April 18, 2014

​Transforming Students' Lives for Eternity


All the topics were
interesting, but the sessions were too short. Plus more time should be allotted
for the question and answer portion."

That sentiment was echoed in most of
the written comments in the evaluation sheet submitted by the attendees of the
1st International Adventist Student Services Conference (IASSC) April 10-13,

Hosted by the Adventist International
Institute of Advanced Studies (AIIAS) Student Services Department in Silang,
Cavite, Philippines, the 1st IASSC was attended by 154 delegates coming from 19
countries representing 40 institutions (universities, academies, divisions, missions,
conferences, and others).

[Photos: AIIAS]The result of the evaluation gave a
glimpse of just how thirsty these practitioners had been for such a conference.
They were eager to glean any additional knowledge from the speakers and their
peers about topics pertaining to student services. They wanted to squeeze it
for all it was worth.

"The conference was very useful
for school administrators" shares Adventist University of the Philippines
Vice President for Student Services Winifred Paez."We were able to focus
on issues that all student services personnel face in our respective

During the 4-day meeting, 27
"hot issues" were tackled through plenary (joint) and parallel
sessions by guest speakers who were experienced professionals in the field of
student services. After each session, a few minutes were given to the audience
to ask questions before proceeding to the next topic.

During the last day, an hour was
given to the delegates to share information about how the student services
department is run in their institution. This networking activity opened the
floor for these peers to learn from each other. It also gave them the
opportunity to exchange resources and contact information for future

Evaluation sheets were distributed
before the closing ceremony, and submitted as the attendees left the hall. Upon
reading the seemingly unsatisfied responses, they all ticked the box beside
"yes" when asked if they wanted to participate in a 2nd IASSC.

"This has truly been a
milestone." General Conference Associate Education Director John Wesley
Taylor V expressed in a brief interview after the the conference ended.
"In behalf of the GC Department of Education, I would like to congratulate
the AIIAS Student Services Department and express my appreciation to all who
participated. I praise God fort the sucess of this conference. It has truly
revived our spirits, pushing us to go forward with courage and committment to
His cause".

"The contribution of student services
is integral in restoring in the students the Image of God." wrote General
Conference Education Director Lisa Beardsley in her message to the attendees.
"Thank you for what you are doing in "Transforming Students' Lives
for Eternity" on Seventh-day Adventist campuses around the world."