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8th Annual Standards of Good Practice Institute

Thursday, June 22, 2017, 8:30 AM @ 8:30 am - 6:30 pm

Beyond the Basics of Health, Safety, Security & Risk Management
Thursday, June 22, 2017
University of Texas, Austin

Plenary Speaker: Mario Vittone

Mario Vittone is a former U.S. Coast Guard helicopter rescue swimmer and accident investigator. He is a leading expert on immersion hypothermia, drowning, sea survival, and safety at sea. His writing has appeared in Yachting Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, and Reader’s Digest. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary heroism, the Alex Hailey Award for journalism, and was also named as the U.S. Coast Guard Enlisted Person of the Year.

“Asking the Right Questions – How Safe Organizations Get That Way”

How is it that there are some organizations that manage complex and dangerous operations with incredibly low rates of failure or mishaps while other, less complex and risky operations, seem to suffer from accidents with regularity. What do safe organizations do differently that sets them apart?

Managing risks begins with understanding them in the first place. Before you can decide how to avoid danger and how you will respond if you cannot, you must first immerse yourself in the practice of accounting for the unaccounted-for variables. You have to ask the right questions.

Highly reliable organizations assess and manage risk differently than you do because they must.  The critical nature of their operations – the risks they face – change the questions they ask and how they answer them and that makes all the difference.  Mario Vittone discussed the differences between those who experience tragedy and those who do not.  With stories and statistics from a lifetime in rescue and disaster response, Mario may change the way you think about risk and the questions you ask when planning to be safe in your line of work and quite possibly at home as well.

Concurrent Sessions: 9-10:30 a.m.

Alcohol: Research Driven Responses to Moderate Behavior
Dru Simmons (The Ohio State University); Eric Pedersen (Rand Corporation)
Research indicates increased proclivity of study abroad students to consume alcohol. Factors including demographics, academic characteristics and geographic destinations as well as students’ perception of their destination and aims of social interaction impact consumption behavior. The session will discuss how program design, intervention orientation and codes of conduct can reduce misuse.

The New “It” When Traveling Abroad-Home Shares and Ride Shares
Ashley Sassani (The University of Texas at Austin); Lee Loden (The University of Texas at Austin)
Many travelers are utilizing services such as Home Shares (Airbnb), and Ride Shares (Uber) when they travel. The use of these services has begun to increase with travelers abroad, creating a new array of health, safety and security concerns for these individuals.

Risk Management for Student Engagement inside Rio de Janeiro´s Favelas: Partnering with Local Organizations to Develop Assessment Strategies and Effective Safety Protocols
Sean McIntyre (CIEE); Colin McElroy (CIEE)
This session details how CIEE has partnered with local organizations and researchers to develop a risk assessment strategy and establish safety protocols for conducting activities with students inside Rio de Janeiro´s favela communities. The unique challenges of assessing risks in Rio´s favelas provides impetus to evaluate subjective frames and objective criteria.

What Insurance Claims Data Tell Us About the Risk of Student Mortality Abroad
Amelia Dietrich (The Forum on Education Abroad); Steve Erfle (Dickinson College)
This panel will debut the results of a five-year study of insurance claims data from students studying abroad to compare the relative risk of mortality while abroad with the risk of mortality while studying on the home campus. The research presented is a follow-on to the 2016 landmark study released by The Forum which found that mortality rates were lower among students studying abroad.

Concurrent Sessions: 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Evaluating Safety Protocols: The Value of Completing Internal and External Security Assessments
Courtney Greene (Academic Programs International (API)); Jennifer Engel (Loyola University Chicago); Luis Reyes (Academic Programs International (API) and Ashcroft Law Firm); Craig Rinker (Georgetown University)
Maintaining and implementing strong safety and security protocols is paramount for upper-level education abroad professionals. There is great value in obtaining confidential feedback and recommendations to ensure standard operational procedures and emergency management protocols reflect best practices. This session will focus on how two universities and one program provider have conducted assessments, both internal and external, to determine the strength of their existing policies and protocols. The additional challenge of garnering centralized support for such assessments within a decentralized institution will be discussed.

Flying Solo Staying Safe: Supporting the Independent Traveler
Joseph Levy (Levy Global Support); Joe Finkhouse (Boston University); Landes Holbrook (Brigham Young University); Erin Wolf (The University of Texas System)
Independent travel (internships, research grants, volunteering, conferences, etc.) is now a fundamental part of education abroad. But often health, safety and security practices assume group travel and trained leaders. What are the best practices to assess and mitigate risk for independent travel? This interactive session will guide participants as they construct a framework for independent travel. Handout»

A Novel Mental Health First Aid Training Model
Aspen Felt (University of California, Davis); Joseph Sorensen (University of California, Davis)
Mental Health First Aid is an international program that teaches the skills to identify and respond to signs of mental illness, similar to first aid programs for physical illness. UC Davis Study Abroad partnered with the local county to obtain training for a faculty and staff member to lead the course for other faculty, allowing for the incorporation of study abroad examples into the workshop.

Using the Disciplinary Process to Enhance Students’ Safety Abroad
Andrea Drake (University of Massachusetts Amherst); Luis Ward (University of Massachusetts Amherst); Ben Chamberlain (University of South Florida System); Preston Drane (University of South Florida System)
Learn of two institutional approaches to the use of disciplinary processes to enhance the safety of students abroad. The University of Massachusetts Amherst and University of South Florida bring representatives from university international risk management teams and supporting disciplinary offices to offer ideas for collaboration when it comes to disciplinary issues before and during study abroad.

Concurrent Sessions: 1:45-3:15 p.m.

Aim High: Interpreting Air Force Accountability and Assessment Practices for Higher Education Professionals
Jess Miller (The University of Texas at Austin); Brian Angell (U.S. Air Force)
Accounting for and assisting personnel after natural disasters and other crises is a challenge for many institutions. This panel will highlight Air Force best practices in responding to these types of situations and translate them into norms that higher education institutions can adopt to improve the utility of their emergency response procedures.

Multiple Perspectives on a Campus Response to a Missing Traveler
Laura Provencher (University of Arizona); George Taylor (iJet); Barry Hale (U.S. Department of State)
Multiple attempts to verify traveler well-being yield nothing. As days progress, what do you do? This session focuses on emergency response and preparation to address a variety of potential scenarios causing someone to disappear. Perspectives from the federal government, a security provider, and an experienced on-campus responder will help you to prepare for this type of emergency.

Partnering with Student Life Colleagues to Improve Risk Management and Safety for Education Abroad
Anne Ogilvie (Worcester Polytechnic Institute); Leanne Johnson (University of Maryland, College Park); Léna Kavaliauskas Crain (University of Maryland); Greg Snoddy (Worcester Polytechnic Institute)
Partnerships between Education Abroad offices and Student Life offices support student access, preparation, and incident response in education abroad. Case studies will highlight best practice collaborations at small and large institutions and provide opportunities to consider how a holistic approach to cross-campus partnerships can improve risk management and student success in education abroad.

Planning to Fail: Strategies and Best Practices to Mitigate Risk
Mario Vittone
Dig deeper into the plenary session to explore the ways that safe operations get that way. Examine the methods and tools used by high risk operators in planning to be safe in the most unsafe conditions. Session attendees will learn about job one in risk assessments, the importance of thinking in terms of failure, and the three foundational requirements of an effective safety management plan.

Concurrent Sessions: 3:30-5 p.m.

How to Mitigate Risk for Programs in Travel Warning Countries: Mexico, A Case Study
Monya Lemery (The University of Texas at Austin); Lisa Marie Gomez (The University of Texas at San Antonio)
Unique factors must be considered when developing or re-engaging programs in a country that is under a State Department Travel Warning. This session focuses on Mexico as a case study for addressing security concerns, offers a model for conducting a site assessment and discusses strategies to mitigate risk. The presentation will be followed by round-table discussions. Handout 1»   Handout 2»

Madrid, London, Cairo, Japan and Paris: Progressive Learning through Dialogue
Heather Thompson (University of Texas at Austin); Bo White (Baylor University)
The average mid-level professional began their career around the time of the 2004 Madrid train bombings. Many professionals learned their emergency management skills and risk mitigation approaches “on the job.” The presenters will pose critical questions to encourage interaction and discussion. The goal of the session will be to identify institutional advancements that were achieved as a result of these foreign incidents and seek to uncover weakness that still exists in our collective approach to incident management as well as areas of improvement on our own college campuses. Handout»

Planning to Fail: Strategies and Best Practices to Mitigate Risk (repeat session)
Mario Vittone
Dig deeper into the plenary session to explore the ways that safe operations get that way. Examine the methods and tools used by high risk operators in planning to be safe in the most unsafe conditions. Session attendees will learn about job one in risk assessments, the importance of thinking in terms of failure, and the three foundational requirements of an effective safety management plan.

Storytelling Hour with Cornell and the University of Michigan – Planning to Avoid Mental Health Crises Abroad
Patrick Morgan (University of Michigan); Lex Enrico Santi (Cornell University); Rachel Reuter (University of Michigan)
Two institutions will share case studies of students with mental health challenges traveling abroad. Throughout the presentation, the presenters will facilitate round-table discussions to explore institution specific resources, processes, and challenges in preparing students to manage their emotional wellbeing before departure and while abroad, and preparing for the unexpected crisis abroad.

2017 Standards Institute Planning Committee

Jessica Miller, The University of Texas at Austin, Co-Chair
Erin Wolf,  The University of Texas System, Co-Chair
Bill Bull, CIEE
Joshua Cardenas, Austin Community College
Chris Daniel, Michigan State University
Eryn Espin-Kudzinski, IFSA-Butler
Jane Flaherty, Texas A&M University
Lori Lammert, Ohio University
Rochelle Sobel, ASIRT
Shauna Walker, US Air Force
Natalie Mello, The Forum on Education Abroad


Standards Institute Archive»


Thursday, June 22, 2017, 8:30 AM
8:30 am - 6:30 pm
Event Category:


University of Texas at Austin
110 Inner Campus Drive, Austin, TX 78705 United States


The Forum on Education Abroad