The awards honor individuals and groups who have shown a commitment to the internationalization of Texas Tech University.
The Texas Tech University Office of International Affairs has recognized 11 individuals and groups for their commitment to the university's globalization efforts during the annual Global Vision Awards.
"The winners of the Global Vision Awards were recognized for their outstanding contributions in 2016 to the comprehensive internationalization vision of Texas Tech University,” said Sukant Misra, associate vice provost for international programs. "This year's award winners are the epitome of academic excellence.”
The awards were announced by Misra and Ambassador and Vice Provost for International Affairs Tibor Nagy and presented by Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec and Provost Michael Galyean. Schovanec and Gaylean each gave brief remarks congratulating the winners.
The Global Vision Awards originated in 2003 to show appreciation for each winner's generosity and continued support of Texas Tech's work towards becoming more globally connected and have expanded year by year as the university's global engagement has grown significantly. The ceremony is a part of International Week, a weeklong celebration of different cultures from around the world. Award winners are chosen by a subcommittee of the International Affairs Council, which includes representatives from each college and several administrative units.
Those recognized are:
Student International Research Award
Keelyn Hanlon, a master's student in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences, received the Student International Research award for the second straight year. Hanlon's poster on food safety research 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. The award recognizes international scholarship by a graduate student at Texas Tech and is based on the Graduate Schoolposter competition that took place March 24.
Global Engagement Community Award
Jose S. Ramirez Elementary School received the Global Engagement Award, which recognizes an individual or group that has made significant contributions to international understanding and engagement in the greater Lubbock community. The school opened as a magnet school for math and science in 1987 and has now been designated an International Baccalaureate World School that provides a dual-language immersion program in Spanish. The goal is to "develop global citizens by integrating culture, communication and leadership skills” into its curriculum.
The Texas Tech Climate Science Center was recognized as the first runner-up for the award. The center prides itself on its ability to "engage and collaborate with people of various ages, nationalities, cultures, disciplines and affinities” and conducts community outreach through programs like Science by the Glass, Community Day events and the CSC Community blog. They also are making an important impact in shaping global-level policies in climate science.
Donald R. Haragan Study Abroad Award
Idoia Elola, associate professor of Spanish, received the Donald R. Haragan Study Abroad Award, which recognizes the development and implementation of study abroad programs that support Texas Tech's commitment to providing high-quality international education opportunities. Elola has been the director of the Spanish program at the Texas Tech campus in Seville, Spain, since 2005 and has worked to improve the Seville curriculum to maintain high academic standards while increasing students' cultural awareness as they study abroad.
The College of Media and Communication's Coy Callison, associate dean for undergraduate studies, and Trent Seltzer, assistant dean for graduate affairs – public relations, were recognized as the first runner-up for the award. Callison and Seltzer lead the study abroad program, "Global Issues Management: Renewable Energy Issues in Texas and Germany.” The 16-day program provides an international experience in Berlin and an opportunity to work with local communication firms on real-world projects, culminating in the delivery of professional presentations to the companies.
Faculty International Scholarship Award
Michael Farmer, an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics and the Department of Natural Resource Management, received the Faculty International Scholarship Award. The award recognizes a tenure-track faculty member for excellence and sustained international scholarship. Farmer began a career involved in international matters volunteering in various African countries in the 1970s. He has completed consulting work in China and Turkey and has traveled to Malaysia to work with other Texas Tech and local researchers. He was recently awarded a Fulbright fellowship to continue his work in Malaysia.
Kent Wilkinson, the Thomas Jay Harris Regents Professor in Hispanic and International Communication in Media & Communication and the director of the Thomas Jay Harris Institute for Hispanic and International Communication, was recognized as the first runner-up for the award. His research focuses primarily on domestic and international Spanish-language media, and he recently completed a Fulbright Fellowship teaching in Chile. He authored "Spanish-Language Television in the United States: Fifty Years of Development,” which received the 2017 President's Faculty Book Award.
Global Vision Lifetime Achievement Award
Michael San Francisco is the dean of the Honors College, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, an adjunct professor in the Department of Immunology and Molecular Microbiology at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, the director of the Clark Scholars Program and a special adviser to the Vice President for Research. San Francisco was awarded the Global Vision Lifetime Achievement Award, which 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. In addition to being a leader and mentor to students and faculty, San Francisco's teaching and research share a global perspective, and he is known for encouraging students to embrace a global vision in their education.
Kishor Mehta, the P.W. Horn Professor of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering, also is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Mehta was recognized as the first runner-up for the award for his work in wind science and engineering, which has brought international recognition to the university. He helped develop a program that is internationally respected and has resulted in collaborations and opportunities to host national and international conferences.
Campus Internationalization Award
The Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures department was named the winner of the Campus Internationalization Award, which recognizes a college, department or office within the Texas Tech University System that has made significant contributions toward internationalization. The department includes faculty from 14 different countries, graduate students from more than 20 countries and offers classes in 11 different languages and five graduate language degrees. Students study a range of topics, including language, culture and history and can participate in faculty-led study abroad in five countries.
The International Center for Food Industry Excellence was recognized as the first runner-up for the award. The center was established 17 years ago as a collaboration between the College of Human Sciences and the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources and includes research and training programs in 10 countries. The work focuses on issues like food security and economic development and leads four study abroad programs on three continents. The center recently launched an online graduate certificate program in Global Food Security and is in the process of creating a master's degree track in the same program.
Each of the winners and runners-up received an award and a cash prize. Others honored at the ceremony included J-1 Scholars, who were recognized for their distinguished academic achievement as visiting international scholars at Texas Tech, and faculty who led study abroad programs in 2016.
For more information about the Global Vision Awards, International Week or the Office of International Affairs, visit the office's website.