Texas Tech University

Global Vision Awards Concludes International Week

K'Leigh Sims

April 11, 2016

Hosted by the Office of International Affairs, the awards are given to faculty, staff and students whose work helps Texas Tech become a globally connected, higher education institution.

As Texas Tech University's International Week closed, the Office of International Affairs finished the weeklong celebration with its annual Global Vision Awards, where faculty, staff and students are awarded for their efforts in helping Texas Tech to become a globally connected, higher education institution.

Tibor Nagy

Ambassador and Vice Provost for International Affairs Tibor Nagy and Associate Vice Provost for International Programs Sukant Misra, along with Texas Tech Interim President John Opperman and Provost and Senior Vice President Lawrence Schovanec, awarded seven recipients Friday evening (April 8) at the International Cultural Center for their works with the international community and engagement.

“This has been a great year for Texas Tech's global engagement,” Nagy said. “We significantly increased the number of international students and scholars on campus, the number of Texas Tech students studying abroad and international research activities. This year's Global Vision Awards highlight some of the individuals and organizations which helped make this happen, and we congratulate them all for helping promote Texas Tech around the world as a first-rate global university.”

The Global Vision Awards given were:

  • Student International Research award – Recognizes international scholarship by a graduate student at Texas Tech. The award is based on the Graduate School poster competition that took place March 25.
  • Global Engagement Community award – Recognizes an individual or group who has made significant contributions to international understanding and engagement in the greater Lubbock community.
  • Texas Tech International Alumni award – Recognizes the contribution made by international alumni. As Texas Tech welcomes international students, this award thanks students who embraced the Texas Tech community and helped introduce their home culture and customs to West Texas, then graduated and went on to do great things.
  • The Donald R. Haragan Study Abroad award – Recognizes an individual for development and implementation of study abroad programs that support Texas Tech's commitment to providing high quality international educational opportunities.
  • Faculty International Scholarship award – Recognizes a tenure-track faculty member for excellence and sustained international scholarship.
  • Global Vision Lifetime Achievement award – Recognizes an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to the internationalization of Texas Tech through his or her many years of leadership in promoting international scholarship and teaching.
  • Campus Internationalization award – Recognizes a college, department or office within the Texas Tech University System that has made significant contributions toward internationalization.

The recipients are:

  • Keelyn Hanlon, a master's student in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences, received the Student International Research award for her poster on food safety research that investigated pathogen presence in sheep and goats, small ruminants that are of particular importance within the global community as they provide both food and fiber.
  • Museum of Texas Tech University, the recipient of the Global Engagement Community award, was founded in 1929 as a cooperative venture between Texas Technological College and 47 surrounding counties. Formerly known as the West Texas Museum, it has created a special bridge between Texas Tech, the greater Lubbock community and the international community at large. The museum reaches more than 150,000 people each year through its exhibits, outreach programs and international research.
  • James Young received the Texas Tech International Alumni award for turning a taco stand he and his wife started into the well-known restaurant, Abuelo's. Young, an electrical engineering graduate student in the 1970s, noticed that many of his friends were getting engineering jobs only to be laid off because of the recession. He decided to take a risk and do something outside of electrical engineering. He and his wife rented a small taco stand on 34th Street and turned it into a restaurant called Chinese Kitchen. The work he and his wife put into the restaurant paid off in 1988 when they opened the first Abuelo's restaurant in Amarillo. Today, Abuelo's has grown into a chain of 40 restaurants stretching across 14 states and employing 3,000 people. He continues to reside in Lubbock, the city that welcomed him when he arrived as a young graduate student from Taiwan.
  • Comfort Pratt, an associate professor of bilingual education, received the Donald R. Haragan Study Abroad award for her efforts in establishing study abroad programs for Texas Tech students. One of Pratt's most innovative study abroad programs focused on the blend of Spanish and American cultural and linguistic features and traditions in the countries of the Caribbean. In 2009, Pratt recruited a group of Red Raiders to the Dominican Republic for a language-based course, which included the history of the land as well as features of their dialect of Spanish and where the influences came from.
  • Yuan Shu, an associate professor of English and comparative literature, has contributed to international academic exchange between Asia and North America, engaging in academic collaboration with partners around the nation and the world, producing scholarship with national and international implications, and lecturing and presenting at national and international conferences and institutions of higher education. Shu also co-sponsored two symposiums on transnational American studies and co-edited the volume “American Studies as Transnational Practice,” proposing a paradigm shift in American studies from transnational to transpacific. He also has been involved with international projects and lectured and presented at international conferences and universities.
  • Gary Elbow, the winner of the Global Vision Lifetime Achievement award and professor of geography in the Department of Geosciences, has gone outside of the classroom to chair Texas Tech's Fulbright Scholar committee for 12 years, serve on the Rhodes scholarship committee for three years and the National Fulbright Senior Scholar screening committee for three years. He was the recipient of two faculty Fulbright awards, the first for his research in Costa Rica and the second for his teaching in Ecuador. Elbow has dedicated his life's work to making West Texas and Texas Tech part of a larger global discourse.
  • The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) is the winner of the Campus Internationalization award. The college's diversity has grown substantively in the last 10-15 years, and today one of every five students in CASNR's graduate programs is from a foreign country. CASNR's faculty has engaged with others around the world in research, study abroad opportunities, outreach and program development. Faculty members also have sought out international grants to support their work abroad and have been rewarded with international acclaim for their efforts. To date, CASNR has four Fulbright Scholars on its faculty and has been successful in securing nine Borlaug Higher Education for Agricultural Research and Development scholars.

The Global Vision Awards were first given in 2003 and have expanded since then. The ceremony is a part of International Week, which is a weeklong celebration of different cultures from around the world.

For more information about the Global Vision Awards, International Week or the Office of International Affairs, visit the office's website.