Thursday, September 17, 2015
Lee Seedorff

The Iowa Now newsletter published a nice little interview with International Student and Scholar Services advisor Brandon Paulson. Brandon has been with our office for just over two years and does a fantastic job working with our students and being a liaison with many staff across campus. I am very proud and happy to have Brandon as a part of the ISSS team. Enjoy the article at the link above or view the text below.

Get to Know...Brandon Paulson
ISSS Advisor Brandon Paulson

Article by Erica Ramirez, photo by Tim Schoon

  • Department: International Student and Scholar Services, International Programs
  • Job title: International student and scholar adviser
  • Hometown: Red Wing, Minnesota
  • At the UI since: 2009
  • Alma mater: University of Wisconsin-River Falls (bachelor's) and University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (master's)

Brandon Paulson worked in two positions in finance after graduation before he decided to work in higher education. "I felt great uncertainty at the time leaving behind one career path but it’s been a very meaningful change and I feel like I have a bigger impact on others in my work in higher education." 

So what do you do here?

I am an international student and scholar adviser. I advise international students and scholars about immigration regulations, cultural adjustment, and personal concerns. I coordinate two intercultural training programs for the campus community:Building Our Global Community for faculty/staff and Bridging Domestic and Global Diversity for domestic and international students. I co-instruct theGlobal@Iowa course designed to develop cross-cultural relationships between domestic and international students.

What do you enjoy most about working in a higher education setting?

I am incredibly passionate about supporting students and helping make this a transformative learning experience. I appreciate the space to share ideas and the opportunity to collaborate to create positive change. I like how the campus community is dynamic and the cyclical nature of each year to continue to advance the mission of the university.

Take us through your most memorable day at the university.

It’s difficult to pick only one memorable day from the past six years working at the university because I feel like each day is full of rewards and surprises so I am going to select a time of year. I absolutely love the start of the new academic year—arrival of new students transitioning to a new learning environment, returning students excited to reconnect with friends and start a new academic year, and the contagious Hawkeye spirit at programs and sporting events.

What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken—and did it pay off?

My biggest risk was changing careers from business to higher education. I had been on a set path while studying in undergrad to pursue a career in business. I had an internship before graduating and worked in two positions in finance after graduation before I decided to work in higher education. I felt great uncertainty at the time leaving behind one career path but it’s been a very meaningful change and I feel like I have a bigger impact on others in my work in higher education.

If you could spend a day with anyone, from any era, who would it be and why?

I would want to spend the day with Winston Churchill. I recently visited Churchill’s War Rooms, located in underground bunkers, created for the British wartime effort when London was bombed in World War II. I was fascinated by Winston Churchill’s leadership in crisis while navigating the original Cabinet War Rooms. He united a nation in war with his words, built coalitions with the Allies, and maintained a sense of humor in some of the darkest hours. 

If you could have a song written about you, who would perform it, and what would it be called?

I don’t ever expect a song to be written about me but hypothetically I would be delighted if Michael Angelakos wrote one of his infectious synth-pop songs about me. I would let him pick the title because he is much more creative than me.

If you could get rid of one invention in the world, what would you choose? Why?

Nuclear weapons. It’s too big of a threat to humanity.

Name five of your favorite things.

Graze Lunch Buffet