Penn State Global announces 2021-22 awards for engagement

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.— Penn State Global has announced the 2021-22 recipients of its annual awards that recognize the outstanding contributions of individuals and academic programs at Penn State who have helped to advance the University’s global engagement goals.

“There is extraordinary international work ongoing every day at Penn State as part of our mission. Being a globally engaged land-grant university offers opportunity to all our faculty, staff and students, and all three constituencies are prominent in our global awards for 2022,” said Roger Brindley, vice provost for Global. “This year we were delighted to receive a record 67 nominations, resulting in a highly competitive selection process. While we are proud of our award winners, we recognize they represent excellence across the whole institution.”

Recipients were honored at an awards ceremony in Robb Hall in the Hintz Alumni Center on Wednesday, March 23. Executive Vice President and Provost Nicholas P. Jones spoke at the event on the importance of Global to the mission of the University.

“I can’t emphasize enough Penn State’s commitment to global learning and intercultural competence,” Jones said in his speech. “We view all strategic plans and priorities through a global lens.”

Advancing a Global Penn State Awards

The purpose of the Advancing a Global Penn State Awards program is to recognize the outstanding contributions of individuals and academic units across the University, including at the Commonwealth Campuses, who have demonstrated success toward achieving the goals of a Global Penn State.

The awards and recipients are as follows:

The Outstanding International Research Award recognizes innovative research projects and initiatives that can be shown to be advancing progress toward one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

This year’s winners were Muzi Na, Broadhurst Career Development Professor for the Study of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and assistant professor of nutritional epidemiology​, and Stephen Kodish, assistant professor of biobehavioral health and nutritional sciences and Ann Atherton Hertzler Early Career Professor in Nutrition​, both in the College of Health and Human Development, for their work in nutritional research to improve the lives of people in low- and middle-income countries.

The Outstanding Program Award recognizes an innovative program at the University that has advanced the vision of a Global Penn State in the midst of a global health crisis. In these most extraordinary of times, this award recognizes a Penn State program that was agile and adaptable, and yet robust enough to be innovative and forward thinking.

This year’s award was given to the WEF-Colombia program, led by Siela Maximova, research professor of plant biotechnology, in the College of Agricultural Sciences. Penn State has been working with Colombian partners in the area of Water, Energy, and Food for years, and this past year has seen the partnerships flourish, with a co-sponsored Fulbright event and a visit from a delegation from UTADEO to the University Park campus.

The Unsung Hero Staff Award recognizes an exemplary member of staff or an outstanding team of staff that consistently provide excellent support and leadership for global success at Penn State. These nominees will have conducted their work with excellence over an extended period of time and are known for ‘doing whatever it takes’ to ensure academic and/or research success for students, staff or faculty.

This year’s winner is Ann Stone, administrative coordinator in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

The Global Learning Instructor Award recognizes innovative teaching pedagogies used by outstanding faculty at the teaching/instructor rank when teaching global/international content with excellence.

This year’s winner is Kristin Sznajder, assistant professor, in the College of Medicine.

The Early Career Faculty Award recognizes innovative international research projects, excellence in global scholarship, or curricular and experiential leadership surrounding global learning for a tenure-earning faculty member at Penn State.

This year’s winner is Yubraj Acharya, assistant professor of health policy and administration, in the College of Health and Human Development.

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has consistently demonstrated exceptional achievement towards furthering the global vision of Penn State across their career at the university.

This year’s winner is William Rothwell, professor of workforce education, in the College of Education.

I can’t emphasize enough Penn State’s commitment to global learning and intercultural competence. We view all strategic plans and priorities through a global lens.

—Nicholas P. Jones , executive vice president and provost, Penn State

Ardeth and Norman Frisbey International Student Awards

These awards honor and recognize outstanding contributions to international understanding by graduate/undergraduate international students (holding non-immigrant status) enrolled in full-time resident instruction or its equivalent. Winners are chosen in four categories, four of which are announced at the Penn State Global Awards and two of which will be announced at the University-wide awards ceremony in April. The categories and winners for this year for the two Penn State Global awardees are listed below:

  • Graduate Leadership — Yuanheng Wang (applied linguistics, College of the Liberal Arts)
  • Undergraduate Leadership — Hamza Al Aufi (economics, College of the Liberal Arts)