This annual award of $1,000 recognizes JMU faculty and professional staff who have made a significant contribution in the area of international education through research, study abroad, service learning, curriculum design, work with international students, and other relevant activities. The award is based on the following criteria:
A call for nominations will be made early in the spring semester, and recipients will be honored at a reception hosted by the Provost in March.
Dr. Kathleen "Kay" Arthur is founder of the Semester in Florence which began in 1986 and served as program director until 2001. She also served as assistant vice president for International Education from 1991 to 1997. Having studied at the University of Florence, she knew the benefits of living in a different culture, and sought to create the same rewarding experience for JMU students and faculty. Kay organized the first Office of International Programs, which united the five semester programs. She stabilized financial procedures and mentored faculty wishing to develop discipline-specific programs in education, biology, health sciences, journalism and creative writing. Kay was instrumental in moving from a Eurocentric focus to global one, appointing area coordinators for Africa, Asia and South America, working with faculty to develop more opportunities in Ghana, Buenos Aires, and Beijing and exchange contracts in Australia, Japan, and Hong Kong. Kay also brought JMU into the national International Education community. As more students went abroad, the role of director of international programs office needed a fulltime administrative director. Kay elected to return to coordinating art history and teaching Italian Renaissance art.
She continues to support study opportunities in Italy, travels in Europe and Asia, presents papers at international conferences, publishes in Italian journals, and remains an advocate for international education.
In September 1985, Dr. Alessandro Gentili took up residence in Florence where he joined the academic staff of the British Institute of Florence to teach Italian language and literature. It was while working for the British Institute that he met Dr. Kay Arthur, then the Director of the JMU SIF Program, and began teaching JMU students. Alessandro quickly became an integral part of the Florence program. He continued to teach Italian language and literature, liberal studies, and humanities to JMU students. Aside from his teaching, Alessandro continued his studies and translations of Irish poetry and of Dante and published four books with Passigli Editori. He later incorporated his research into his courses and developed a new literature course; Dante’s Commedia.
In September of 2000 Alessandro accepted the position of Resident Director for the JMU Semester in Florence Program: becoming the first Resident Director of a JMU study abroad program. Wherein this position, he has played an instrumental role in the creation of the new EU Policy Studies Program. Moreover, Alessandro, working through his contacts within the EU system and City of Florence, has helped to secure our newest residential facility abroad; the Palazzo Capponi. With over 14,000 square feet, this 17th century palazzo will provide classroom, library, and computer lab space for the Semester in Florence and EU Master’s Degree programs as well as living space for the Master’s Degree candidates and an apartment for JMU faculty fellows engaged in scholarship in Florence.
Throughout his career with JMU, Alessandro has been an asset to the University and has been essential to the international education of our students.
Fazzion is currently a professor of Italian language, literature and culture, and head of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. Her contributions are numerous and multi-dimensional. She received her Ph.D. in Italian and French literatures at the Catholic University of America, and her credentials span more than 20 years of teaching at three universities. Her scholarly activities include a combined total of 40 journal and proceedings publications, conference presentations and invited guest speaking.
Fazzion has been serving as vice president and program director of the International Academy of Linguistics, Behavioral and Social Sciences. She is a distinguished member of the Casa di Dante, in Rome, Italy, and this March was invited to be the keynote speaker at this prestigious Dante society.
Here at JMU, where she has taught since 1991, Fazzion established and promoted the major and minor programs in Italian; started Arabic, Hindu and Korean in the department; expanded the teaching of Chinese; created a special course for International Business majors that allows them to obtain a minor in a language; and developed professional minors for Spanish in the medical and legal professions.
She is founder and serves as program director of the yearly JMU conferences on global issues and is responsible for collaborative activities between Harrisonburg High School students and the JMU campus. In the fall of 2005, Fazzion organized “the Italian language table,” where students and faculty members meet and talk over lunch or coffee. Now the “language tables” have been expanded to include Arabic, French and Spanish. More importantly, she has shown herself to be responsive to environmental changes within the JMU community and the needs of non-JMU communities as well.
Ping Wang is currently associate professor in the Department of Computer Information Systems and Management Science. He holds a Ph.D. in Management Sciences and Operations Management from the University of Georgia, received his M.B.A. from Appalachian State University and earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University in China. Wang's primary research interests are in the areas of models and applications of artificial neural networks, sales forecasting, time series forecasting, mailing selections and classifications. He has presented his work at both national and regional meetings, and his research has been published in a number of professional journals. Since coming to JMU in 1993, he has taught many courses in operations management, computer information systems and business statistics.
Wang’s contributions to international education are focused primarily on his continued efforts to establish JMU educational programs in China and to promote faculty, scholar and student exchanges between JMU and several Chinese universities. He developed and has successfully run JMU Summer in China programs since 2004. He is the recipient of a Provost-supported 2005 Internationalization at Home Initiative Grant, which he used in the successful development of the Minor in Chinese Business Studies Program in China for the summer of 2006. Just recently he and Deans Jerry Benson and Robert Reid visited six Chinese universities to further the implementation of joint educational programs and to foster faculty exchanges in teaching and research internationally.
Wang is involved deeply in on- and off-campus activities related to internationalization for education. He has actively worked with the OIP to bring many Chinese scholars and students to JMU over the years. He has developed close relationships with Chinese scholars at JMU and EMU and supported them on a regular basis. Finally, he has organized many activities for the local Chinese community and for Chinese professionals in Northern Virginia, Washington, DC, and Maryland.
Dr. John Butt’s commitment to international education is genuine and longstanding. He has worked tirelessly to further students’ international experiences as a professor of History, a Faculty Member in Residence for the Semester in London, and through the establishment of several programs that cross disciplinary boundaries and provide students with the opportunity to have an educational experience beyond the scope of our campus.
Through the study of history, literature, art and architecture, music, and politics, Dr. Butt’s short-term summer program on the Cultural History of Scotland has provided JMU students with rare and wide-reaching insight into contemporary Scottish life and its foundations. And with his founding of JMU’s Study At Oxford, Cambridge, or St. Andrews Program at the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, and St. Andrews (a university of which he is a proud alum), Dr. Butt has continued to extend the range of international experiences available to students and has added new dimensions of academic rigor to international education.
Since her arrival on campus nearly six years ago, Dr. Solange Lopes-Murphy has dedicated herself to a wide range of international social and academic activities, particularly in the areas of ESL and international training for student teachers. She has been a researcher, consultant, and service provider on several continents. Moreover, she has provided leadership in the development of the College of Education practicum in Rome, and is coordinating an additional teaching practicum with one of our consortium partners, La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia.
In 1998, Dr. Jonathan Miles established JMU’s first study abroad program to feature interdisciplinary, project-based field study in the applied sciences and technology. Since that time, the CISAT program for Study Abroad in Malta has served over 140 students and nine faculty members from ISAT and Health & Human Services, covering such areas of study as biotechnology, computer modeling, energy and the environment, health, and instrumentation and measurement.
The program provides students the opportunity to live and work in an international setting while gaining applied, interdisciplinary project experience that integrates the technical, social, and economic dimensions of real-world problem-solving.
Dr. Newell Wright has twice served as the Faculty Member in Residence in Paris; has published several articles on international business; and has worked as a consultant on e-commerce in Milan, internet marketing in Antwerp, and search engine marketing in London.
Most recently, Dr. Wright designed and implemented two international programs based in the heart of the European Union: the Semester in Antwerp for College of Business majors and the Minor in European Marketing for non-Business majors. With an emphasis on experiential learning, students learn business theory as it applies to the European business environment in class, and take field trips to actual businesses, governmental institutions, or cultural sites to bring the textbook theory and classroom discussions to life.
Rich Harris serves as the director of the nationally-recognized community service learning program at JMU. He has developed a number of international service learning programs including a long-term program in Dominica. Both students and alums participate in the program, working directly with community agencies there. Rich also presents and publishes in international service learning and is active in the International Partnership for Service Learning, the leading organization in the U.S.
Mary Kimsey currently serves as the first director of CISAT International, a college organization dedicated to supporting and promoting international education to CISAT students and faculty. Mary also teaches a number of geography courses including Cultural Geography. Moreover, she is in the process of developing an applied study abroad program in Haiti that directly addresses issues of health, telecommunications, alternative energy and environmental remediation there.
Bijan Saadatmand, former director of International Student and Scholar Services, has been a leader in international education at JMU for over 30 years. He has worked to recruit hundreds of international students and faculty, navigating complex and changing visa issues. Moreover, he has worked internationally to promote peace and democracy in the Middle East. Bijan teaches and publishes across a range of issues, including psycho-political issues of the Middle East, human intimacy, and family systems.
David Owusu-Ansah has been a leader in international education at JMU for many years. He created one of the first short-term study abroad programs – in Ghana – and has promoted study abroad to ethnic minority students. He is also a former JMU Fulbright Program representative and also President (1997-2003) of Ghana Studies Council – an international association of scholars with research interest in the West African country of Ghana. David has also worked with a faculty team to develop JMU’s African Studies minor. David teaches a number of history courses and pursues research regarding Islam in Africa.