Texas Tech University

Office of International Affairs Hosts Global Vision Awards

Amanda Castro-Crist

April 5, 2019

Global Vision Awards

The awards honor individuals and groups who have shown a commitment to the internationalization of Texas Tech University and higher education.

Texas Tech University leaders recognized numerous individuals and groups for their commitment to globalization efforts at Texas Tech and in higher education during the annual Global Vision Awards, held Thursday (April 4) at the International Cultural Center. Established in 2003 by the Office of International Affairs (OIA), the awards show appreciation for each winner's generosity, continued support of Texas Tech's efforts to become more globally connected and their work to internationalize higher education.

"The Global Vision Awards highlight excellence in the area of international achievements by celebrating and honoring the amazing efforts of our faculty, staff and students," said Sukant Misra, vice provost for international affairs. "The nominees and the winners of the awards enhance our community and reinforce the value of global understanding and sharing of ideas, cultures and academic expertise."

At the ceremony, Misra was surprised with the Global Visionary Award, presented to him by Provost Michael Gaylean.

Michael Galyean, Sukant Misra, Lawrence Schovanec
Michael Galyean, Sukant Misra, Lawrence Schovanec // Photos by Javier Lopez

"In 2014, the university leadership recognized that our international footprint was expanding and needed to continue to grow exponentially," Galyean said. "We wanted to create a broader engagement across the campus and the globe and to provide a more seamless international experience for our community here in Lubbock and our students who study abroad. We asked Dr. Sukant Misra to help lead that charge to strengthen and build a vibrant community of service and practice.

"He has met and surpassed all expectations. Perhaps one of Sukant's most significant contributions to the global vision and footprint for Texas Tech has been his tireless commitment to the successful launch of our Costa Rica campus. He took the initial phone call that served as the knocking of opportunity and answered that call with dedication, diligence, leadership and a vision."

Under Misra's guidance, the number of international students attending Texas Tech has steadily risen; international research under the OIA has brought more than $5 million in research awards and, in 2018, submitted proposals in excess of $10.5 million; and the university has been awarded two internationalization awards from NAFSA: Association of International Educators, including the Sen. Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization and a Spotlight Award for the OIA's K-12 programming.

"Dr. Misra's commitment to internationalization through the recruitment of students and providing opportunities for current students to experience global education opportunities is deserving of this recognition," said President Lawrence Schovanec. "We are proud of his work and thank him for his contributions, the effects of which will impact the university and our students for many years to come."

Sukant Misra, Monatague Demment, Michael Galyean
Misra, Monatague Demment, Galyean

Following the ceremony, Montague Demment, vice president for International Programs at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, served as keynote speaker for the awards dinner and received Texas Tech's 2019 Global Citizen Award for his extraordinary commitment to the internationalization of higher education.

Also recognized at the ceremony were all faculty who led a study abroad program in 2018; international scholars who study, do research and share intellectual inquiries at Texas Tech; and the first cohort of Global Academic Achievement Scholarship students. The scholarship was introduced at the 2018 award ceremony with the support of offices and the colleges across the university for incoming, high-achieving international students.

Below is the list of Global Vision Award winners. Each winner and runner-up received an award and a cash prize made possible by the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Winners are chosen by a subcommittee of the International Affairs Council, which includes representatives from each college and several administrative units.


Global Vision Lifetime Achievement Award

The 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.

Kishor Mehta, Horn Professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental & Construction Engineering in the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering, received this award in recognition of his work at Texas Tech and beyond in wind science and engineering. Mehta brings interdisciplinary thought to the classroom and research environments, with work that underscores his belief in the inclusion of diverse national and international partners in the work towards solutions of the grand challenges that face our nation and the globe.

In 2004, Mehta was the first individual at Texas Tech elected to the National Academy of Engineers. He also is a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, was named Engineer of the Year by the South Plains Chapter of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers and, in 2017, was elected to the National Academy of Inventors for his contributions to the development of novel building structures that have enhanced resilience to the impact of potentially damaging wind. His work has broad implications and has been adopted worldwide, particularly in those environments that have seasonal storms that often bring tornadoes, hurricanes and typhoons.

Mehta served as principal investigator (P.I.) of the steering committee to formulate the Enhanced Fujita (EF) Scale that was implemented operationally by the National Weather Service in 2007 and adopted by Canada, Japan and France. Also in 2007, Mehta was P.I. of a one-of-a-kind, interdisciplinary doctoral degree curriculum in Wind Science and Engineering approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board that has since graduated 30 students who have entered industry and academia in the U.S. and abroad.

David Weindorf, a professor and the B.L. Allen Endowed Chair of Pedology in the Department of Plant and Soil Science in the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources and associate vice president in the Office of Research & Innovation, was recognized as the first runner-up for this award. Weindorf has averaged 11 publications per year over the past half-decade in top international journals, with almost 1,800 citations of his work.

As a Fulbright Scholar to Eastern Europe earlier in his career, Weindorf collaborated with research teams in Africa, South America, Europe, Asia and across North America. Those collaborations have led to impactful research published in the best soil science journals in the world. Weindorf also invites foreign scientists to Texas Tech to study in his laboratory and work with his research team, and has taken numerous Texas Tech students abroad, engaging them in his research, giving them international experience and propelling them to their first peer-reviewed research publications.


Student International Research Award

The Student International Research Award recognizes international scholarship by a graduate student and is based on the annual Graduate Schoolposter competition.

Grace Hyunjung Lee, a graduate student in Nutritional Sciences, received the award for her research and cross-sectional study conducted in the Somali region of Ethiopia. The research focused on child malnutrition and the relationship to household food insecurity, poor hygiene conditions, lack of dietary diversity and the employment status of children's mothers. Her work points to the need for an integrated approach between sectors such as nutrition, health, water sanitation and hygiene and food security.

Pablo Hernandez Borges, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science, was recognized as the first runner-up for his research "Playing the Musical Chairs: A case study of corruption and cabinet rotation in Venezuela." The research examines the relationship of the high rotation of government ministers, a larger gross domestic product and the party in power running counter to the stability of the executive branch in government while at the same time increasing the level of governmental corruption.

Global Engagement Community Award

The Global Engagement Award recognizes an individual or group that has made significant contributions to international understanding and engagement in the greater Lubbock community.

Stephanie Shine, an instructor and Early Childhood Program adviser in Human Development and Family Studies in the College of Human Sciences, received the award for developing, sustaining and growing international and cultural exchanges while enhancing the breadth of knowledge and evidence-based scholarship for exemplary early childhood experiences for all children. She has worked tirelessly and enthusiastically with colleagues in Ethiopia and has facilitated international collaborations by inviting graduate students and other Lubbock educators to travel with her to Ethiopia.

Shine was instrumental in bringing a delegation of educators from Ethiopia to Texas Tech, a visit which included observations of the Child Development and Research Center and meetings with early childhood teachers at Texas Tech. She developed a significant training course and developed research measures and data that has been collected in Ethiopia to scale up for grant funding to implement training for the entire country

Sowoon Arts and Heritage was recognized as the first runner-up for this award for the organization's tireless work to bring highly regarded performers and artists to the Lubbock area and the Texas Tech campus.

Since 2013, the annual International Arts & Culture Symposium on the Texas Tech campus has included not only performances and demonstrations from world-renowned Korean artists, but also integrated music, dance and lectures from other cultures and regions of the world that complemented and fostered the cultural exchange among participants and audience. The educational exchange value is integrated in a creative, welcoming and open way that promotes respect and furthers interest and provides creative options for K-12 teachers who are searching for ways to enhance their curriculum and engage their students in active learning.


Donald R. Haragan Study Abroad Award

The Donald R. Haragan Study Abroad Award recognizes the development and implementation of study abroad programs that support Texas Tech's commitment to providing high-quality international education opportunities.

Deborah Fowler, a professor and director of the Retail Management Program and associate chairperson in Hospitality and Retail Management in the College of Human Sciences, received this award for bringing international diversity to study abroad programs. Fowler has taken students abroad for more than a decade, organizing trips to Thailand, Hong Kong, Paris, Madrid, London, Barcelona, Edinburgh, Manchester and Taipei. She plans to take students to London this year and Hong Kong and Seoul in 2020.

The trips include visits to historical sites, museums and tourist attractions, along with meetings and behind-the-scene tours with retailers and hoteliers. Students are required to keep a daily journal and submit a video upon returning summarizing the experience. The videos are posted online to help promote the study abroad programs.

Rula Al-Hmoud, an instructor in Arabic Language & Area Studies in Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures, was recognized as the runner-up for this award for her passion for her culture and her dedication to helping shape the diverse study abroad opportunities for Texas Tech students. In addition to directing and teaching within the Arabic program, Al-Hmoud is the founder and director of Texas Tech's study abroad program in Amman, Jordan; founder of a study abroad program to Spain and Morocco to study Arabic; founder and adviser of the Arabic Language Student Organization and co-founder of the Arabic Club of Texas Tech University.


Faculty International Scholarship Award

The award recognizes a tenure-track faculty member for excellence and sustained international scholarship.

Gad Perry, a professor of conservation biology in the Department of Natural Resources Management and the senior director for International Research and Development in the OIA, received this award for his role enhancing the international reach of Texas Tech. Perry has taken students to Ethiopia twice, as well as Zimbabwe and Costa Rica, and has maintained a long-term research presence in the British Virgin Islands, resulting in Texas Tech students coauthoring more than a dozen peer-reviewed papers.

He has been named a Jefferson Science Fellow with the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine and, later this month, will depart to Washington, D.C., to begin working directly with the United States Agency for International Development for the next year, and as an expert for the U.S. Department of State for the next 5 years.

Danny Reible, a professor of chemical engineering in the Department of Civil, Environmental & Construction Engineering is the runner-up for this award for his accomplishments in international scholarship. Reible is a Horn Professor, the university's highest faculty honor, and the Donovan Maddox Distinguished Engineering Chair.

Reible has amassed an impressive body of scholarly work in the domains of contaminant transport and water-energy nexus, both of which are assuming more than significant importance in international discussions. He was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering, the highest honor in the field of engineering in the U.S. and his work has gained recognition internationally in leading university circles, including Tsinghua University in China, the University of Guadalajara, the University of Bologna, Cambridge University and the University of Sydney.


Campus Internationalization Award

The Campus Internationalization Award recognizes a college, department or office within the Texas Tech University System that has made significant contributions toward internationalization.

The College of Architecture (CoA) received this award for its internationalization efforts benefitting the college, university and students. The CoA engages in international study abroad programs through summer design studios, the graduate spring international studio and the new semester-long program in Seville, Spain. Students have opportunities to engage and learn from cities like Paris, Seoul, Shanghai, Valparaiso, Montreal and Singapore, and the number of international faculty has doubled over the past three years. The CoA supports international graduate travel by subsidizing travel expenses to provide an immersive experience without the burden of financial hardship. Travel to places like Brazil and Ecuador allows students to experience an in-depth analysis of the city that contributes directly to their design proposals and program requirements.

Globalization efforts also include an expanded lecture series that includes international architecture educators and practitioners; international symposia and conferences that address issues of internationalization, like the recent "Porous Borders" Conference in El Paso and Ciudad Juarez; the Land Arts program, which includes constant engagement with European and South American students; and a new exchange program with Dongseo University in Busan, South Korea, launching in fall 2019.

Texas Tech University's K-12 Program (TTU K-12), part of eLearning & Academic Partnerships, was recognized as the first runner-up for this award for their work on campus internationalization. TTU K-12 is a complete online school district, offering quality, accredited education through Texas Tech elementary, middle and high schools with full-time students who complete the state requirements and earn a Texas high school diploma upon graduation. They also offer supplemental courses for students in public or private schools, as well as bulk testing options for school districts.

Over the past two years, the program has increased Texas Tech's presence in Brazil, Vietnam and China with signed partnerships that include 27 new schools in Brazil with more than 600 students. TTU K-12 has signed a partnership with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, with a school in Danang, Vietnam, to use the K-12 program exclusively for grades 1-10, and they expect to see their first graduates from Vietnam in the coming two years. TTU K-12 also hosts a summer camp for Brazilian students to come to Lubbock and the Outdoor School at Texas Tech University in Junction, and has hosted delegations from Brazil, China, Vietnam, Mexico and Haiti.

For more information about the Global Vision Awards, visit the office's website.