Student Affairs

Student Affairs supports students throughout their academic careers and serves as their advocate. The Dean of Students is available to speak with students about all aspects of their experience at CIIS and assist them in resolving any conflict or concern that may arise. Any student with an unresolved complaint may contact Student Affairs staff including the Dean of Students.

In addition, the office of Student Affairs produces the Student Handbook; conducts New Student Orientations; coordinates information about campus safety, housing, and health and wellness; offers services and support to international students and students with disabilities; works closely with the Student Alliance and other student groups; offers career development services and community engagement opportunities; administers the annual Student Satisfaction Survey; and plans and conducts the annual commencement ceremony.  

Many useful documents and forms from Student Affairs are available on the MyCIIS website ( under the Student Affairs tab

Student Affairs Staff


Yunny Yip Headshot
Dean of Students 
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Room 301, Mission Street Campus

Schedule a meeting by emailing Yunny directly.

For Student Affairs information, please visit: 

Yunny joined the Student Affairs team in 2015 and is grateful for the ability to work with CIIS’s engaging and dynamic student population.   In her role as Dean of Students, Yunny is responsible for the Student Affairs Office, the Wellness Center, and Student Union.   With Student Affairs’ vision to offer services that empower students to lead purpose-driven and culturally sensitive lives both for themselves and in their communities, Yunny looks forward to creating an equitable, accessible, and transformative student experience for all who attend CIIS.

Yunny comes to CIIS most recently from Stanford University, where she worked with upperclass students in the Undergraduate Advising & Research office.   Previously, Yunny served as the chief student affairs officer at the San Francisco Art Institute (Dean of Students & AVP for Student Affairs) and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (Associate Dean of Student Life).


Jody O'Conner Headshot
Associate Director, Student Affairs
International Student Recruitment & Advising
Pronouns: she/her/hers
(415) 575-6157 
Schedule time with me at:

For Current International Student information, please visit:

Jody joined the CIIS community in November 2005, and has over 15 years experience working in international education. She assists the university in leading international recruitment efforts, assists F-1 visa holders with immigration questions and on non-academic matters. In partnership with various CIIS departments, Jody also assists foreign national Visiting Scholars and is the Fulbright Program Advisor. She holds an MA in Integrative Health Studies from CIIS, and an interdisciplinary BA degree in Japan Business Studies from the University of Hawaii, Manoa.

Jody's passion for international education stems from her own international experiences and interest in cross-cultural dialogue. After graduating college, she spent three years working in Iwata City, Japan teaching English through the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program and has taken multiple trips abroad on behalf of CIIS and for personal fulfilment. Jody enjoys engaging with people from diverse cultural backgrounds and is eager to provide support and guidance to the international students and scholars at CIIS.


Hedi Vafaeenia Headshot
Student Affairs Manager - Wellness Center
Pronouns: she/her/hers
(415) 575-6158
Room 302, Mission Street Campus

Schedule a meeting by emailing Hedi directly.

For Wellness Center information, please visit:

After earning her Master’s Degree in Counseling with an emphasis in Higher Education from Saint Mary’s College (SMC), Hedi entered the world of higher education to explore her passion for student wellness.  “Working in higher education has taught me that students are in a unique position to transform the world in amazing ways with their openness to new ideas and the right balance of optimism, confidence, intelligence, and energy.”  Outside of work, Hedi’s loves a good meal, animals (especially dogs and sloths), watching her favorite TV shows and spending time with my family and friends.


For Wellness Center – Counseling Services information, please visit:

Room 305, Mission Street Campus

For Student Union information, please visit:

Open Door Policy

Student Affairs welcomes all suggestions on how CIIS can better serve its student community. Find us in rooms 301, 302 or 305 of the Mission Street building or at our personal or email addresses.

Student Handbook

This Student Handbook contains information that concerns students, including both Undergraduate and Graduate students. Because of the flexibility that institutions of higher education must have to respond to external changes, the environment, tuition, student fees, courses and course contents, curricular requirements, and other matters referenced or set forth in this document or otherwise related to students, all policies are subject to change at the discretion of CIIS at any time, during or after registration, and with or without notice or written confirmation.

Download the Student Handbook.

Student Cash Advance

CIIS offers a Student Cash Advance for enrolled students to receive their financial aid disbursement up to $1,000.00 in advance of the regular financial aid disbursement date. Students are eligible for the advance if they receive financial aid which exceeds their tuition bill. Incoming students may not be eligible for a cash advance until the add/drop period has ended. Students can apply for a cash advance once per semester, and may only have one outstanding advance at a time. Cash advances are available one month prior to the first day of classes. In order to be eligible for a cash advance, students must be confirmed financial aid recipients with full time student status. Please visit the online cash advance form in the Financial Aid section of MyCIIS. Veterans needing a cash advance should contact the Dean of Students directly.

Student Complaint Process

CIIS is an academic community committed to fostering intellectual inquiry in a climate of academic freedom and integrity. Its community members are expected to uphold these principles and exhibit tolerance and respect for others. Thus, the Institute works to promote tolerance, dignity and respect. Any student who believes that they have a valid complaint regarding a decision by or on behalf of the Institute has access to the General Student Complaint Procedure.

Please review the Student Complaint Procedures and Student Complaint Form for more information.

Students residing in the U.S. are also welcome to contact their local state agency. Details and contact information can be found here.

Dean of Students Yunny Yip is available for consultation on this process, and can be reached at

Sexual Misconduct Policy

In order to foster and maintain a community free from all forms of sexual misconduct, the CIIS administration has created a sexual misconduct policy. This policy supports the new federal Title IX legislation that is aimed to protect the safety of its students.

We ask that you take a few minutes to review the policy. Please do not hesitate to contact CIIS's Title IX Officers with any questions.

Title IX Officers:
Yunny Yip, Dean of Students

Orientation for New Students

Fall 2020 Virtual New Student Orientation: Building A Community of Belonging and Wellness

For full information, including the Fall 2020 schedule and post-orientation recordings, please visit:

Questions? Email  


There is one commencement ceremony each academic year. All students who have successfully completed their degree requirements by the end of the spring semester are invited to participate in the Commencement ceremony.

Students graduating in Summer 2020, Fall 2020, or Spring 2021 are eligible to participate in the:

2021 CIIS 53rd Annual Commencement Ceremony

Saturday, May 15, 2021|| 12:00 pm PDT


The ceremony is administered by the Office of Student Affairs, who emails information about commencement to all students who have filed the graduation application with the office of the Registrar, or who have already had their degree conferred in the current school year. This email is sent out early in the spring semester and contains information about the commencement ceremony, including the date, time, and location; and about ordering invitations, caps, gowns, and hoods.  

Students who are anticipating participation in the ceremony should ensure that their contact information on file with the Registrar's Office is correct and up-to-date. For more information on taking steps to register and participate in the Commencement Ceremony, please see the CIIS Graduation Guidebook.  For more information about the 2020 Commencement, please see CIIS News and Event Commencement 2020.

Veterans’ Services

The University's academic programs of study are approved by the Higher Education Coordinating Board's State Approving Agency (HECB/SAA) for enrollment of persons eligible to receive educational benefits under Title 38 and Title 10, U.S. Code. If you qualify for these benefits, you may use them toward your tuition. The V.A. Certifying Official at CIIS is the Registrar and V.A. Benefits Liason is in our Financial Aid Office.

Veterans and their Families
Veteran Services and Resources at CIIS (MyCIIS - student login required)

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