Awards for Excellence in Global Engagement

Pictured in the front row are Excellence in Global Engagement award recipients Gillian Ice, Emily Singer and Vibert Cambridge. In the back row are David Koonce, Randy Leite, Lorna Jean Edmonds, President Roderick McDavis, Mike Geringer and Lawrence Wood.

Photographer: Allison Evans

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Awards for Excellence in Global Engagement ceremony caps off International Education Week

Ohio University closed out its first celebration of International Education Week (IEW) by honoring three members of the OHIO family for their exceptional contributions to furthering international education at the University and around the world.

Individuals from throughout the University, state and globe gathered in the Baker University Center Ballroom the evening of Nov. 15 to recognize the first recipients of OHIO's Awards for Excellence in Global Engagement. The awards were designed to honor Ohio University faculty, staff and alumni for their outstanding contributions to international education, global competency, cultural understanding and/or international programs at OHIO or in their fields and disciplines.

"Behind every event and everything we do internationally are the individuals who make a difference," Lorna Jean Edmonds, vice provost for global affairs and chair of the Senior International Management Team (SIMT), said during the awards reception, hosted by SIMT and OHIO's IEW Committee. "Behind every good project is an incredible individual."

The IEW Committee solicited nominations for the Awards for Excellence in Global Engagement earlier this year. Current and former staff and faculty members as well OHIO graduates nominated a total of 20 individuals for the three awards –faculty, staff and alumni. The committee chose the three recipients honored at the ceremony.

The Faculty Award for Excellence in Global Engagement was presented to Dr. Gillian Ice, an associate professor in OHIO's Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, for her endeavors in global health.

Ice's field research examined the impact of the HIV epidemic on older adults in Africa and explored the relationship between stress and the nutritional intake of grandparents in Kenya. More recently, she has been working in Botswana on a biocultural project, exploring the interaction between social environment and health. Ice has also collaborated with the Baylor Botswana Center for Excellence and is working with the National AIDS Coordinating Agency to develop a research training program. She is also helping to coordinate a nurse training project with Botswana's Ministry of Health.

At Ohio University, Ice has been working with Deborah Meyer, visiting assistant professor of global health at the College of Health Sciences and Professions, to create an undergraduate certificate program in global health as well as a graduate-level certificate and a master's program in global health. The undergraduate program is expected to begin in January, and the graduate-level certificate and master's program are slated for 2015 and 2018, respectively.

The Staff Award for Excellence in Global Engagement was presented to Emily Singer, assistant director of the Center for International Business Education and Development in OHIO's College of Business.

A graduate of Ohio University, Singer went on her first international trip as part of OHIO's study abroad program – an experience, she said, that changed her life, despite the fact that she almost didn't go through with it.

"When I think about that now, I don't know who I would be if I hadn't taken that first step and had that transformative experience," she said. "The fact that I get to play my small part in making those transformative experiences possible for other people, that's what gets me so excited about coming to work every day."

The Alumni Award for Excellence in Global Engagement was presented to Vibert Cambridge, a native of Guyana, a 1988 graduate of Ohio University and professor emeritus of OHIO's School of Media Arts and Studies. Cambridge comes from a family of proud OHIO alumni. Both he and his wife received their doctoral degrees at OHIO, two of his children are former Bobcats and his son will graduate from OHIO in the spring.

"It is with a humble heart that I accept this honor," Cambridge said. "We are an OU family, and we are very proud of our alma mater."

Each of the award recipients expressed their gratitude for the honor and acknowledged that their endeavors would not be possible without the help of their colleagues.  

"It's really been an effort by a large team of dedicated faculty, students and staff to make global health what it is today," said Ice.

"I'm thrilled to be recognized for the work that I do and the work that we do at the Center for International Business," Singer said, "but there's not a lot I could do without the help of my colleagues across this University."

Each of the award recipients was presented a plaque. Ice and Singer were also given $1,000 to support their professional development endeavors while Cambridge was awarded $1,000 in the form of a scholarship for an organization of his choosing.

While the ceremony marked the closing of OHIO's first International Education Week, President Roderick J. McDavis noted that the celebration continues at Ohio University each and every day.

"Ohio University has produced true global citizens who graduate with a deep appreciation for, understanding of and commitment to the universal community of which we are all a part of," said McDavis. "It is my fervent hope that Ohio University's International Education Week celebration will continue far into the future, enabling our University community to more fully appreciate the diverse international community in which we live."