SIT President Dr. Sophia Howlett joins the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration

Announcement Date: August 29, 2022

BRATTLEBORO, Vermont—School for International Training (SIT) President Dr. Sophia Howlett has joined the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, a coalition of college and university leaders that promotes federal, state, and local policies in support of immigrant, international, and refugee students.

The Alliance focuses on several issues related to immigration, including supporting DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients, international students, and refugee students and families. Dr. Howlett also signed the Alliance’s Statement of Support for Students and Scholars Fleeing from Violence and Humanitarian Crises. 

“I am pleased to be part of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, joining more than 500 campus presidents and chancellors to ensure every student has the tools and support they need to thrive,” said Dr. Howlett. “This is particularly important for our refugee students and scholars, who bring invaluable perspectives and resilience based on their lived experiences.”

Since January, SIT welcomed more than 100 refugees from Afghanistan through a unique partnership with Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) and Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC). This is only the second refugee resettlement location in Vermont and the largest resettlement in a rural area of the state.

Since this partnership began, 103 new Vermonters have found long-term housing, 80 percent of all job-seekers are employed, and the adults are enrolled in critical English-language and cultural orientation classes.

SIT is also a member of the Welcome.US Welcome Campus Network and has partnered with ECDC on a concept note focusing on building the capacity of HEIs to engage in refugee resettlement.

As part of the Presidents’ Alliance, Dr. Howlett said she will work to ensure that SIT continues its role in advocating for refugee students, campus members, and neighbors in Vermont.

The nonpartisan, nonprofit Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration brings college and university presidents and chancellors together on the immigration issues that impact higher education, our students, campuses, communities and nation. We work to advance just, forward-looking immigration policies and practices at the federal, state, and campus levels that are consistent with our heritage as a nation of immigrants and the academic values of equity and openness. The Alliance is composed of over 500 presidents and chancellors of public and private colleges and universities, enrolling over five million students in 43 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico.