The Office of International Education honored seven UGA faculty and staff members at its annual International Education Awards Reception April 7 at the State Botanical Garden.
The annual event honors faculty and staff who have made outstanding contributions to the university’s internationalization through instruction, research and service.
Two UGA faculty were awarded the Richard F. Reiff Internationalization Award this year: Rose Chepyator-Thomson, a professor of kinesiology in the College of Education, and Jessica Kissinger, a professor of genetics in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and director of the Institute of Bioinformatics. The Reiff Award honors tenured or tenure-track faculty members for major contributions to the overall internationalization of UGA.
Chepyator-Thomson’s teaching, research and service activities illustrate her passion for internationalizing the university. She founded and directs the annual Global Education Forum, hosted by UGA. Now in its 10th year, the conference attracts internationally renowned scholars to UGA and brings together faculty and students across disciplines and cultures to focus on a scholarly theme based in diversity and global development.
Kissinger, who was instrumental in establishing the Institute of Bioinformatics at UGA, has developed a network of international research and training programs to the benefit of students at UGA and abroad. In addition to collaborating on a massive genomics database, EuPathDB, with researchers in the U.S., U.K., Brazil and other countries, Kissinger has held training workshops abroad for STEM-focused graduate students in 15 countries, including Brazil, Canada, China, India, Morocco, Nigeria, Portugal and Taiwan. She also brings doctoral students to the U.S. for formal training in her lab to assist them in their research goals. Frequently these goals include training in state-of-the-art techniques to address specific health issues in the students’ native countries.
Nathaniel Kohn received OIE’s Study Abroad Award, which honors faculty or staff members who have made significant contributions to the university’s study abroad efforts. A professor in the entertainment and media department of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, Kohn also is the associate director of the Peabody Awards.
SunKoo Yuh received the Mary Ann Kelly Open Arms Award, which honors UGA faculty or staff who have gone above and beyond their formal duties in facilitating the presence of international students and/or scholars at UGA. Yuh is a ceramics professor in the Lamar Dodd School of Art.
An internationally recognized artist, Yuh fulfills an unofficial role as artistic and cultural ambassador of Korea to the School of Art and UGA. He has recruited many top students from Korea to Lamar Dodd’s undergraduate and graduate art programs and created an opportunity for UGA students to visit Korea. In addition, Yuh has been instrumental in plans to bring Korean students, scholars and artists to UGA’s residential center in Cortona, Italy.
Three additional awards were presented to those in the UGA community making major contributions to the programs housed in UGA’s international residential centers.
UGA Costa Rica presented its Costa Rica Adelante Award to Ron Pegg, a professor in the food science and technology department in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. UGA at Oxford presented its Friends of UGA at Oxford Award to Paul D. Welch, director of undergraduate student services in the School of Public and International Affairs. UGA Cortona, Italy, presented its Dedicato a Cortona Award to Alex Murawski, a professor of graphic design in the Lamar Dodd School of Art.