Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Office of International Education honored eight UGA faculty and staff members at its annual International Education Awards Reception, held on April 8 at the Garden Club of Georgia.
The annual event honors individuals, faculty and staff who have made outstanding contributions to the university’s internationalization. It honors those who advance international education through instruction, research and service through administrative and logistical support.
The 2015 honorees and their recognitions are listed below.
William Kisaalita, a biological and mechanical engineering professor in UGA’s College of Engineering, received the Richard Reiff Internationalization Award. Since 1990 Kisaalita has been regularly taking groups of students to Uganda, Burkina Faso, Morocco, Tanzania and South Africa as part of engineering design and service-learning and research projects focused on finding solutions to real world problems. UGA undergraduate students worked side by side with local students to develop a solar powered avian incubator and a hand-operated butter fat separator.
Most recently, Kisaalita and his students developed a refrigeration unit for milk using the principle of evaporative cooling powered by biogas for farmers in rural Uganda.
Beth D. Tolley and Robert Moser received the OIE’s Study Abroad Award for their contributions in advancing UGA’s study abroad efforts.
Tolley is a clinical associate professor at the College of Education and the director of the study abroad program in Italy titled “UGA/Modena Schools: A cross cultural study abroad experience in early childhood, elementary, and middle school education.” The May semester program is focused on offering students and UGA faculty directors the opportunity to work with preschool, elementary and middle school students and teachers in Modena, Italy. Tolley is credited with single-handedly building and running this program, which provides UGA education students a signature study abroad experience in Modena. Focused around Reggio Emilia, the world-famous early childhood education program, the program gives students the opportunity to visit Reggio Emilia schools and gain immersion in Italian culture through home stays.
Moser is an associate professor of Portuguese, Brazilian and Lusophone African literature and culture at UGA. He is also the director of the Portuguese Flagship Program. Funded by the National Security Education Program, the program has sent 35 UGA students to Brazil since it started in 2012. Students spend a year studying in their fields, reaching professional-level Portuguese proficiency as well as conducting internship activities.
Akinloye Ojo, an associate professor in the department of comparative literature, received the International Diversity Award, which recognizes a faculty or staff member who has shown dedication to promoting diversity as part of UGA’s internationalization. This includes recruiting students from underrepresented populations for study abroad; educating international students about U.S. cultural, ethnic, religious or other forms of diversity; increasing the inclusion of students with disabilities in a variety of international activities; and bringing attention to international and comparative aspects of courses or co-curricular activities devoted to diversity.
Ojo is the director of the African Studies Institute at UGA and has served as the summer director of the U.S. Department of Education Fulbright Hays Yoruba Group Project Abroad in Nigeria. He was recognized for bringing awareness of the continent of Africa and its cultures to UGA and Athens through his long-running “African Perspectives” radio show that airs weekly on WUGA-FM 91.7/97.9 FM. Through music, interviews and informational announcements, the show has brought international diversity to the campus, community and state.
Jack Pannecoucke, an assistant in UGA’s Office of the Registrar, received the Mary Ann Kelley Open Arms Award. This award honors UGA faculty or staff who have gone above and beyond their formal duties in facilitating the presence of international students and scholars at UGA. Pannecoucke has supported UGA’s international student population through his work at UGA and his affiliation with the Rotary Club and its student program. Besides assisting the students with academic administration processes, course registration and graduation, Pannecoucke has taken international students to the Rotary Club in Atlanta, where the students have had opportunities to meet with world leaders and dignitaries such as former President Jimmy Carter and 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus.
Three additional awards were presented during the ceremony. Roxanne Eberle, an associate professor in the English department, received the Friend of UGA at Oxford Award. Ben Reynolds, science May semester coordinator at the UGA Studies Abroad in Cortona, was awarded the Dedicato a Cortona Award. Spenser Simrill, a professor in the English department, received the Costa Rica Adelante Award.
About the Office of International Education
The Office of International Education supports the University of Georgia’s academic, research and outreach missions and strategic directions through the promotion of global learning experiences for students, the sponsorship and support of international students, scholars, faculty and staff, and the development of international research and instructional partnerships and collaborations. For more information, see http://international.uga.edu/.