Meet the Global Staff: Spotlight on Sylvana Airan

Sylvana Airan (second row, far right) pictured with alumni of the Rwandan Scholars Program doing community outreach work
Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Meet the Global Staff: Spotlight on Sylvana Airan

Did you know that the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) has a number of globally-focused staff members and student staff that advance our triparite mission? In this series, we'll be introducing you to these individuals and exploring how they engage with and support the students, faculty, staff and partners in IANR. The next in this series is Sylvana Airan, part of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Team. 

By Divine Mbabazi, CASNR Global Ambassador 

A little bit about Sylvana:

Sylvana is the primary lead of the CASNR Undergraduate Scholarship Program for Rwandan students at UNL as well as program coordinator of the CASNR Global Hub (contact her about using the physical space in Agriculture Hall 202 and taking part in in-person programming). She is originally from Pakistan, having earned her Bachelor's degree in business administration, and came to UNL in 1979 as a theatre student. Four years later, Sylvana worked as an accounts specialist in the UNL Housing department and was subsequently promoted to the position of Assistant Director of Business Contracts and Student Services, where she worked in close liaison with various universities including Senshu University (China), Nanzan (Japan) and the University of Aberdeen, Scotland in implementing contractual agreements. Sylvana works closely with UNL students from Oman, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and Rwanda in matters regarding housing accommodations and adjusting to the new UNL and Lincoln environment. She also serves on the International Student Services task force. 

What got you interested in global education or global affairs?

I got interested in the concept of connecting us globally, our culture and our customs, and expanding our knowledge.

Why do you think global learning is important for students at UNL, the U.S., or more broadly)?

It expands the knowledge of cultures and customs globally. It helps students understand the links between their own lives and those of people throughout the world.  Globalization has a very strong impact on higher education.

What is one accomplishment that you’re most proud of over the course of your work?

Interaction with international students at UNL and connecting them with the domestic students; advising and helping international students integrate into the American culture while sharing their own. 

Stay tuned for our next feature on Kaitlyn Waller, student success navigator for the Rwandan Scholars Program and global/academic advisor for CASNR.