2012-2013 Global Citizenship Award Recipients
The International Programs Staff would like to congratulate the following 2012-2013 Global Citizenship Award recipients! These members of the UST community are recognized for their commitment to international and intercultural awareness, their contributions towards an improved climate on campus for people of other cultures, and the connections they make between this university and the world. Thank you to everyone who nominated someone for this award and to every member of the UST community who is committed to global issues and understanding. The awards were presented at the annual GMSA International Dinner held on Saturday, April 13, 2013.
Undergraduate student award: Mathew Vicknair
Mathew Vicknair is a senior at UST and the current president of the Globally Minded Student Association. During his time here, he has been actively involved with the international population on campus. He helped initiate the Global Conflicts Seminar Program, engaged in planning events like CultureFest and the International Dinner, and acted as an international mentor for three semesters. He played an integral part in planning co-sponsored GMSA events, partnering with the Muslim Student Association, the Geography Club, the Sociology Club, and the Criminal Justice Club. He has also been a global advocate off campus. He interned at the International Institute of Minnesota, presented a poster at the Midwest Sociological Society on female self-sufficiency in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has co-authored a book about the experiences and effects of global immigration, served as a Citizenship of the World counselor for Boy Scouts of America, and overall has visited 25 countries outside of the US.
Undergraduate faculty award: Dr. Adil Ozdemir, Theology
Adil Ozdemir is originally from Turkey, where he taught Quranic and Arabic studies for 26 years at the Dokuz Eylul University. There are many in the UST community who hope that, aside from his J-Term course in Turkey, he never goes home. His courses on Islam, both on campus and abroad, are incredibly popular. Dr. Ozdemir’s nominator wrote, “I have heard from many international students how Dr. Ozdemir conducts his Islam course and it is one of the best examples of international and intercultural awareness on campus. He is constantly breaking down stereotypes surrounding Islam and its followers.” As well as teaching theology courses on Islam, Dr. Ozdemir is the advisor for the Muslim Student Association and the co-director of the Muslim-Christian Dialogue Center, which collaborates with Muslim and Christian scholars and theologians locally and globally in addressing the differences and similarities between the two faith traditions.
Graduate faculty award: Dr. Len Jennings, Graduate School of Professional Psychology
Dr. Len Jennings teaches a J-Term course in Singapore titled “Diversity in Counseling,” which is the only study abroad course available to graduate students in that field. As one of his nominators stated, “Dr. Len Jennings embodies multicultural competence as a clinician, professor, and a human being. He is an amazing resource for learning how to work cross-culturally and how to navigate the difficult questions and issues that come up in the process.” He does not limit his intercultural content to his Singapore course but strives to bring a global perspective to all of his courses and consequently to all UST graduate students and to the next generation of professionals in his field. The award committee was impressed not only by the sheer amount of work that Dr. Jennings has put into globalizing his curriculum but also by the open admiration and enthusiasm of the people who nominated him, which clearly demonstrates that he has passed on to them his passion for diversity and intercultural understanding.
Staff award: Center for Writing—Dr. Susan Callaway, Director
Since 2003, under the direction of Dr. Susan Callaway, the UST Center for Writing has engaged in a number of intercultural initiatives. The peer consulting course now requires training on cultural identity, issues that immigrant and international populations face, and the challenges of learning the English language. The peer writing consultant prep course includes a service learning component, partnering with Wellstone International High School, Higher Ground Academy, Hmong College Preparatory Academy, and Abraham Lincoln High School. In addition, the Center for Writing staff actively collaborates with the ELS Language Center, the international student advisors in Academic Counseling, and other faculty at UST who are involved with the international population on campus. In the words of Dr. Callaway, “We have come to understand that multilingual immigrant students and international students face complex academic and personal challenges at UST.” With her vision, and with the support of her staff, the Center for Writing now has an ESL Squad and an alert system that enables a network of concerned and skillful parties to meet the needs of culturally diverse students on campus.
The University of St. Thomas Global Citizenship Award honors a member(s) of the St. Thomas community whose personal or professional work brings the concept of global citizenship to their department, classroom, residence hall or student club. The award is open to all faculty (including adjunct), students and staff. A nomination form can be downloaded here. Nominations are no longer being accepted for the Global Citizenship Award 2012-2013.
For more information call the International Education Center, (651) 962-6450, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.