Texas Tech University

Office of International Affairs Presents Global Vision Awards

George Watson

April 23, 2021


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

Individuals and groups dedicated to the globalization and international reach of Texas Tech University and higher education in general were recognized Thursday (April 22) for their efforts during the 2021 Global Vision Awards at the International Cultural Center.

Established in 2003 by the Office of International Affairs (OIA), the Global Vision Awards recognize the generosity and continued support of the university's efforts to expand its global footprint and its work to promote higher education on an international scale.

Sukant Misra
Sukant Misra

“Texas Tech University is committed to educating students who are world-ready – able to navigate the complexities of both their professional and personal lives with global awareness and global competency,” said Sukant Misra, vice provost for International Affairs. “It is a great honor to host the Global Vision Awards and recognize the extraordinary efforts of colleagues who promote global engagement and provide important opportunities to enrich the experiences of both domestic and international students, faculty, staff and Lubbock community members.”

Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec recognized this year's Global Citizen Award winner, Peter McPherson, who is the president of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU). The APLU represents 244 public research universities, land-grant institutions and state university systems, including 13 universities in Canada and Mexico.  

From 1993 to 2004, McPherson served as president of Michigan State University, leading a campaign that tripled the number of students studying abroad. He is a former administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development. McPherson served as keynote speaker for the awards ceremony.

The ceremony also recognized faculty who led a study abroad program in 2020; international scholars who study, do research and share intellectual inquiries at Texas Tech.

“I would like to extend my congratulations to this year's honorees, who have greatly increased our internationalization efforts through their work and leadership, as we continue to expand the university's global footprint,” Schovanec said. “I also am grateful to Peter McPherson for his remarks, and also for his strong leadership and positioning of public institutions of higher education at the national level.”

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.

“We are very proud of all the award winners,” said Michael Galyean, Texas Tech provost. “Great public universities always strive to be engaged in the global conversation, and Texas Tech is at the forefront of international engagement and providing a global context for our students. These awards reflect the commitment of Texas Tech to making the world a better place through the effort of our students, staff and faculty.”

Student International Research Award 

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

Shan Wong, a doctoral student in the Department of Plant and Soil Science, housed within the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources (CASNR), received the award for research into the mycorrhizal preference and specificity of wild Vanilla species in Costa Rica, which are not fully understood. By understanding the mycorrhizal interaction, growers can continue to emphasize conservation management of ecological requirements of the wild Vanilla species in Costa Rica.

The  2021 Student International Research Award recognizes international scholarship by a graduate student at Texas Tech University, based on an annual research poster competition overseen by the Graduate School. This year's award is going to SHAN WONG, a doctoral candidate in Plant and Soil Science.  Shan's research concerned the mycorrhizal preference and specificity of wild Vanilla species in Costa Rica, which are poorly understood at this time. Understanding the mycorrhizal interaction will further emphasize conservation management of ecological requirements of wild Vanilla species in Costa Rica.

Global Vision Lifetime Achievement Award

Tibor Nag
Tibor Nag

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.

Tibor Nagy, the former vice provost for International Affairs, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs and former Ambassador to Guinea and Ethiopia, is this year's Global Vision Lifetime Achievement Award winner. A native of Hungary, Nagy was forced to flee his home as a child for the U.S. He earned his bachelor's degree from Texas Tech in 1972 and a master's degree from George Washington University in 1978.

While serving as the vice provost for International Affairs at Texas Tech, he made significant contributions to greatly increase the number of Texas Tech students who studied abroad, overseeing the development of a project with the Ambassadors Forum, which brings former U.S. Ambassadors to campus and the community each year. He also played a key role in bringing the first group to Lubbock under the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, a flagship program of the Young African Leaders Institute.

His contribution to internationalization of higher education through university partnerships with the U.S. Department of State and public-private partnerships have included new steps and research with Ethiopia, Nigeria and other African nations. Nagy has received numerous awards, including the Department of State's Superior Honor award and five Meritorious Honor awards, as well as being named runner-up for the prestigious Deputy Chief of Mission of the Year award.

The runner-up for this year's award is Al Sacco Jr., dean of the Edward E Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering. Now in his 10th year leading the college, Sacco has served as a genuine and visionary leader, caring professor, distinguished researcher and devoted teacher. As a chemical engineer, he served as a board member for the ChemE professional society, and more importantly, served as a payload specialist during mission STS-73 aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1995. His experiences show the potential of what mankind can do to impact the world.

Global Engagement Community Award

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

Mark Charney, director of the School of Theatre & Dance in the J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts, received this award in recognition of his efforts to promote visual arts around the globe.  

In addition to his duties at Texas Tech, Charney serves as the artistic director for the International Schools of Southeast Asia, and he helps coordinate opportunities to take Texas Tech students to workshops, view plays and learn the culture of the American University of Sharjah International Festival. He helped establish partnerships with Bilkent University in Turkey, the Academy of Performing Arts in Hong Kong and has built relationships throughout Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia.

Charney also helps bring international students to the U.S. and to Lubbock as well as bringing students and guest artists to the WildWind Performance Lab. Under Charney's leadership, Texas Tech is one of only two universities in the U.S. to be invited to join the International Theatre Institute, providing learning opportunities for faculty and students.

CASNR has established itself on the world stage as one of the leading research and educational entities, and is this year's runner-up for the award. From the Department of Animal & Food Sciences' work in developing and promoting food safety and security measures in Central America, the Caribbean and Australia, to the Department of Agricultural Education & Communications' role in developing curriculum at two different Australian universities, the college is making an impact worldwide.

But that's not all. CASNR also has been highly active in Central and South America in cattle production and natural resources management, 4-H youth programs and entrepreneurial training in several communities. The college also offers Study Abroad programs in Central America, Europe, China and Africa.

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.  

Carole Edwards is this year's Haragan Award recipient for her dedication in providing her students an international experience. Since 2011, the associate professor in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Cultures in the College of Arts & Sciences has taken her students to her hometown of Reims, France, to immerse them in the country's culture through her personal connections with city administrators, chefs, artists and performers, as well as owners of local pastry ships, vineyards, cinemas and castles.

Runner-up for the Haragan Award is Eric Fried, an associate professor in the School of Music. Fried has developed a music-friendly Study Abroad course in Seville, Spain, called “Music of Spain,” where he has taught for 16 sessions/semesters. He has developed an immersive educational tour of Seville's historic Jewish Quarter and provides unique, site-specific opportunities for students, including local tours and exploring musical sites studied in the course as well as late-night concerts in the historic gardens of the Royal Palace.

Faculty International Scholarship Award

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

This year's winner is Joe Hodes, an assistant professor of international studies in the Honors College. Hodes develops an understanding of the intersection of history and religion with the political forces that drive them. He has led two successful study abroad programs in Seville, Spain and has spent time at Texas Tech conducting international research in England, Israel and India and utilizing the archives at the United Nations.

His first book, “From India to Israel: Identity, Immigration and the Struggle for Religious Equality,” presents a detailed look at how one immigrant community fought to maintain its place within a religion and a society. It received the Canadian Jewish Literary Award. His second book currently in the works is entitled “Partition the Creation of India and Israel, Pakistan and Palestine.” He has taught courses for the Honors College and received numerous teaching awards.

Celine Godard-Codding is the associate chair and professor in biochemical and mechanistic toxicology and endangered species toxicology in the Department of Environmental Toxicology within The Institute of Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH), is the runner-up for this award. Through her work, she has established international collaborative research programs in Russia, Mexico, Canada and Italy, and her current research on critically endangered Russian Western gray whales has generated more than $1 million in research monies awarded to Texas Tech.

Godard-Codding's research in Mexico over the last six seasons has generated numerous publications, oral presentations, poster presentations at international scientific conferences, internships and support for graduate students. She also heads an endangered shark research program that, in the last two years, has generated internships and research projects for graduate and undergraduate students.

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.  

This year's winner of the award is the Edward E. Whitacre College of Engineering for its efforts toward internationalization of the campus through the research and educational efforts throughout all disciplines. The college's dedication has made a tremendous difference for the students, for the campus and for the goal of global recognition of the university.

The runner-up for this year is a department that, without which, the university could not exist. As a support service unit, the Information Technology Division at Texas Tech facilitates the international goals and objectives of countless units, departments and divisions across campus. IT enables the entire campus to work toward greater campus internationalization.  

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