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TDU Global is right around the corner! Have you registered? Formerly known as the Terra Dotta User Conference, TDU Global brings together hundreds of users, along with Terra Dotta professional staff, to build your skills and inspire fresh ideas for getting the most from your Terra Dotta software.

This year’s conference promises to keep you engaged with new events and new session topics. We will kick things off with a fascinating plenary by Dr. Manuela Veloso, a renowned expert on artificial intelligence and robotics.

Following Dr. Veloso’s remarks it’s time to further stimulate your thinking in sessions geared toward TD software (TDS) users from ISSS, Study Abroad and Travel Risk Management. Or sit in on one of the open sessions with TD senior leadership to hear what they envision for the future. If you have a burning question about your use of TDS, sign up for a one-on-one with a TD “guru,” and if you are looking to stretch your thinking in a collective manner, sign up for one of the specially-arranged table top exercises led by experts from our AlertTraveler partner, iJET. Want to enhance your knowledge and skills with some longer, more intensive learning? Register for one of the six pre-conference workshops with levels for both the new and advanced user.

We wouldn't want you to leave Pittsburgh without learning something about our host city's rich heritage. Thanks to the kind support of our colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University, Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh, TDU Global 2018 will feature a “Taste of Pittsburgh” luncheon offering delectable fare, representative of local cuisine. Bring your appetite!

Now, add in time for networking with those who speak the same TD language, and (of course!) some karaoke, and you have the makings for two days of nonstop learning and fun! If you haven’t already, be sure to register now and book your hotel room before March 8.

Still not convinced? Read what three of our colleagues said after TDU 2017:

Finally, if you still need reasons for attending TDU Global 2018, refer back to this article from the December 2017 Portal: “10 Reasons Why You Need to Attend TDU Global 2018”

Don’t delay! The Early Bird deadline has been extended to February 15th. Register now for TDU Global 2018!

Prepare to be amazed! Terra Dotta is very pleased to welcome Dr. Manuela M. Veloso as our opening plenary speaker for TDU Global 2018. Dr. Veloso is the Herbert A. Simon University Professor in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). A Fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, she is known for her work on “CoBots” – Collaborative Mobile Robots.

Pay a visit to Dr. Veloso at CMU and you will be met by a CoBot which will then lead you to her office; the CoBots are capable of performing service tasks and interacting with humans, having logged over 1,000 multi-floor, interior kilometers so far. At CMU Dr. Veloso leads the CORAL research group, addressing “the scientific and engineering challenges of creating teams of intelligent agents in complex, dynamic, and uncertain environments, in particular adversarial environments, such as robot soccer. We research on robots that Cooperate, Observe the world, Reason, Act, and Learn!” Watch this short clip as a CoBot performs a task.

We wish to thank Carnegie Mellon for their generosity in sharing Dr. Veloso with us for TDU Global. You won’t want to miss Dr. Veloso’s glimpse into the future of Artificial Intelligence and the possible collaboration between humans and robots!

Kerry Geffert
Product Evangelist, Terra Dotta

Each November, data wonks within international education eagerly await the release of the Institute of International Education’s Open Doors, a census of international and study abroad students in the United States. Did international student enrollments increase? Any new popular destinations for study abroad students? These and other questions keep educators busy pouring over the data to understand the picture of student mobility.

We at Terra Dotta are no different. Previous Portal articles have reviewed Open Doors from different perspectives, along with the implications for international education. An article in December 2016, “The Data Rich Open Doors,” made observations based on multiple years of census data for both incoming and outgoing students. How do the data from the most recent census measure up against those observations? What follows is a rundown of those observations and how they are changing or remaining constant using findings from the 2017 Open Doors.

Read the full article >


Erin Brady joined the Terra Dotta family as a Client Support Specialist in September 2016. Her responsibilities entail assisting new and existing ISSS clients with implementations; Admin Service work; managing support cases; collaborating with the product development team on new ISSS features; hosting webinars; conducting on-site training with existing clients; and leading conference sessions.

Before joining Terra Dotta, Erin worked as an International Student Advisor (DSO) and Assistant Director for International Admissions/Recruitment at North Dakota State University. She also co-instructed a faculty-led study abroad program on intercultural communication in Brazil and was the Regional Representative for Expert AuPair.

Erin earned her Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from Loras College and her Master of Arts in Diplomacy and International Conflict Management from Norwich University. She participated in a Rotary International Youth Exchange program to Thailand, as well as studied abroad at Universidad de Santiago de Compostela.

Outside of work, Erin enjoys traveling, hiking, museum hopping, and learning new languages and cultures. One goal Erin would like to accomplish is to complete at least 100km of the Camino de Santiago!

Erin says her favorite part of working at Terra Dotta is “Connecting with our clients to find ways to streamline their processes and meet their goals.”



Presenter: Lisa Tauferner

Communication tools abound in TDS! From the user's initial access to the myriad of ways TDS automates notifications to users, clients can choose from a number of tools to manage how information is conveyed to users throughout their interaction with TDS. This webinar will detail some of the existing tools available as well as new features added for notifications. Whether you are a new user to the communication tools in TDS or a more seasoned user who wishes to streamline and refine your communication with users, this webinar will share ideas on how to utilize these wonderful resources in TDS.

4:00 PM Eastern

Presenter: Aaron Rhoney

Always have someone knocking on your office door? We can help! In this webinar, we will discuss how to set up and utilize Terra Dotta software's appointment system. You'll learn how to create your staff page, set your appointment availability, and manage your appointments.

4:00 PM Eastern

Presenter: Abby Ward

Attractive and effective display of information is important to the branding of your site and the marketing of your programs. The WYSIWYG editor allows you to create professional looking content with graphics, images, and photos that make a strong visual impression. Come learn advanced WYSIWYG tips for displaying and positioning your content, easily creating modern and attractive brochure pages, modifying images and tables, and designing advanced graphics.

11:00 AM Eastern


Between printed and online materials, it can be daunting to keep up with the professional literature. Let us help you. Each month we will list several online articles that we hope you will find interesting.

Find an article that you believe others will want to read? Send the link to! Here are some to get you started:

Volunteering Abroad? Read This Before You Post That Selfie
From National Public Radio, Inc.

SEVIS numbers point to declining international enrolment in US higher education in 2017
ICEF Monitor

Divide between onshore and offshore campuses blurring
From University World News

US Study consortia to lobby US Department of Commerce
From The PIE News

I see an academic empire rising in China, and the West should take note
From Times Higher Education

The Great Game for International Students
From U.S. News & World Report


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