2021 International Education Award Winners
The International Education Awards recognize outstanding faculty, staff and students for their commitment to international education. Awards are given at the annual International Honorary Reception during International Education Week in November.
Selection committees composed of individuals from across the university reviewed the nominations and decided award winners. Each recipient’s record of outstanding international contributions and accomplishments was recognized as worthy of distinction and inspiring to the students, staff and faculty of Georgia State.
Dr. Jelena Subotić
Professor in the Department of Political Science
College of Arts and Sciences
Professor Subotić is a full professor in the Department of Political Science. She writes broadly about international relations theory, memory politics, human rights, transitional justice, international ethics, state identity, and the politics of the Western Balkans. Her most recent book, Yellow Star, Red Star: Holocaust Remembrance after Communism, explores practices of Holocaust remembrance, especially increasing Holocaust revisionism across Eastern Europe. The book has received wide acclaim and three prestigious awards. She is a recipient of numerous grants, including from the National Science Foundation and USAID and is also a frequent commentator on war crimes and the politics of the Balkans for CNN, BBC, and other international outlets. In 2020, she was selected to be the founding Co-Editor-in-Chief of a newly created journal for the International Studies Association (ISA), Global Studies Quarterly.
Learn more about the Sheth Distinguished Faculty Award for International Achievement
Learn more about The Sheth Family Foundation’s endowment at Georgia State University
Professional MBA in Strategy (’08)
Robinson College of Business
Home Country: Kenya
Ms. Mugambi graduated from the Professional MBA program at Georgia State in 2008, and she joined the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) in 2012 as its first female director. Ms. Mugambi developed the country’s Sustainable Finance Principles and capacity building program which has trained more than 33,000 bankers. She is a champion for enterprise development, and she designed the industry’s Inuka SME Capacity Building Program which has supported more than 40 thousand entrepreneurs to better run their businesses. Nuru developed the first digital accessibility for persons with disabilities framework for the banking industry, which is a first for the continent and will see more than 2 million Kenyans living with a disability to gain better access to mobile banking products. In 2015, Nuru became the youngest female to earn the Fellow of the Kenya Institute of Bankers designation for industry excellence and leadership. Also, in 2016 she was recognized by the Eisenhower Fellowships program and U.S. President Barack Obama as an emerging African leader.
Learn more about the Sheth International Alumni Award for Exceptional Achievement
Learn more about The Sheth Family Foundation’s endowment at Georgia State University
Dr. Sue Kasun
Associate Professor of Language Education
Director of the Center for Transnational & Multilingual Education
College of Education & Human Development
Dr. Kasun is an Associate Professor language education and the director of the Center for Transnational & Multilingual Education at Georgia State University. She has extensively researched with Mexican-origin populations for over two decades. Her work is multi-sited, situated in sending and receiving communities spanning the U.S.-Mexican border, highlighting the trans-nationalism of many immigrant communities. She has focused on Mexican-origin populations’ ways of knowing and intersections with language education as well as how Mexican origin youth have performed in schools, most recently on a Fulbright Award to Mexico during the 2017-2018 school year.
Dr. Kasun’s CV tells the story of the creative productivity stemming from her international work. Her study abroad work is published in the leading international language journal, TESOL Quarterly (Kasun and Saavedra 2016) and in other highly ranked journals, The Journal of Multicultural Affairs (Kasun, Santos, Jang, & Espinosa, 2020) and Teacher Education and Practice (Kasun & Lee 2017), to name a few. Dr. Kasun’s work with colleagues from the University of Hidalgo can be found is in Educational Studies (Hidalgo & Kasun, 2019); and in some of her of her numerous book chapters. Dr. Kasun has 14 peer-reviewed journal articles on work stemming from her study abroad and related program. In addition, Dr. Kasun is a highly sought-after speaker in international spaces, and she has given numerous peer-reviewed conference presentations.
Dr. Kasun’s teaching, her study abroad class and doctoral courses such as Ways of Knowing, and Postcoloniality and her work at the Center, disrupts and dislodges the artificial boundaries that we have created between ourselves as humans. This is what it means to eradicate borders and learn about others by experiencing for oneself. This is the heart of Dr. Kasun’s teaching, research and scholarship.
Learn more about the Faculty Award for Global Engagement – Research & Scholarship
Associate Professor of English, ESL and Applied Linguistics
Eric Kendrick has a 20-year record of accomplishments and contributions in global engagement at Perimeter College and Georgia State University that encompass all areas of teaching and
curriculum, scholarly and creative activities, service and outreach.
Among his many accomplishments, he formally established the formal Asian Studies Program at Perimeter College in spring 2021, and he also developed the Asian Studies Certificate with the USG Asia Council for use by all state institutions. He annually coordinates faculty Development Workshops on various global education topics, such as Teaching Korea, Teaching Japan, and Gender Issues in Asia.
His contributions to the global curriculum include developing three Area B Perspectives courses with global themes: Culture & Arts of Japan, Modern Japanese Society, and Introduction to Language, and he is working on three new Area B Perspectives courses with global themes.
He has served on GSU’s International Education Week planning team since consolidation in 2016. The virtual IEW Exploring Languages event he organized in fall 2020 had just short of 500 participants! Every spring, he co-coordinates a Dunwoody Culture Fest in conjunction with other offices on campus. He initiated an annual Japan Festival at Lawrenceville in 2005, which morphed into a large-scale Japan Festival at Dunwoody after 2008, and he has also organized numerous other cultural and international events intersecting with all regions of the world.
He is particularly known for his 15-year leadership role in the Atlanta Asian Film Festival. Due to Eric’s participation, Perimeter is now the primary venue, and GSU students and employees can attend all GSU screenings free.
Learn more about the Faculty Award for Global Engagement – Teaching, Service, & Outreach
Assistant Professor of English, ESL and Applied Linguistics
Jessie Hayden is an Assistant Professor of English and English as a Second Language at Perimeter College. She has set the gold standard for global engagement through virtual exchange at
GSU. Her inspiring achievements in virtual exchange include: (1) a cross-cultural children’s story writing project in partnership with
Ege University in Izmir, Turkey, that involved a combined 66 students (2)an art appreciation virtual exchange project in which Jessie’s
HUMN1000 students collaborated with students from Ege University to analyze and
discuss iconic works of art from the irrespective cultures (Spring 2018); (3) are current virtual exchange project with Hong Kong Baptist
University (HKBU) in which Jessie’s PERS2003 students engage in cross-cultural dialog with HKBU students enrolled in a Creative Studies course.
This project engages students in a 4-week long round of discussions on topics relating to creativity, social justice
issues, human expression, and social media (2019–present).
In addition to infusing virtual exchange into her courses, Jessie also served
as GSU’s virtual exchange coordinator from 2018-2019. In this position, she recruited and mentored faculty interested in using Virtual Exchange, and then supported and assisted faculty in implementing the exchange into their courses. She has not only presented on her work with virtual exchange at Faculty Development sessions at Perimeter College, but she has also presented her work at both National and Regional conferences throughout these past four years.
She is currently creating a “Virtual Exchange Depot” with 15 master virtual
exchange project templates that will be shared with GSU faculty for their
adaptation and use.
Learn more about the Faculty Award for Global Engagement – Virtual Exchange
After graduating from Perimeter College and later from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Avinash now serves as a Laboratory Technician in the Science Department at Clarkston. He advises the Japan Society club, where he regularly takes students into the community for experiential opportunities such as Japanese restaurant outings and to festivals in Macon. The Japan Society Club won Perimeter College’s Club of the Year two years ago, and this year he has been nominated as Perimeter’s Outstanding Club Adviser.
He also assists with the Vietnamese Club of Clarkston, supporting events related to International Education Week at the Clarkston campus, and Clarkston’s International Festival. Avi has displayed his love of all things International by coordinating, hosting, and helping make sure international events can take place, even in a COVID environment. Through his leadership, he has mobilized faculty and staff in order to provide outstanding globally and culturally focused co-curricular opportunities for students.
Learn more about the Staff Award for Global Engagement
The Department of Life and Earth Sciences
Due to the suspension of approved study abroad programs within the past year as a result of the pandemic, this year the award considered program directors affected by this change who pivoted to provide opportunities for global engagement for students in Atlanta. The winner of the Program Director of the Year Award is Dr. Atherina Steinau for her program, “The Scholarship of Teaching: Bahamas Environmental Science 1401, without Borders”.
Mrs. Steinau prepared meaningful global learning activities for her students, while she had also independently executed Georgia State University Perimeter College (GSU-PC), Decatur’s first study abroad lecture and lab for Environmental Science to Nassau, Bahamas during summer of 2019. Mrs. Steinau’s global educational interest and desire was heightened as she developed student opportunities again in 2020, which were cancelled due to COVID-19. Keeping her interest focused, she also designed and recruited students for her spring 2021 class, this time for “two” islands of the Bahamas: New Providence and Grand Bahama. Faced yet with course cancellations for 2021, Mrs. Steinau’s determination to foster the internationalization of academia, quickly led her to develop a dynamic and engaging virtual study abroad for May-mester 2021. Students will experience a global immersion on now “four” islands of the Bahamas – Nassau, Grand Bahama, Andros and Eleuthera.
To prepare for these exciting endeavors, she consistently kept the goals of GSU Study Abroad as a forefront in her mind. This showed in her creating long-term collaborations within the Bahamas higher education system, and various private and governmental organizations. Also, she has been exceptional in showcasing the importance and reputation of GSU’s Study Abroad and has created internal affiliations with numerous GSU-PC organizations including: Life and Earth Science Departments, Student Life and Louise Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Program.
While keeping the common course outline and expected educational results in mind, Mrs. Steinau strategically designed ‘out of the box’ international experiences. For example, during an excursion called “Swimming with the Pigs”, students scientifically tested the ocean for chemicals and fecal coliforms, which are important indicators of water pollution and probable communicable diseases. Despite our present times, Mrs. Steinau sees no limits. Her virtual study abroad continues to foster the scholarship of global teaching and learning, which ensures an international awareness of environmental science and an appreciation of the Bahamian culture. For example, students will study and test the water resources impacted by Hurricane Dorian in 2019 and compare results to water samples in their own homes. They will also experience live cooking demonstrations and an eco-cultural exchange with the University of the Bahamas Ecology students.
Once an international student herself, Mrs. Steinau strives to foster relevant global practices for students and create lasting transnational relationships for Georgia State University, Perimeter College.
Learn more about the Study Abroad Program Director of the Year Award
Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Art in Psychology, Minor in Japanese
Current Major: Master of Art in Sociology
School: College of Arts and Sciences
Marquis has completed three study abroad programs to immerse himself in studying Korean and Japanese history & language while completing a Bachelor of Art in Psychology, minor in Japanese, before returning last Fall to pursue a Master of Art in Sociology.
Marquis has shared his enthusiasm for gaining global experiences no matter what your academic discipline across several campus audiences. As a guest speaker he has spoken to students considering seeking their own global experiences, how they can seek out opportunities, resources. Sharing with students how one opportunity has driven him to ask what other opportunities are available.
Even more importantly he has been an advocate for students of color by speaking about identity and diversity in international education. Marquis has spoken about seeking out authentic experiences, while building relationships with locals abroad by recommending students expand their comfort zones past their host campus, or tourist areas by engaging with people in their community.
Learn more about the Study Abroad Alumni of the Year Award
Major: PhD Candidate in Biology
College of Arts and Sciences
Home Country: India
Heena Sadhwani received both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biotechnology from the University of Mumbai prior to attending Georgia State University in 2015 to earn her second Master’s degree in Biology. While pursuing her PhD in Biology, she also serves as a graduate research assistant, carrying out techniques and research work including western blotting, recombinant DNA cloning, cell cultures, RT-PCR, and RNA extraction.
She is also the current Vice-Chair of Membership for the Atlanta Chapter of Women in Bio, and has also held executive positions in the Biology Graduate Student Association and Indian Student Association.
Learn more about the International Graduate Student of the Year Award
Major: Bachelor of Business Administration in Actuarial Science
Robinson College of Business
Home Country: Zimbabwe
Kudzanai is a Senior pursuing a B.B.A in Actuarial Science from J.Mack Robison College of Business at Georgia State University. He is passionate to use his skills and experience to help improve the world’s financial and risk management sector. He was awarded the 2020 Eli, A. Zubay-Actuarial Science Award, an award given to Actuarial Science undergraduate with the highest GPA, and has also been on the President’s list for five consecutive semesters.
Kudzanai also serves as the Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the Gamma Iota Sigma’s Gamma Zeta Chapter, and holds an Actuary Internship with AIG, while also being a Co-Leader for Georgia State’s Actuarial Ambassador program. He has also served as an Orientation Leader for the International Student and Scholar Services department and earned a State Farm Scholarship in 2020.
Learn more about the International Undergraduate Student of the Year Award