MU International Engagement Awards

The MU International Engagement Awards recognize the outstanding work carried out by faculty, staff and students to internationalize the University of Missouri. A CII subcommittee evaluates nominations and determine awardees across four categories:

  • Outstanding faculty contribution
  • Outstanding staff contribution: Staff with a primary responsibility for international education or who serve on the Council on International Initiatives
  • Outstanding staff contribution: All other staff
  • Outstanding student contribution

The awards recognize meaningful and sustained commitments to international work, whether directly on campus or brought back to the campus from an engagement abroad. In order to demonstrate their effect upon internationalizing the campus, nominees must clearly indicate the concrete impact made upon scholarship, students or MU programs by their international work.

Additional details are available in the most recent call for nominations.


Outstanding student contribution

John K. Bonilla-Aranzales

John K. Bonilla-Aranzales is a doctoral candidate in political science in the Truman School of Government and Public Affairs. He is committed to expanding research and outreach focused on international and immigrant issues, as well as fostering a sense of belonging for international students, staff, faculty and Latines at Mizzou. Bonilla-Aranzales’ research excellence in comparative politics at the intersection of cyberspace and peace studies has been recognized through the 2023 David M. Wood Excellence in Political Science Research Award, 2022 Henry Mitchell Scholarship from the University of Missouri South African Education Program to support field research in Cape Town, South Africa, and Fulbright Scholarship in 2018.

Bonilla-Aranzales has played a pivotal role in fostering a culturally diverse and inclusive community at MU. He has served as the vice president of the MU Fulbright Student Organization and has twice been elected faculty liaison in the Truman School of Government and Public Affairs. As a Cambio Center student fellow since 2020, Bonilla-Aranzales has actively supported the local Latine community in Missouri through the development of official translations and transcriptions that have supported the Spanish-speaking community, especially international students seeking language support. In addition, he has been instrumental in the execution of the Cambio Center’s Cambio de Colores annual conference, and he conceived and organized a Latine film series to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month. Bonilla-Aranzales’ commitment to academic excellence and public engagement serve as an inspirational model for students and faculty alike.

Outstanding faculty contribution

Antje Heese

Dr. Antje Heese is an associate professor of biochemistry in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and National Resources. Her research, supervision and service contributions have expanded MU’s international work, and she is an outstanding advocate for promotion international engagement work at MU. Dr. Heese is a “brand ambassador” for MU who advertises our excellence in research around the world as a regular invited speaker at international conferences, member of the organizing committees for international meetings including the International Plant Cell Dynamics Meeting, associate editor of the journal Molecular Plant-Microbe Interaction, and reviewer for international grant funding agencies in South Africa, Switzerland, Hungary and the European Union.

Dr. Heese’s stellar research has many international collaborations that have brought students and faculty to the MU campus for training and have taken her abroad to share her research expertise in other countries. Especially notable are Dr. Heese’s sustained relationships with longtime UM System partners the University of the Western Cape (South Africa) and Ghent University (Belgium), which have contributed to and strengthened these important institutional partnerships. She has worked with colleagues at UWC since 205 and has hosted multiple graduate students in her lab, showing a deep commitment to student supervision and leading to novel research discoveries that have raised the international reputation of all involved. Dr. Heese’s research with U.S. National Academic of Sciences member and Ghent University faculty member Jenny Russinova on plant immunity was published in Nature and has been highly influential in the field. Russinova credits Dr. Heese for making an impact on her own research trajectory and for “fostering international collaborations to enrich our academic environment.” David Braun, director of the MU Interdisciplinary Plant Group, said, “Dr. Heese is the role model for international collaborations, connecting with researchers from around the world to benefit MU. Her efforts in international research and service benefit the entire plant research and MU communities.”

Outstanding staff contribution

Lindsey Saunders

Lindsey Saunders is associate director of international programs in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. Her primary job responsibilities include championing global citizenship and engagement for CAFNR faculty, staff and students. As Kerry Clark, director of international agriculture programs, said, “[Saunders] is a deep-thinking, solve-the-issue type of person who never glosses over the surface or puts in only the minimum required amount of effort. She integrates international work and people into her personal life and is very dedicated to making all communities better for visitors, immigrants and locals alike.”

Saunders is the key person on nearly all of CAFNR’s 18 active grants totally $6.9 million. She received an award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a program that places U.S. educators in Pueblo, Mexico, for a school year. She also administers the Deaton Scholar Program, which supports students in multi-disciplinary groups working on projects to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals of zero poverty and food insecurity. Saunders has run multiple Scientific Exchange Programs for the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service and routinely goes above and beyond her usual job duties in facilitating and ensuring positive exchanges and ongoing collaborations between visiting fellows and MU mentors. Her work has improved lives across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Outstanding student contribution

Ifeolu David

Ifeolu David is a Ph.D. candidate in the MU School of Health Professions. David is an MD from Sierra Leone who came to Mizzou on a Fulbright scholarship. His work is extraordinarily collaborative and interdisciplinary, and he is highly engaged in diverse activities that represent Mizzou on the international stage and connect an international scholar with Missourians throughout the state.

David’s dissertation project, based on two field trips to Sierra Leone in 2022, explores health worker perspectives, prevention behavior and vaccine uptake among health workers in Sierra Leone. While collecting data, David also volunteered and gave presentations at health care facilities in Freetown to spread awareness about infection prevention and control practices.

He has been involved in several other significant research projects in addition to his dissertation project. David assisted Dr. Enid Schatz in research investigating the challenges faced by older adults living with HIV in rural South Africa. Their work has resulted in articles published in the Journal of Aging and Health and the Journal of Aging and Social Policy.

David has also been an active participant in the School of Health Professions with Dr. Wilson Majee. Their work investigated the experiences of African graduate students at MU during the COVID-19 pandemic and was published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life and was recently featured on Show Me Mizzou.

David has participated in two projects with MU Extension — one that explored the experiences of MU Extension community engagement specialists in a program to increase vaccine uptake among meat processing plants across the state of Missouri and one that evaluated the St. Louis Neighborhood Leadership Academy. These projects have led to the development of six manuscripts in preparation in which David serves as the lead author or co-author.

He is the recipient of a University of Missouri doctoral fellowship through the SEC Emerging Scholars program, the MU Graduate Professional Council Excellence in Research Award and the Mary Elizabeth Guntermuth Award for Community Engagement.

Outstanding faculty contribution

Enid Schatz

Dr. Enid Schatz, professor of public health and women’s and gender studies at MU, is an internationally recognized scholar of aging and health in sub-Saharan Africa. Her research is grounded in a desire to provide evidence to shift policy that can improve the health and well-being of often overlooked, vulnerable populations. Over the past two decades, Dr. Schatz has published more than 60 articles on older Africans’ experiences of HIV, establishing herself as one of the key experts in the aging of the HIV epidemic in Africa.

Dr. Schatz’s work is highly collaborative and in the past decade, she has worked with researchers at the Uganda Virus Research Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, University of the Western Cape and University of Cape Town. In 2017, she was a Fulbright fellow at the School of Public Health at the University of the Western Cape. Dr. Schatz’s research is also well funded from both internal and external sources, including the NIH, Fulbright Foundation, UK Medical Research Council Public Health Intervention Development Scheme, UWC Centre of Excellence on Food Security, MU Interdisciplinary Aging Center, MU School of Health Professions Catalyst Grant, University of Missouri Research Board, University of Missouri Research Council and University of Missouri South African Education Program.

In addition to being a prolific and impactful researcher, Dr. Schatz has more than 20 years of experience teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in the areas of global health, population studies and gender studies. While a post-doctoral fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand (2002–2004), she helped establish one of the first Demography and Population Studies Programs in Southern Africa. She continued to support this program through a Fogarty grant, global research training in population health, on which she was co-primary investigator 2007–2012.

Dr. Schatz is renowned for her dedication to the development of the next wave of scholars through her mentorship of post-doctoral fellows, graduate students and undergraduates, including African scholars at all levels. She has worked for several years as a coach in the National Center of Faculty Development and Diversity–Faculty Success Program, where she supports junior and mid-career faculty across the country, particularly under-represented and international faculty, to success as researchers, teachers and colleagues, while also developing a commitment to better work-life balance.

Outstanding faculty contribution

Michael Marlo

Dr. Michael Marlo is an associate professor in the MU English Department. He holds a Ph.D. in linguistics and his research and teaching focus on the phonology of African Bantu languages, as well as documenting understudied and endangered languages in western Kenya and eastern Uganda. Dr. Marlo has received grants from the National Science Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities, allowing him and his research teams to create dictionaries, comprehensive grammatical analyses and collections of oral literature from the Luyia cluster of Bantu languages. According to his nomination, Dr. Marlo is “energetic, persistent and creative in promoting and helping to coordinate the international project of developing comprehensive data on a range of Bantu languages.” He has also been an active participant in the Tri-Continental Partnership between the University of Missouri, Ghent University in Belgium and University of the Western Cape in South Africa.

Dr. Marlo is a dedicated mentor to undergraduate students at Mizzou and provides students with intensive and authentic exposure to international experience both on campus and abroad. According to his nomination, Dr. Marlo “has not only internationalized our curriculum by creating opportunities for students to work on African languages, he also successfully increases students’ international experiences through impeccably and professionally preparing them for study and research abroad.”

Outstanding staff contribution

Gabrielle Malfatti

Dr. Gabrielle Malfatti is director of global engagement and an ancillary associate teaching professor in the MU College of Education and Human Development. She established the Mizzou Ed Teach Abroad program, which provides teaching field experiences for pre-service teachers in countries like India, South Africa, Malawi and Uganda. She also co-led the effort to establish the graduate certificate in global education and leadership in collaboration with the Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis K–12 faculty, the first U.S. degree program simultaneously recognized as an International Baccalaureate certificate in leadership practice. According to her nomination, “Her dedication to international education is contagious and her professionalism admirable… she has displayed her ability to not only be a visionary for the college but also a champion for her students.”

Dr. Malfatti manages the college’s agreements and strong connections with global partners, including universities around the world, K–12 schools in India, Be the Change Volunteers and International Baccalaureate. She serves as a member of many campus committees focusing on international and diversity issues, and has served on multiple dissertation committees for Mizzou students. Dr. Malfatti is a two-time Fulbright International Education Administrators award recipient and was honored with the Association of North America Higher Education International’s Patrick J. Moreo Global Education Leadership Award in 2019. She is active in international education professional organizations, including NAFSA and the Forum on Education Abroad.

Outstanding student contribution

Elizabeth Kujath, undergraduate student majoring in linguistics and religious studies

Elizabeth Kujath is a senior majoring in linguistics and religious studies at MU. A recipient of the prestigious Boren Award for study abroad, she spent two semesters studying Swahili in Tanzania and a semester at Ghent University in Belgium, where she took master’s-level courses in the Department of African Languages and Cultures. Kujath has been a member of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities Scholars research team at MU since fall 2017, where she has contributed to research on the Bukusu and Kabarasi languages. According to her nominator, because of Kujath’s international experiences, she “has emerged as a mentor and leader within [the] research team.” As the first MU student to participate in MU’s exchange program with Ghent University, Kujath’s study abroad experience strengthened connections between MU and the Ghent University Department of African Languages and Cultures and led to ongoing research collaborations. Her nominator wrote, “my research and the research that my students are carrying out are both grateful to Elizabeth’s initiative and international experiences, and our academic profile has been raised by her efforts. A remarkable accomplishment by an undergraduate.”

Yanu Prasetyo, doctoral student in rural sociology

Yanu Prasetyo is a Ph.D. candidate studying rural sociology at MU. His dissertation focuses on the impacts of Walmart closures in rural Missouri, and he has published two research articles in international scientific journals. During his first year at Mizzou, he founded the IndoBIG Network, an activist and research network in Indonesia that advocates for universal basic income as a solution to alleviate extreme poverty. Since spring 2017, he has been involved with the Deaton Scholars Program, which empowers MU students to address global poverty through collaborative problem solving. Prasetyo volunteered as a photographer and videographer for the program before serving on its Student Advisory Board and then as a program leader. Prasetyo is also an active member of the Indonesian Student Association at Mizzou, helping to organize events and fundraising activities in the wake of the 2018 earthquake in Palu. According to one recommender, “Yanu clearly utilizes his natural talents, great intellect and the maturity of his career experiences in Indonesia to the benefit of both Mizzou and Columbia.”

Outstanding faculty contribution

Dr. Wilson Majee, professor of health sciences and public health, School of Health Professions

Dr. Wilson Majee is an associate professor of health sciences and public health in the MU School of Health Professions. His international work includes collaborations with the University of the Western Cape, a longtime University of Missouri partner in research and educational exchange, where he was appointed UWC Extraordinary Professor in the Faculty of Community and Health Science in March 2020. His research centers on community leadership development, community engagement and health promotion. In an ongoing project funded through the University of Missouri South African Education Program, Dr. Majee and his collaborators are focusing on the challenges and opportunities that vulnerable world youth face to avoid engaging in risky behavior. According to his nominator, Dr. Majee “strives to promote cross-cultural research that informs local interventions yet from a global perspective.” His success in this, his nominator said, comes from partnering with other investigators and contributing his expertise within larger collaborations. Dr. Majee has also developed a study abroad program for public health students at MU and UMSL in conjunction with faculty at UWC that will allow students to shadow community health workers in Cape Town, South Africa. The first cohort of students will hopefully participate in summer 2021. Dr. Majee’s service extends beyond higher education and includes involvement as a board member of nonprofit organizations such as PedNet Coalition and Kidlinks World. He also serves as a U.S. country correspondent for the International Association of Community Development.

Outstanding student contribution

Tipparat Udmuangpia, doctoral student in nursing

Tipparat Udmuangpia is a Ph.D. candidate in the MU Sinclair School of Nursing. She is also a lecturer at the Boromarajonani College of Nursing, as well as a government official in the Ministry of Public Health of Thailand, currently on a five-year leave to pursue her Ph.D. with a scholarship from the Royal Thai Government. During her time at Mizzou, she has worked closely with her adviser, Dr. Tina Bloom, on numerous research and community service projects, including research in West Africa and Thailand on intimate partner violence prevention. According to her nominator, Udmuangpia is “the most actively involved international nursing Ph.D. student — providing service to both the School of Nursing and MU campus community while maintaining an appropriate emphasis on her scholarly and research endeavors.” She also serves as an outstanding peer mentor for international students at Mizzou, and organized an outreach event for international students on interpersonal violence and available resources.

Outstanding staff contribution

Victoria Bryan, Interdisciplinary Plant Group

Vicki Bryan serves as coordinator for the campus-wide Interdisciplinary Plant Group, which includes teams from seven departments and three colleges. She has participated in a number of initiatives to develop partnerships with institutions in China, Brazil and South Africa, as well as organizing visits to MU for visiting faculty and researchers. According to her nominator, Bryan’s exceptional organizational skills “have been instrumental in ensuring that each of these activities has been a great success… providing our international partners with a very positive impression of the quality of MU’s programs.”

Li Yang, School of Journalism International Programs

Li Yang serves as the International Programs assistant in the Missouri School of Journalism, where she helps visiting professionals and undergraduate students from China in their study orientation and adjustment to life at Mizzou. She has helped recruit about 400 visiting scholars and 110 2+2 dual bachelor’s degree students from China. She also organizes performances of Chinese dances, songs and martial arts, as well as lectures on Peking Opera and food festivals. According to her nominator, “Li’s dedication and contributions to MU and the city’s international engagement are ceaseless, meaningful and outstanding.”

Outstanding faculty contribution

Dr. Kerry Clark, director of CAFNR International Programs and assistant research professor of rural sociology, College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

Dr. Kerry Clark is director of CAFNR International Programs and an assistant research professor of rural sociology. She also serves as director of smallholder mechanization for the USAID Soybean Innovation Lab, a multi-disciplinary, multi-university team conducting research for the development of soybean production systems in sub-Saharan Africa. She works with governmental and private organizations across Africa to promote sustainability and productivity in smallholder agriculture, and much of her work depends on building programs and collaborations with international research centers, national agricultural research institutions, NGOs, in-country USAID projects and providers, and the private sector. According to her nominator, Clark “has accomplished more internationally in the past six years than most faculty will in a career.” Her development of a locally-made and sourced thresher has reduced crop processing time from two weeks to four hours, and she has taught blacksmiths through workshops in all parts of Africa to produce their own machines. Through her work as an applied scientist, she is helping developing countries in Africa achieve improved food security and reduce poverty.

Outstanding faculty contribution

Dr. Pilar Mendoza, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, College of Education

Dr. Mendoza’s commitment to internationalizing MU is evident in her administrative, leadership and academic experience teaching and designing international programs, as well as in her research. She led a team in designing a needs assessment and implementation plan for the development of educational leadership in Latin America. This resulted in the creation of the International Research Center for the Development of Education, a joint effort with La Corporación Universitaria Minuto de Dios in Bogotá, which she now directs. As her nominator wrote, “[Dr. Mendoza’s] focus on creating effective networks with higher education representatives on a global scale will promote scholarly collaboration and exchanges for years to come.”

Outstanding staff contribution

Irene Juzkiw, Center for English Language Learning

Juzkiw has served as director of the English Language Support Program and senior associate director for the Center for English Language Learning at MU since 1978. During this time, Juzkiw has served thousands of students from around the world, helping them learn and master English as a second, third and sometimes fourth language. Two former students remarked on Juzkiw’s impact on international education at MU: “She always made it a priority to help us when help was needed concerning many different issues, while maintaining a professional manner. Being here from another country can be difficult and overwhelming. [Juzkiw] has given us advice, encouragement and support when needed. We will be forever grateful for her time for us.”

Outstanding student contribution

Julia Coelho, master’s student in musicology and vocal performance

Julia Coelho is from Portugal, and studied and worked at MU from 2014 to 2018 as she completed her master’s degree in musicology and vocal performance. She is continuing her studies as a Ph.D. student in musicology at the University of North Texas. During her time at Mizzou, her outstanding work brought international recognition to the School of Music and brought the music of Portugal and Brazil to audiences in the MU and Columbia communities. According to her nominator, Coelho also served as “an effective ambassador on a more personal level” — supporting international students and helping with recruitment, translation and adjustment to campus life.

Outstanding staff contribution

Susan DeMian, Center for English Language Learning

DeMian has supported the university’s international mission through more than 30 years of committed work in the Intensive English Program. As the first person many international students communicate with when applying to and arriving at MU to begin their IEP studies, DeMian provides “caring, patient and compassionate” support. In doing so she has served as an “ambassador” for MU to students who first attend the Intensive English Program and later may enroll in academic programs. As her nominators state, “it is employees like Susan DeMian who have helped to make MU a stronger and better institution by showing kindness to our international visitors.”

Outstanding faculty contribution

Dr. George Rottinghaus, Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Rottinghaus committment to internationalization is demonstrated through his research and teaching collaborations around the world. For over 10 years he has built a strong relationship between MU and the University of Sao Paulo, during which time he has worked with 39 Brazilian students. His lab has provided training for 20 international scholars from 10 different countries and he has coauthored 53 peer reviewed papers with international colleagues. His international scope extends through multiple continents and the impact of his global engagement expands opportunities for students and faculty at Mizzou.

Dr. Francisco Aguilar, School of Natural Resources

Dr. Aguilar’s sustained commitment to international research, education and economic development has “built new and strengthened existing bridges from MU to the corners of the world.” He has secured over $600 thousand dollars in research funds to support projects with a fundamental international dimension, resulting in 17 peer reviewed journal publications. His research on the use of forest biomass to generate sustainable renewable energy has placed MU on the cutting edge of global research on wood energy. Whether advising graduate students or supporting opportunities for undergraduates to study abroad, Dr. Aguilar regularly shares his commitment to internationalization with MU’s students. He has also mentored international scholars and served on the board of directors for a microfinance cooperative dedicated to addressing global poverty and environmental degradation.

Outstanding student contribution

Guo Xiaoyu, doctoral student in industrial engineering, chairman of the MU Friendship Association of Chinese Students and Scholars

Guo “Shawric” Xiaoyu is a graduate student pursuing a doctoral degree in industrial management in the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering in the College of Engineering. Xiaoyu is also the chairman of the MU Friendship Association of Chinese Students and Scholars, an office he has held since 2010. Xiaoyu has demonstrated admirable leadership and guidance for this growing community. His role as ambassador for the Chinese community was particularly evident in the wake of tragedy. In 2011, two visiting scholars from China drowned while vacationing in Branson, and this January, a visiting doctoral student research, Kui Zou, was killed in a collision with a vehicle while crossing Providence Road. In the wake of these tragedies, Xiaoyu worked tirelessly to organize logistics for the families, meetings with administration and critical support with a spirit of calm, steady compassion. David Currey wrote, “Xiaoyu has consistently demonstrated that international engagement often requires personal sacrifice… Xiaoyu epitomizes the best qualities of leadership that all of us at the University of Missouri value and strive for.”

Outstanding staff contribution

Christy Copeland, assistant director of CAFNR International Programs, College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

Many who know Copeland will have heard her say, “We want to make a difference, one person, one program at a time.” And in nearly 30 years of service to MU, she has indeed made a difference in the lives of many, many faculty, staff, students, trainees, partners and countless beneficiaries of overseas expert assistance and training. Copeland is responsible for managing the programmatic and administrative aspects of multiple projects with a budget in excess of $20 million. The projects include grants and agreements provided by the United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Services and the United States Agency for International Development, as well as the international nongovernemntal organization University of Missouri Assistance Program, which has offices in Kenya and Ghana. Jerry Nelson wrote, “In Ghana, I saw firsthand how this remarkable person works on complex problems through knowledge about university policies, regulations from funders and how to win the respect of others… Rarely does a staff member rise to such a level of responsibility, leadership and grantsmanship.”

Copeland’s attention to detail goes beyond policies and funding, she is known for her attention to personal details as well. Her recommenders include students that Copeland invited to work with her on hosting events for the USDA’s World Food Prize. They wrote, “Christy is a leader who cares more about the success of the students she meets and the international programs she helps organize than receiving recognition… Christy includes students in important projects to give them hands-on experience… From the beginning conversations and cross-country conference calls, Christy entrusted use with the authority to make decisions and contribute to the team, while applauding us in front of our USDA teammates in Washington, D.C. She has shown us constant support, putting in the extra time to train us when she could have easily finished tasks without our help… Christy’s humble motivation comes across in her loyal relationships with her co-workers, her ability to resolve conflict and counsel during difficult situations, and the long-lasting partnerships she holds across the world.”

Outstanding faculty contribution

Dr. Sanjeev Khanna, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, College of Engineering

Dr. Sanjeev Khanna serves as the director of the Energy Solutions and Research Center, assistant director of the Missouri Industrial Assessment Center and special assistant to the dean for Engineering Technology Programs. Khanna has helped to establish several international research collaborations. He has been a champion in establishing 2+2 programs with universities in India, where students enroll for their first two years in India and their last two years at MU. Khanna initiated and established the first study abroad program for engineering students from India to come to MU for a three-week summer workshop. Khanna utilizes an innovative teaching methodology called problem-based learning and has trained more than 50 faculty in this relatively new and effective method. This train-the-trainer approach is helping create rapid change and effective teaching in Iraq by training the trainers. Khanna has been the keynote speaker at many international conferences. In 2014, he co-organized the International Conference on Multifunctional Materials, Structures and Applications, and has works with partners at Motilal Behru National Institute of Technology to establish this as a biennial event. Dr. Yuwen Zhang wrote that Khanna “has relentlessly pursued and established international collaborations over the last few years. He has disseminated his innovative teaching methodology among international faculty, helped develop engineering curriculum in contemporary subjects and established research collaborations at universities abroad, and helped recruit and mentor international engineering students both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Dr. Khanna’s contributions to the internationalization of MU and the College of Engineering in particular are exemplary.”

Eva Szekely, professor of violin and chamber music, School of Music

Eva Szekely is first violinist in the Esterhazy Quartet, an ensemble-in-residence in the School of Music. She is an artist, teach and musical ambassador who has performed in nine countries on three continents. Szekely is a member and leader in the Missouri Partners of the Americas, a national volunteer organization that builds partnerships between the hemispheres in all fields of study. Szekely began traveling to Belém, Brazil, to perform and teach violin early in her career. She helped to establish an ongoing exchange of published music, a rare and expensive commodity for students of the region.

Szekely was instrumental in the development of partnerships with three of the leading institutions of higher education in Brazil. Jo Ella Todd wrote, “To date, Eva has made 46 trips to Brazil, secured residencies at MU for 28 visiting scholars from the Carlos Gomes Foundation/Teatro da Paz (Theater of Peace) in Belém, assisted 26 students from the Carlos Gomes Foundation to come to MU where they have secured degrees including undergraduate, graduate and doctorate. Eva also worked to achieve educational and cultural exchanges for 20 professors from MU to teach and perform in Brazil for a total of 86 trips… While on these exchange trips and during all this work on behalf of her MU colleagues, Eva has her own rehearsals, master classes, individual lessons, orchestral, solo and chamber music concerts to prepare and present. Imagine doing this 86 times for your colleagues! Now, consider all the work she has done to assist the 28 visiting scholars and the 26 full-time Brazilian students… In all these exchanges, Eva was the force that made everything happen. Her tireless efforts on behalf of MU faculty, as well as of visiting faculty and students, often made the impossible possible.”

Dr. Barbara Williamson, association teaching professor of counseling psychology, College of Education

Dr. Barbara Williamson’s interest in working with international students began during her undergraduate studies, when she was asked to tutor a student from Iran in English. Since then, she has made substantial contributions to internationalization. In her role as associate director of the Coalition for Cultural Competence, Williamson helped to craft a partnership agreement with National Taiwan Normal University that established a dual-degree master’s program in counseling psychology and a 3+2 degree program. Williamson has provided orientation for these students, as well as support for dealing with culture shock, language difficulties and other challenges. She also has a large coordinating role in the Cross-Cultural Immersion Programs, where students from MU and NTNU spend 10 days in the partner country. During three years, she has single-handedly identified host families for more than 60 NTNU students and faculty, providing a home-based experience for encountering a different culture for the first time. Williamson is known for cultivating dialogue on sensitive cultural issues. She thoughtfully integrates the constructs of worldview and privilege in her courses. She helps students become more cross-culturally aware and open in an atmosphere that is both challenging and supportive. One of Williamson’s former students, Dr. Geetike Agarwal wrote, “While her expertise in the area of consultation is unmatched, she was personally vested in making the information relevant and meaningful to all students… On a more personal note, on occasion, I would spend time talking about my culture, challenges and difficulties I faced adjusting to the new society and what I missed about India in the United States. As an international student, I will always be thankful to Dr. Williamson for laying her faith and confidence in my skills. She was the sounding board I needed to overcome the challenges I faced during my time at the university.”

Outstanding student contribution

Landon Krantz, medical student and president of Students Interested in Global Health for Tomorrow

Landon Krantz has a passion for global health and responsible development. In his first year of medical school, he organized the logistics for the annual SIGHT trip to rural Mexico. He was elected president of SIGHT, and under his leadership the membership of SIGHT grew from around 12 students to 202 members and they created a mission statement, “to prepare future physicians at the University of Missouri School of Medicine for a career that incorporates the best practices of effective global health care.” In response to student interest, the SIGHT team created a website with resources to connect MU students with global health rotations. Landon also fostered expansions in SIGHT’s teaching opportunities; this year the lecture series included five presentations on topics from refugee health in Columbia to how to work with foreign health infrastructures. SIGHT has also expanded its Spanish Medical Class. Landon’s most tireless efforts have been toward establishing a partnership with Universidad Nacional de Nicaragua in Leon. Meryl Sundy, one of his fellow students, says in her recommendation letter, “By establishing an official partnership with the medical school in Nicaragua, Landon has created a structure that allows for stronger educational opportunities for MU students as well as the medical students abroad. I can think of no more socially responsible way to support global health than to further the education of the host nation’s own future physicians.”

Jon Marquart, undergraduate student in the Trulaske College of Business

Jonathon Marquart is an undergraduate student in the Trulaske College of Business, TCOB’s China study abroad program student manger, and the Chinese Language and Culture Association’s social activities coordinator. His life changed with a study abroad trip to China in 2012. Timothy Cunningham, one of the leaders of the trip, notes, “Jon showed strong leadership and a desire to be fully immersed in the Chinese culture.” Jon brought his passion for China back to campus. He became the student manager for TCOB’s China study abroad program and has become extensively involved in Chinese-related organizations on campus such as the China Business Student Association. He also organized several outings for the Chinese community, including a trip to the Missouri Capitol and a Chinese business etiquette dinner to prepare MBA students to do business in China. Jon is working with a student group on a documentary film, “China: A Life-Changing Adventure,” telling the personal stories of several professors and students who have done internships in China.

Outstanding staff contribution

Wen Ouyang, co-director of the MU Confucius Institute and specialist for internationalization, communication, translation and research, Office of the Vice Provost for International programs

Wen Ouyang came to MU to earn her Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy analysis and began working for the Office of the Vice Provost for International Programs in 2006. Ouyang was the driving force behind the establishment of a Confucius Institute at MU, providing Chinese language and cultural resources for Columbia Public Schools, Columbia Independent School and the community as a whole. She is an excellent teacher and has taught more than 2,700 hours voluntarily to students at MU and Columbia area schools on Chinese language, culture and history. She was also selected to write an online Chinese curriculum for students nationwide. To quote Deputy Chancellor Michael Middleton, “Dr. Ouyang’s constructive vision and ability for developing cultural exchanges and cooperative programs between MU and many other countries from multiple aspects are notable. Her extensive cross-cultural administrative and teaching experiences and talents are invaluable asset to MU’s internationalization and globalization.”

Outstanding faculty contribution

Chuck Franz, associate professor, Department of Management

Chuck Franz had a vision to develop unique short-term faculty-led study abroad experiences tailored for business students. In an innovative and entrepreneurial move, he created a program model where student managers who participated in a trip the year prior work to administer the program the following year, providing opportunities for tremendous professional and personal growth. As a result, in less than ten years, Franz’s passion and leadership have led to nearly 2,000 students, 30 faculty members and 10 staff members participating in study abroad programs through the Trulaske College of Business. For developing an innovative approach for study abroad, cultivating numerous international partnerships, mentoring student managers and expanding the global mindset of thousands of students, the Council on International Initiatives is proud to recognize Dr. Chuck Franz.

Mary Simon Leuci, assistant dean, Community Development Extension and assistant extension professor, Department of Rural Sociology

Mary Simon Leuci is a leader in the internationalization of MU Extension. Her passion for community development lead her to co-found MU’s Community Development Academy in 1996. This program expanded the understanding of development for faculty and international participants alike. Leuci helped to create a Community Development Academy in South Africa. In 2000, she worked to establish a three year exchange program with partners in Ireland, which led to several restorative justice programs in Missouri. Building on her success, Leuci raised grant funding for several projects and worked on a series of successful joint webinars with partners at the University of Western Cape. Mark Linit summarized it well, “Dr. Leuci is at the forefront of international programing for MU Extension through her direct involvement in activities abroad or through her efforts to involve others. The latter effort results in new faculty expertise and hence a new cohort of faculty leaders for international engagement. Dr. Leuci has helped to change the face of extension programming at MU and is truly deserving of the recognition that his award bestows.”

Outstanding student contribution

John R. Criswell, II, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis

John Criswell joined the Navy at 17 — to see the world. In six years of service, he traveled and lived in places such as Scotland, Naples, Pompeii and Morocco. He returned to Missouri to pursue higher education and while here, discovered that, with so many international students, staff and faculty it is not necessasry to travel to encounter the richness of cultural diversity. As a doctoral student, he has devoted much attention to international students. His research seeks to better measure the international dimensions of campus climate, with his dissertation examining how faculty members accommodate the needs and abilities of international students in the classroom. He is currently studying Mandarin and he hopes one day to live and teach in China.

Outstanding staff contribution

Michael Burden, senior information specialist, College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources

Mike is a graduate of the MU School of Journalism. In his current position, he is developing multimedia content to promote research, teaching and public service for CAFNR. However, he came to Mizzou as a Peace Corps veteran and a Peace Corps Fellow. Serving in Mongolia, Mike taught English and helped to build the country’s equivalent to the Big Brothers, Big Sisters organization. At Mizzou, he has served as the campus Peace Corps recruiter and co-taught a course in the School of Journalism called “When East meets West” to enhance cultural intelligence. Mike is also responsible for the Third Goal Peace Corps Film Festival on campus.

International scholar: Outstanding faculty contribution

Jere Gilles, associate professor, Department of Rural Sociology

Professor Gilles has a distinguished record of service at MU. He has led research projects and technical assistance projects in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Throughout his career, Gilles has been dedicated to international scholarship. As a young man, he left Montana to direct enroll in a French university so he could learn the language and later used those skills as he served in the Peace Corps in Africa. At Missouri he has mentored many American and international students interested in topics such as economic development, the sociology of natural resources, climate change mitigation and agricultural innovation. After working in Francophone countries for many years, Gilles decided to learn Spanish and is now able to live, work and lecture fluently in Spanish-speaking regions. He developed very successful study abroad opportunities for students in Costa Rica and recently completed an extended Fulbright award in Bolivia, where he maintains strong professional ties and responsibilities.

Outstanding student contribution

Angellar Manguvo, Department of Educational School and Counseling Psychology

Angellar Manguvo has committed herself to enhancing the academic and social welfare of international students through service and research. She serves as treasurer for the Missouri International Student Council and co-edited the MU International Student Survival Guide. She also serves as treasurer for the Association of Black Graduate and Professional Students, where she’s worked to foster unity among native-born, African and Afro-Caribbean black students through open dialogue. She served as a member of the Educational School and Counseling Psychology Campus Climate Committee, and of the African Student Association. Manguvo’s research publications and presentations also contribute to MU’s internationalization. She has published recent papers on the role of volunteerism on social integration of African international students at a Midwestern university and on self-presentation of African international students at a Midwestern university, for which she has won multiple awards. Her dissertation topic is on the relationship between ethnic identity, perceived acceptance and cultural adjustment of sub-Saharan African international students in the United States.

Outstanding staff contribution

Jill Ford, director of student enrichment and international student programs, College of Engineering

Jill Ford has served in a number of key staff roles for the College of Engineering. In fall 2009, Jill developed the college’s Peer Mentoring Program to address the needs of students as they make the transition from China to Columbia. Through the development of multicultural programming for American and international students, Ford is fostering a positive environment for international students and facilitating multicultural growth. Peer Mentoring Program events include activities such as touring the state capitol and meeting with Representative Chris Kelly, traveling to Hannibal, Mo., and touring the Mark Twain Museum, attending MU football and basketball games, and offering driving safety programs. In addition to developing the Peer Mentoring Program, Ford has also traveled to China and India to recruit international students and strengthen relationships with partner universities.

International scholar — Outstanding faculty contribution

Xinhua Zhang, C.W. LaPierre Professor, Department of Computer Science

Dr. Xinhua Zhuang is widely regarded as an international leader by his peers and has worked to internationalize MU by establishing key educational relationships with outstanding Chinese universities. Zhuang’s effort has resulted in 129 students from more than ten universities in China and he has been personally involved in developing the mentoring program for international students in the College of Engineering. The program’s goal is to sufficiently expose international students to western culture, so that the essence of democracy, freedom and human rights might be carried with these students when they return to China. Based on the success of his international engagement in both research and higher education, Zhuang has now been moving into a new arena that further bridges federal research and industrial collaborations between the U.S. and China. A delegation from MU consisting of the dean and department chairs will travel to China this summer to explore the feasibility of this new platform.

Puncky Heppner, Curators’ Professor, Department of Educational School and Counseling Psychology

Dr. Puncky Heppner is known for being one of the most prolific researchers in the profession of counseling psychology. His scholarship in problem-solving strategies and career decision making, in particular, has gained tremendous attention among international scholars. His Problem Solving Inventory (PSI), for example, has been translated into many languages and remains a significant tool in problem-solving research. He has been invited by numerous international ministries, associations and universities to speak. He has been a Fulbright scholar in Sweden, Ireland, Taiwan and Italy. Beyond his research accomplishments, Heppner is recognized for his passion to provide guidance for the globalization of counseling psychology. At the institutional level, Heppner is instrumental in increasing the international student representation in counseling psychology programs, as well as promoting the globalization vision of counseling psychology beyond the United States.

Outstanding student contribution

Patricia Vewenda-Mabengo

Patricia Vewenda-Mabengo’s ties to both Mizzou and to Africa run deep. Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Vewenda-Mabengo and her family moved to Columbia when she was eight years old so that her father could pursue a master’s degree in agricultural economics. Now an MU student herself, she is a completing her bachelor’s degree in international studies with an emphasis in peace studies. As president of the African Student Association she has “worked to internationalize the MU campus by elevating students’ and the campus community’s perception of Africans and demonstrating different aspects of African beauty, intellect and grace.” To that end, Vewenda-Mabengo founded the Miss Africa Mizzou pageant, and skillfully organized other ASA events such as the MU African Gala Extravaganza, Un-silence the Congo, Taste of Africa and Africa Week. After graduating, she hopes to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer and eventually to return to the Democratic Republic of Congo in order to help build and work on rehabilitation programs for rape victims.

Yuan Tian

Pursuing a double-major in psychology and communication, MU undergraduate Yuan Tian is no stranger to multi-tasking. Since coming to MU she has regularly volunteered for several organizations benefitting MU’s international community, including the International Center’s new international student orientation. Most recently, Tian was elected to serve as president of the Friendship Association of Chinese Students and Scholars. In this capacity, she has been responsible for organizing services for MU’s growing Chinese community — such as providing transportation for newly arriving Chinese students — and also for coordinating FACSS participation in campus events that showcase Chinese culture and talent. As executive producer for the 2011 MU China Night, she devoted considerable time to helping share Chinese culture with our campus and community.

Outstanding staff contribution

Jake Halliday, president and CEO, MU Business Incubator

Jake Halliday has furthered the internationalization of the University of Missouri through his work establishing an international reputation for the university’s business incubator. In 2010 Halliday succeeded in achieving international incubator designation for the university’s business incubator, an award recognizing incubators that offer specialized programs for serving young companies moving from overseas into the incubator’s domestic market. Halliday has also developed a sister incubator relationship with Bio-City Nottingham, one of Europe’s leading business incubators. Finally, through his “high growth ventures” class in the MBA program of MU’s Trulaske College of Business, he has supported the participation and success by MU students in prestigious international business plan competitions.

International scholar – Outstanding faculty contribution

John Miles Foley, Curators’ Professor and Byler Distinguished Professor of English and Classical Studies

Throughout his career, Dr. John Miles Foley has been crossing borders — disciplinary as well as cultural — to further scholarship on “the oldest and the newest of humankind’s communicative technologies, oral tradition and the Internet.” In 1986 he founded the Center for Oral Tradition, whose 25-year mission has been to create an international forum for exchange. The corresponding journal, Oral Tradition, established the same year, has since published more than 500 articles examining more than 100 traditions worldwide, reaching an estimated annual readership of 20,000 in more than 200 countries. Foley has developed a series of courses that emphasize international connections, including a seminar on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage program, and has taught three languages — ancient Greek, Anglo-Saxon, and South Slavic. In 1995 the CSOT finalized an agreement, ratified by the Missouri Legislature, with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences to pursue joint projects. In 1996 he established at MU the Center for eResearch, promoting multidisciplinary research on digital and Internet initiatives. In the words of one colleague, beyond his extensive international resume, most impressive is the extent to which Foley “nurtures long-term international relations.” Another nominator lauds Foley’s “willingness to listen and form mutual and enduring relationships with colleagues all over the world, drawing them into mutual communication and enthusiasm.” Through his scholarship, academic leadership and collegiality, Foley has not only brought the world’s oral traditions to Missouri, he has established himself and MU as an internationally recognized leader in the field of oral traditions.

Joseph Hobbs, professor of geography

Dr. Joe Hobbs’ commitment to an international perspective is apparent in his long record scholarship and service to the University of Missouri. Much of his career has been dedicated to researching and traveling to the Middle East, where he has explored topics including Bedouin herdsman, cave morphology and drug cultivation. More recently, he has become a tireless champion of MU’s emerging initiatives in Vietnam. Hobbs currently serves as director of MU’s Vietnam Institute, whose primary mission is to develop education and research exchanges with Vietnam. He notes that since beginning his work with colleagues through MU’s Vietnam Initiatives Group in 2006, and continuing with the Vietnam Institute, the number of Vietnamese students at MU has grown from 12 to 57. He has served in a consultative capacity on numerous occasions in Vietnam, sharing expertise on education and curriculum reform, as well as core research skills and practices. Hobbs has recently been awarded a place on the prestigious Fulbright Specialist Program roster in the category of international education specialists available to work in Vietnam.

Outstanding student contribution

Ahmed Ibrahim, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

A promising scholar in his field, Ahmed Ibrahim’s doctoral research itself has global relevance, addressing the important issue of structural design in stressful environments such as earthquakes. As a student at MU, Ibrahim has played an active role in internationalizing the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. In April 2008, he was selected as part of a team of three professors and three graduate students to evaluate the condition of school and university buildings that were severely damaged by the August 2007 earthquake in Peru. This University of Missouri team was selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Ibrahim also helped establish a link between MU and Zagazig University in Egypt. As a result of his efforts, two Egyptian scholars are currently visiting MU for two years, and two MU professors and the dean of engineering will visit Zagazig in the near future. According to his adviser, Dr. Hani A. Salim, Ibrahim’s efforts alone were the reason for establishing this successful international link, which could lead to additional collaborations with other universities in Egypt.

Outstanding staff contribution

Rebecca Brandt, associate director for admissions, International Admissions

Rebecca Brandt has worked in international admissions at the University of Missouri for the last 26 years — developing nationally recognized expertise on processing applications for international students, assisting graduate departments with evaluation credentials and evaluating transfer credit for domestic students returning from study abroad programs. Recently, she has taken on two additional and very significant projects. The first of these involves her recruitment efforts in Korea, which she does in cooperation with the MU Asian Affairs Center and which have taken her on four trips to South Korea for the purpose of increasing the number of Korean students who attend MU. Brandt has additionally taken under her wing a number of Korean and Chinese interns in her office — providing them with meaningful work experiences that further introduce them to the American higher education system. In his letter supporting her nomination, director of the MU Asian Affairs Center Sang Kim commends Brandt’s ability “to turn her knowledge in international admissions to cross-cultural understanding and diplomacy” as she interacts with various local partners, MU alums and prospective students and parents.

Patricia N. Smith, managing editor, The Global Journalist

Patricia Smith has been the managing editor of the quarterly magazine Global Journalist for eight years, and serves as the editor and director of the Global Journalist website. The hard copy quarterly is circulated in more than 120 countries throughout the world to editors, publishers and leading journalists. The online version is available wherever the Internet exists and contains not only material from the hard copy edition but also fresh material about the news business throughout the world that is updated weekly. In his nomination letter, MU professor Stuart H. Loory explains that Smith “carries out her work by co-teaching a class each semester (summer included) in which students produce the magazine and website. Consequently, her internationalization work stretches in two directions. First, she plays a key role in making the university known worldwide as a force in international journalism. Second, she introduces students to the need for thorough, responsible, truthful journalism in all nations and helps to cultivate in those students the need and desire to reach out to other countries.” Among her many additional areas of international service, Smith also directed and taught the School of Journalism’s London program in summer 2006, and is currently co-chair of the North American Committee of the International Press Institute and a member of the international board of directors of the IPI. She also works closely with the leaders of the InterAmerican Press Association and the World Association of Newspapers.

International scholar — Outstanding faculty contribution

Rangira (Béa) Gallimore, associate professor, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures

Dr. Béa Gallimore was nominated for this award by her department chair, Dr. Flore Zephir. In her nomination letter, Zephir cites the numerous international initiatives in which Gallimore has been involved, her unwavering commitment to internationalizing our campus and the benefits of her initiatives to MU faculty and students. According to Zephir, Gallimore can be credited for having built the Francophone area studies in her department, as well as the accompanying library collection in her field. The African Francophone specialization has attracted several graduate students from Congo, Senegal and the Ivory Coast. In 2002, Gallimore established a second area of academic expertise in genocide studies. Subsequently, she published several articles about gender and genocide, and about women and conflict, and co-edited a book of articles on the Rwandan genocide, published in 2005. In 2006, she started working on another book project on the testimonies of female genocide survivors, thanks to grant from the Rwandan Ministry of Higher Education. She was able to spend six months in residency at the Institut des Recherches Scientifiques et Technologiques (lRST) in Rwanda, during which time she networked with Rwandan researchers, officials and colleagues from other international universities to facilitate their visits to MU. Building on this expertise, she created new courses about testimonial writings and has also developed a summer study abroad program in interdisciplinary genocide studies. As a follow up to the 2009 study abroad program, she helped three MU students find internships at organizations in Rwanda.

Outstanding student contribution

  • Ta Boonseng
  • Sampath Devaram
  • Daniel Huaco
  • Na Yang

Outstanding staff contribution

  • Seungwon You
  • Yuyan Zhang

International scholar — Outstanding faculty contribution

  • David Ledoux
  • Steve Osterlind
  • Corinne Valdivia