ERIE, Pa. — Laura Gil, a senior majoring in international business, business economics and management information systems at Penn State Behrend, has been awarded the 2022 Ardeth and Norman Frisbey International Student Award for undergraduates.
The award recognizes undergraduate students who have contributed significantly to furthering international understanding. The student’s contributions could consist of academic, athletic or extracurricular campus activity and/or community involvement in school or civic group programs or service projects.
Gil is active in Penn State Behrend’s Global Ambassadors and Global Borders. She’s also worked as an international service assistant and international student orientation leader, where nominators said she helped international students in every aspect of their Penn State experience and offered a familiar face.
As a leader and founder of Global Ambassadors, Gil helped plan events in countries including China, India, Colombia and South Korea. At Global Boarders, Gil helped link international students to the Penn State community.
Gil is also an active technology teaching assistant and technology tutor. In that role, nominators said, Gil helped resolve issues remote learners were having. One area where she had an impact was finding solutions for students who were struggling to attend remote instruction synchronously from different time zones.
“Her exceptional proactive service in this regard has made the Penn State Office of IT Learning & Development think of better ways of helping international students, like providing free VPN for them or helping other Tech TA’s to work better with their professors in ways such as helping them record their classes for international students to watch at a later time, a time that would be a better fit with their time zones,” a nominator said.
Additionally, Gil advocates for international students at conferences such as Educause and Sigma Xi. She attended the Undergraduate Education/Student Affairs Development Board hosted by President Eric Barron. She also participates in research on the Venezualan economic crisis.
“Laura is a ray of sunshine, always smiling and willing to dive in and get things done with a positive attitude,” a nominator said. “She works in a professional, thoughtful way that builds fruitful collaborations and positive working relationships. She is mature beyond her years and takes a methodical approach to the projects she undertakes.”