Texas Tech University

Staff Spotlight: Dawn Cepica

Sr. Administrator for Faculty and Staff Immigration Services

Richard Porter, Director of International Student and Scholar Services for the Office of International Affairs, is eager for people to know that the work that Dawn Cepica performs is "vital to the ability of TTU to compete for talented foreign national faculty, researchers, and staff that apply for positions at TTU." He continues: "She helps departments and these scholars navigate through the labyrinth of non-immigrant employment processes after the recruitment identifies these candidates as the most qualified. She also advises the department regarding recruitment processes and meets with candidates during their visits to campus to reassure them that their needs in this area will be addressed. If the university had to contract out for these legal services with an immigration law firm it would have to pay over $250,000 a year in legal fees, and even then these scholars and their hosting departments wouldn't receive anywhere near the quality of service that Dawn provides."

Dawn is far too modest to describe how vital the service that she performs for the University really is, but she was willing to give some basic information about herself and what she does within the Office of International Affairs.

Dawn Cepica

Dawn Cepica

Q. Could you tell us about the presentations you have given at NAFSA (note: NAFSA is the non-profit organization for professionals in all areas of international education).

Being a part of NAFSA has allowed me to grow professionally in many areas from training other professionals in the field, committee involvement, to mentoring and presenting sessions. (i.e. H-1B & Employment Based Hot Topics, Scholar Advising, ISSRP Scholarly Panel at the Texas Service Center, Basics of Filing H-1B Academic Petitions, Pathways to Permanent Residence). The opportunities I have had revolve around employment-based immigration issues.

Dawn has recently been appointed to serve as the Workshop Coordinator for NAFSA's 2017 Annual Conference Committee and the Content Chair of the 2018 Annual Conference. She was chosen to serve in this capacity because of her background and interest in the subject areas, as well as the recommendations of her colleagues.

Q. Working with people from around the world must make you want to travel! Have you been able to do much traveling since you've worked here, and if so, where are some of the places that you've visited?

I love to travel and have had the opportunity to visit many places in the United States including Alaska and Hawaii. I have also traveled to China, Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, Greece, Belize, Honduras, Turkey, various Caribbean islands, Canada, Mexico, and most recently Israel.

Q. What are some of the biggest changes you've seen in your area since you began your career?

More government involvement from various agencies and more accountability to those agencies. Also huge growth at the Office of International Affairs, it is an exciting time to be a part of international education.