level,” said Drew, whose contingent met with aides from the offices of Senator Al Franken, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Congressman Keith Ellison and Congresswoman Betty McCollum. “I enjoyed the process and can see myself doing more advocacy work in the future. I like speaking on behalf of students.”
Drew serves as the college’s official liaison for international students. While in Washington, he related the stories of international students attending DCTC and also extolled the benefits of study abroad for U.S. students, including DCTC students. According to NAFSA, international students provide great benefits to U.S. colleges, universities and communities by:
- Contributing economic value
- Building bridges between the U.S. and other countries
- Bringing global perspectives into U.S. classrooms and research labs
- Sparking U.S. innovation through science and engineering coursework
- Supporting programming and services on campus for all students by paying out-of-state tuition
Originally from Menomonie, Wis., and a 1997 graduate of Menomonie High School, Drew Boatman, 34, started at Dakota County Technical College in July 2012. He worked in admissions at Century College before coming to DCTC.
“I wanted to become more active in the student life cycle,” he said. “At DCTC, I get to work with students throughout their college experience. I enjoy relating how technical education fits into society and the work world. DCTC offers students a specific, job-related education—and that is immensely important.”
On the job philosophy
“Every student is capable of great things; everyone has a unique perspective. In my role in admissions at DCTC, I work to help students discover their talent as they progress through the educational experience.” — Drew Boatman
Drew emphasizes that students who succeed at college-level coursework take advantage of a multitude of resources on campus. “Navigating the system can seem daunting,” he said. “I work to connect students with the resources they need—and I have fun doing my job. I am most proud when I see student succeed.”
Drew’s advice for students just starting college:
- When you need answers, ask questions.
- Stay engaged on campus through your studies, your program, student life clubs and organizations, your instructors and your classmates.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Mr. Boatman goes to Washington
Drew earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in 2002. He has one year to go on Master of Arts in English as a Second Language at Hamline University. In the summer, he enjoys golf, running, fishing and basketball. He ran a half-marathon in 2013 and is looking at completing a full marathon this year. In the winter, he likes to travel. His wife, Shannon Hady, a middle and high school special education teacher in St. Paul, is expecting their first child in July 2014. They have a rescue cat, a Maine coon called Newman, who was named to remember the actor, Paul Newman.
To learn more about enrollment advisors and financial aid specialists at DCTC, visit Academic Advising, or contact:
Student Services: Room 2–110
7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday
7 a.m. – 4 p.m. Friday