Shortt Scholarship Established
Sylvia Shortt, assistant director of International Services and Programs, is recognized statewide as an experienced authority on immigration rules and regulations as they pertain to international students. This expertise became a factor in her move from the office of Student Development, where all campus wide counseling issues take place, to the office of International Services and Programs.
Sylvia Shortt on the River Seine with international UWG alumni who met in Paris for an Alumni Association reunion last summer.
Shortt now serves as the university's specialist on immigration issues that concern international undergraduate and graduate students, which number 127 this year.
Responsible for all of the immigration work, Shortt oversees special orientation for internationals, communication with other government agencies such as Drivers License, Social Security and IRS, international student recruitment, tax services, cultural and diversity training and counseling.
She also serves as an advisor to the International Student Club and has more than 20 International Night celebrations under her belt.
When asked what was a favorite memory of her experience working with the international students, here is what she said.
“I have so many lovely memories. I had one young lady who apparently bounced checks all over town. She came to my office in tears, was ready to go home and never come back because a $10 pizza had cost her $50. She did not really understand the 'bounce' concept. She hated the U.S. but
Because of the positive experiences that international students have had here at UWG, alumni organizations have sprung up overseas. So far, Shortt and other staff, faculty and administrators have visited West Georgia alumni reunions in Turkey and France with more planned for the future.
International students who have attended classes at West Georgia have so many fond memories of their time here and of Shortt, that a Sylvia Shortt Scholarship for International Students has been established by international students and alumni.
Fan Mail from Abroad
Here is what Nigerian Femi Owodunni, class of ’98, wrote about his reasons for helping to establish the scholarship:
“The University of West Georgia has welcomed international students from all corners of the world for decades, and Sylvia Shortt has been at the helm of its international program for much of this period.
"To begin to understand the enormity of Sylvia's role, one must first appreciate the assimilation challenges these students face coming from major international capitals to a town the size of Carrollton.
"It is in appreciation of Ms. Shortt's commitment to ensuring a fulfilling and engaging experience for each student that this endowment was created. And what better time to celebrate Ms. Shortt, than in a season where America's newly elected president is a direct result of an international student's foray on her shores.
Sylvia Shortt is the very essence of Southern hospitality, an embodiment of the creed that has kept West Georgia on our minds years after our sojourn on her campus. It is for this reason, we, her past and present students hope that this endowment is received as a token of our appreciation for her contributions to our lives.”
For more information on the endowment, call 678-839-6582.
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