Say hello to OU’s Director of International Student Services (ISS), Robyn Rojas. She and her team work closely with OU’s international student community – advising on immigration regulations, travel requirements, employment opportunities and maintenance of immigration status.
Robyn earned a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from the University of North Carolina and received a Master of Arts degree in International Studies from the University of Oklahoma. A fluent speaker of Spanish, Robyn began her career teaching English as a Second Language at El Centro de Opportunidades, a community outreach program of Mount St. Mary High School in Oklahoma City, where she was later promoted to Program Coordinator. Robyn is also a classically trained ballerina who danced for three seasons with Ballet Oklahoma (now the Oklahoma City Ballet), toured with the Los Angeles Ballet Ensemble and also performed in Taiwan. Today she resides in the Oklahoma City metro area with her husband, who is from Colombia, and their two children.
We caught up with Robyn to share with you a little more about her and what she does!
How long have you been at OU? I have been at OU for seven years.
Tell us more about your job. I manage the Office of International Student Services, which is responsible for reporting international student immigration information to the federal government. It involves liaising with various departments across campus and with federal agencies, monitoring ever-changing immigration policies/law and determining how those changes might impact our students, as well as ensuring we’re providing the best immigration support possible for our international students.
How did you get into working in higher education, particularly international studies? After finishing grad school with a focus on International and Area Studies, I was interested in immigration issues. I wasn’t sure what that would look like career wise, so I began applying to various jobs that dealt with some aspect of immigration. I didn’t realize OU’s ISS office had been right under my nose the whole time I was in grad school!
What is your favorite part of your job? I have two favorites! First, I enjoy getting to interact with various people and offices across campus. Communication is key! Secondly, there is never a dull moment in this field and staying on top of information keeps you on your toes. There’s always a new situation you’ve never seen before. It’s like solving a puzzle using all of your professional resources and knowledge you’ve built up over the years.
When you are not working, what do you like to do for fun? I love spending time with my husband and children.
What is your favorite hobby?
I rarely have time for this anymore (kids…), but I LOVE doing home crafts, like making a new wreath for the door. 😊 I also enjoy doing home improvement projects with my husband.
Favorite food? I love me some brisket.
Favorite song? This is so hard. Can I give two? “Trust in You” by Lauren Daigle for when my soul needs some speaking to and “Valio La Pena” by Marc Anthony when I want to do some salsa dancing. 😊
Favorite words of wisdom? Never assume anything. I just think of how many times I’m so glad I took the time to ask a question or dig a little deeper. Your eyes and heart could be opened to something you never saw or understood before. I think this is so relevant to all areas of our lives. 😊