We’re excited to share that Mónica Pérez-Bedmar of APUNE, Saint Louis University Madrid, and Syracuse University Madrid has been named the recipient of the 2023 Peter A. Wollitzer Advocacy Award! Pérez-Bedmar received the Award in Seattle at The Forum’s 19th Annual Conference on March 24, 2023.
Pérez-Bedmar’s nomination was submitted by APUNE President Ignacio Messana (Florida State University). John Lucas of ISEP Study Abroad presented the Award to Pérez-Bedmar at the Annual Conference.
When sharing why Pérez-Bedmar should be considered, Messana said, “I can confidently state that there is no better candidate who personifies the commitment and dedication to champion quality study abroad than Mónica Pérez-Bedmar.
Dr. Keshia Abraham, founder and president of The Abraham Consulting Agency, receive the 2022 Wollitzer Award at The Forum’s 18th Annual Conference on March 25, 2022 in Chicago. The award was presented by Dr ‘Dimeji Togunde of Spelman College, who described Dr. Abraham as “a thought leader, scholar, practitioner, and facilitator in international higher education, […] a tireless advocate for advancing global engagement, the epitome of excellence in promoting study abroad opportunities for students through faculty-led programs and study abroad providers, and a nationally recognized practitioner who genuinely fosters the importance of Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (JEDI) in global learning.” He continued, “She is a visionary, doer, and spirited leader. […] She is a game changer!”
Dr. Abraham’s acceptance remarks were powerful and emotional, and brought the audience to its feet. She concluded by saying, “The past two years have really provided us with beautiful opportunities to learn more, grow more together, and I just want to keep doing that. I want to keep building relationships with all of you who are serious about this work. I want us to be open to coming together to find solutions as a community of leaders. […] Thank you so much, for being a part of the change I always dreamt of and can’t believe that I’m standing here seeing, right in front of my eyes.”
The 2021 Peter A. Wollitzer Advocacy Award was awarded to the late J. Scott Van Der Meid at the The Forum’s 17th Annual Conference, held virtually March 1-5, 2021. The award was accepted on his behalf by his husband, Shinji Sato. The nomination was submitted by a group of seven colleagues, led by Eowyn Greeno of University of Puget Sound and including Janet Alperstein (New York University), Amy Bartnick Blume (Gateway International Group), Martha Johnson (University of Minnesota), Mark Lenhart (CET Academic Programs), John Lucas (ISEP), and Kathleen Sideli (Indiana University). Greeno said:
Scott led by example as a consistent and passionate advocate for students. His expectations for all members of the education abroad community in this regard were uncompromising. Before the Standards were drafted, I could always ask myself, ‘What would Scott do?’ Even after we were several editions into the Standards, I was still learning from Scott and seeking his advice and his perspective. I know I’m not alone in my gratitude for the attention and support that I received from Scott. In fact, I marvel at how vast his network was. I still wonder where he found the time to get to know so many people on such a deep and meaningful level. I will be forever grateful that Scott welcomed me into this family of professionals and friends.
Scott passed away in July, 2020. He served as Associate Dean of Study Abroad at Brandeis University.
The 2018 Wollitzer Award was presented to Dr. Kathleen Sideli of Indiana University at The Forum’s 14th Annual Conference in Boston, MA.
The Award was presented by Mary Dwyer, President and CEO of IES Abroad, who described Sideli as follows: “The recipient is one of twenty founders of The Forum. As one of the twenty, I can assure you that as hard as the rest of us worked for years, none of us matched the stellar, herculean efforts of the recipient to establish The Forum. […] This nominee is the kind of person that makes you ask yourself, ‘What was I doing while she was accomplishing all of this?’”
Upon accepting the award, Sideli declared, “I have the best job in the world! Working with wonderful colleagues like Mary and so many of you keeps me going to work every day—with no plans for retirement anytime soon, by the way!” She ended her remarks by reminding us all to take an active role in the organization, saying, “At this pivotal time in The Forum’s history, please play your part, no matter how minor it might be. Pay attention. Get involved. The Forum is us! This is us. Thank you!”
Sideli is Associate Vice President for Overseas Study at Indiana University, where she also taught in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese for twenty-five years. She was The Forum’s first President and Chair.
Joy Gleason Carew (Forum Board of Directors, University of Louisville)
Tracey Bradley (Advocacy Committee, Tennessee Consortium for International Students)
Mary Ann Letellier (CUPA)
Terence Miller (Marquette University)
Tonija Hope Navas (Howard University)
Dr. Margery Ganz was awarded the Peter A. Wollitzer Advocacy Award at The Forum’s 13th Annual Conference in Seattle, WA.
In his nomination letter, ‘Dimeji Togunde wrote, “Margery is a tenacious advocate, who understands the transformative impact of sending students abroad so they can acquire knowledge of global issues and develop skills needed to be successful in a global society.”
Kathy Sideli wrote, “It is hard to imagine the field of education abroad without Margery Ganz… Margery has been ubiquitous in the field of education abroad for the better part of four decades, devoted to ensuring high standards in study abroad while intensely demanding that study abroad opportunities be more accessible to all underrepresented students… She worked assiduously with her own creative ideas and networks to make sure something actually was accomplished to change the landscape. The face of study abroad today is very different because of her tireless efforts.”
Ganz served as the Director of Study Abroad & International Exchange and Professor of History at Spelman College, and retired in July 2017 after 36 years of service to the field.
Selection CommitteeDonna Scarboro (Forum Board of Directors, The George Washington University)
Tracey Bradley (Advocacy Committee, Tennessee Consortium for International Students)
Leanne Johnson, University of Maryland
Davina Potts, The University of Melbourne
Carmelo Urza, University Studies Abroad Consortium
The 2016 Peter A. Wollitzer Advocacy Award was awarded to the late Joe Brockington at the 12th Annual Forum Conference in Atlanta. The award was accepted on his behalf by his wife, Cathy, and sons, David, Sam and Drew. The award was presented to the Brockington family by Joe’s colleague and friend, Margaret Wiedenhoeft, Acting Director of the Center for International Programs at Kalamazoo College. According to Wiedenhoeft:
“Throughout his twenty-plus years in international education, Joe Brockington consistently contributed to and advocated for the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, mentoring colleagues at institutions on how to develop and provide programs incorporating The Forum’s Standards that met curricular goals while also fully supporting students. His contributions to the research of the development of the profession of international education helped to create recognition of the increasing professionalization of our work while acknowledging how much the field has changed. Throughout his career, Joe never missed an opportunity to remind colleagues that having standards was so important because, as he would say in his very Midwestern, dry, humorous tone, ‘that next to parenting, education abroad is the world’s greatest amateur sport.'”
Brockington, a member of the founding Board of Directors of The Forum, passed away in August 2015. He served as associate provost for international programs and professor of German language and literature at Kalamazoo College. He was instrumental in the founding of The Forum and over the years contributed to the field in innumerable ways by presenting at conferences and initiating projects.
Michael Steinberg, Executive Vice President of Academic Programs for IES Abroad, received the Peter A. Wollitzer Advocacy Award at The Forum’s 11th Annual Conference in New Orleans.
Steinberg wrote in an email: “I am grateful for this recognition by The Forum on Education Abroad, an organization that has added so much to our field in its relatively short life. I was especially touched to receive an award established in memory of Peter Wollitzer, who was a colleague during both of our early years in study abroad and a close personal friend until his sad, untimely death. Peter and I shared a vision of concern for the personal and academic growth of each student who has the opportunity to study abroad.”
Steinberg was presented the award by Tracy Williams, Texas Christian University, a member of the Wollitzer Award Selection Committee. Other members of the Committee were: Patti Brown, IFSA Butler; Jim Buschman, New York University; Enda Carroll, University College Dublin, representing the Board of Directors; and Alicia Stanley, Northwestern University, representing the Council’s Advocacy Committee.
Congratulations to Liam Ó Dochartaigh, former Director of International Education at the University of Limerick, who was awarded the Peter A. Wollitzer Award on April 5, 2013. Enda Carroll, Centre for Study Abroad Manager at University College Dublin, presented the award to Mr. Ó Dochartaigh at the Forum’s Ninth Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois
The Forum proudly congratulates this year’s two recipients of the Peter A. Wollitzer Advocacy Award, Jon Booth, Executive Director, Syracuse University Abroad, and Michael Vande Berg, Vice President for Academic Affairs, CIEE. Jon Booth’s award was presented by Michael Calo of Syracuse University, and Mick Vande Berg’s award was presented by Martin Hogan of CIEE.
The Forum on Education Abroad is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission as the Standards Development Organization for Education Abroad. The Forum on Education Abroad is hosted by its strategic partner, Dickinson College
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