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February 18, 2002

Awards celebrate OIA's 10th birthday

Lailee Mendelson is communications coordinator for the Office of International Affairs.


The Office of International Affairs (OIA) will host its second annual International Awards Night on Feb. 19. The ceremony will bring together faculty, staff and students engaged in international education to honor two individuals who have helped make Emory a more international university.

This year’s recipient of the Marion V. Creekmore Award for Internationalization will be Kenneth Stein, Schatten Professor of Middle Eastern History and Political Science. Established by Claus and Marianne Halle, the award goes to an Emory professor or staff member who excels in the advancement of the University’s commitment to internationalization.

Stein will be recognized for 25 years of pioneering efforts to expand the scope and quality of international studies at Emory. These efforts include Stein’s establishing of the University’s first international studies center in 1979, his directorship of the Carter Center from 1984–86 and his ongoing work to promote Middle Eastern studies at Emory.

The newly created Sheth Distinguished International Alumni Award will be presented to former Korean ambassador to the United States, Hong Koo Lee (’59C). The Sheth Award, established by a generous gift from Mahdu and Jagdish Sheth (Charles H. Kellstadt Professor of Marketing at the Goizueta Business School) recognizes Emory’s international alumni who have achieved prominence in their life’s work.

This year’s ceremony will have added meaning, as February marks the 10-year anniversary of the launch of Emory’s formal internationalization efforts.

In February 1992, recognizing that Emory had to prepare its students to live and work in a global society, then-Provost Billy Frye created the Council on International Affairs and its supporting body, the OIA, to assess Emory’s existing programs and devise a strategy for internationalization.

Made up of faculty, administrators, staff and students representing schools and divisions from across campus, the council quickly identified four areas on which to focus internationalization efforts: curriculum reform (especially the addition of a foreign language requirement), study abroad, faculty development and what the council termed “international ethos”—a campus environment that would foster global consciousness and cultural interaction.

Thomas Arthur, interim vice provost for international affairs and one of the original council members, recalled the atmosphere at those early meetings. “We knew we were dealing with a phenomenon that wasn’t going to stop, this shrinking of the world,” he said. “There was a feeling at the time that a top university shouldn’t just acquiesce to this fact; it should embrace it.”

To stimulate campus ethos, the OIA produced many publications that raised campus awareness of international opportunities. These included a directory of Emory faculty engaged in international initiatives, a newsletter (International Emory) and various guides on such topics as establishing links with institutions abroad, studying and working overseas, and hosting international visitors.

The council’s vision gained momentum when President Bill Chace announced internationalization as a top University priority at his 1995 inauguration. In 1997, the council’s recommendations, “Internationalizing Emory: A Strategy for Leadership in Global Education,” were approved, and the administration approved funds to seed international projects proposed by faculty members and departments.

Today, we can look with pride at how many of those recommendations have become reality. Emory now requires its undergraduates to take courses in one of 16 foreign languages. The Center for International Programs Abroad (CIPA) has reduced financial barriers to study abroad, as well as expanded opportunities well beyond Europe. Intercultural competence is further promoted through the Institute for Comparative and International Studies (ICIS), which facilitates area studies in five regions of the world and regularly sponsors lectures and events to encourage dialogue about global issues.

The Halle Institute’s Faculty Study Trip Program provides opportunities for faculty development via an innovative overseas experience. Professional schools such as law and business hire faculty members from across the globe and establish links that encourage cross-cultural collaboration. Emory’s service has transcended national borders, as well. One example is the Lillian Carter Center for International Nursing, which last year embarked on its mission to develop and sustain a nursing workforce for the world’s population.

In these, and many other ways, Emory has embraced its commitment to providing an education without borders. To celebrate this dedication, OIA has compiled and published the first print directory of “Emory International Programs and Resources” in 10 years. You can see for yourself the achievements of the last decade by accessing this directory at