2022 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. Louis A. Ruprecht Jr.
Professor in the Department of Anthropology & Hellenic Studies
William M. Suttles Chair in Religious Studies
Director of the Center for Hellenic Studies
College of Arts and Sciences
Professor Ruprecht is the inaugural holder of the William M. Suttles Chair in Religious Studies, as well as the Director of the Center for Hellenic Studies, here at Georgia State University. He was born and raised in New Jersey, but came south for his education, where he attended Duke University and majored in Physics for three years, intending to be an oceanographer, before shifting to Comparative Religion in his Senior year. The concentration for his doctoral studies was in the area of religion, ethics and politics, with special emphasis on classical literature and philosophy.
He first worked on an excavation of Herod’s Winter Palace outside of Jericho, Israel as an undergraduate, and have extensive archaeological experience in Greece, mostly on the island of Crete.
Learn more about Louis Ruprecht.
Learn more about the Sheth Distinguished Faculty Award for International Achievement
Learn more about The Sheth Family Foundation’s endowment at Georgia State University
Dr. Juan Luis Gómez Reino
Ph.D. in Public Policy
Andrew Young School of Policy Studies
Dr. Gómez Reino is a graduate of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, where he received his doctorate in public policy. He is a leading international Fiscal Economist with over 20 years of experience in the design and implementation of fiscal policy, municipal finance, decentralization and public-private partnership reforms. Since 2016 he has served as Principal Fiscal Specialist for Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Ecuador and Bolivia at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). In developing IDB´s fiscal policy portfolio, he has led the design of fiscal policy reform programs for over $2 billion dollars. Prior to this, he served as Principal Public Management Specialist for Southeast Asia for the ADB where he was responsible for the development of a loan portfolio of over $1.5 billion dollars for the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Lao PDR. More recently, he had led the Intermérican Development Bank’s countercyclical fiscal policy support to Chile, Uruguay and Argentina in response to the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Gómez Reino has authored numerous reports and articles and has trained hundreds in key topics related to fiscal policy.
His record of achievement in the policy world is significant and well recognized among his peers and aspiring students that study at GSU and other universities.
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. Chenyi Zhang
Program Coordinator of ECEE Doctoral Program
College of Education & Human Development
Chenyi Zhang’s research projects examine contextual, cognitive and emotional factors that contribute to children’s early literacy development and early childhood educators’ professional development. He is also an early interventionist designing and evaluating classroom-based literacy intervention programs for young children’s literacy development and professional learning program for educators’ effective teaching practices.
He maintains international collaborations with scholars from Asian countries (e.g., China and Japan) investigating cross-cultural differences in early literacy development and literacy teaching. Currently, Zhang is examining the development of young children’s interest in enacting writing behaviors and cultural differences in teachers’ writing instruction (China vs. the US.). He is also leading a research team investigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on young children’s and parents’ stress.
He is a board member of the Association for Reading and Writing in Asia. He was a National Academy of Education/Spencer Research Foundation Post-doctoral Fellow from 2016 to 2018. Zhang has received a variety of research funding support for his early literacy and intervention research projects, including Spencer Research Foundation, Rollins Center for Language and Literacy and National Hazard Center.
Zhang received a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies with a specialization in developmental studies in 2013 from Purdue University and an M.S degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2008.
Learn more about Chenyi Zhang.
Learn more about the Faculty Award for Global Engagement – Research & Scholarship
Director of the Academic Success & LL.M. Programs
College of Law
Leila Lawlor received her B.B.A., cum laude, from the University of Georgia and her J.D., magna cum laude, from Georgia State Law, where she served as associate editor for the Georgia State University Law Review. During law school, Lawlor served as a women and children’s advocate, a tax clinic legal volunteer, and student editor for a book written by L. Lynn Hogue, professor emeritus. She received two American Jurisprudence Awards, one for excellence in Constitutional Law and the other for excellence in Research, Writing and Advocacy. She also received the Outer Barrister Guild Award and the Best Brief Award in a competition among Georgia law schools.
Lawlor clerked for Judge Orinda Evans of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. She practiced real estate law in metro Atlanta and began teaching business law part-time while clerking for Judge Wayne Purdom of the State Court of DeKalb County. While teaching, she returned to graduate studies, earning an M.B.A and an M.S. in criminal justice. Lawlor is also a certified TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) instructor. She is three credit hours away from earning a third master’s, this time in Applied Linguistics, in order to enrich her teaching of international students.
Lawlor was the 2021 recipient of the College of Law’s annual Steven J. Kaminshine Award for Excellence in Service. She is a member of the Association of Academic Support Educators, the American Academy of Legal Studies in Business, the Southeastern Academy of Legal Studies in Business, and the Western Academy of Legal Studies in Business, for which she has served as an officer for a decade. She is also an active member of several philanthropic educational societies and has received a teaching award for incorporating technology in her classroom. Lawlor has served as a member of the Georgia State Faculty Senate.
Learn more about the Faculty Award for Global Engagement – Teaching, Service, & Outreach
International Student Advisor
International Student and Scholar Services
Tacoma has worked at Perimeter College for 15 years. She is a seasoned international educator with over twenty years of immigration advisement experience. Tacoma is currently the International Student Advisor in International Student and Scholar Services and the supervising advisor of the International Peer Assistants at the Dunwoody campus. Tacoma has held leadership positions in the Georgia Association of International Educators and has served as a mentor to international advisors new to the field for 14 years. Tacoma voiced the power to international education, what it means to the global community and the impact in the state of Georgia and district with members of Congress and their staffs at NAFSA: Association of International Educators Advocacy day in Washington, D.C. She loves working with International Students and assisting them to achieve their educational dreams in the United States. Tacoma is a Floridian but has lived in Georgia for thirty-six years. She enjoys domestic and international travel, photography, gardening and spending quality time with her family.
Learn more about the Staff Award for Global Engagement
Degree: Bachelor of Arts in International Economics and Modern Languages
School: Andrew Young School of Policy Studies
Ashley Aguilar is a recent college graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Economics and Modern Languages from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. Ashley’s studies concentrated on Chinese culture and society in addition to focusing on East Asian economies, and urban and environmental economic policies in the U.S. Ashley seeks to pursue a federal career as a Foreign Service Officer with her foreign languages skills and knowledge in economics to support and improve U.S.-foreign relations in Asia.
Ashley graduated summa cum laude and with a Global Scholars Distinction for her academic achievements, ability to analyze and synthesize comparative and cross-cultural information, and appreciation of and respect for difference and diversity. Ashley is a five-time critical language scholarship recipient of the Boren Awards, Gilman Scholarship, Freeman-Asia Scholarship, National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y), and International Access Scholarship.
Ashley’s hometown is Atlanta, Georgia. Due to her long-term experiences abroad she also considers Chengdu and Shanghai in China as part of her hometown. Alongside Seoul, South Korea where she completed an academic year through GSU’s study abroad programs. In her free time, Ashley likes to travel, visit history and art museums, and catch up on the latest Korean drama.
Learn more about the Study Abroad Student of the Year Award
Major: PhD in Counseling Psychology
College of Education and Human Development
Home Country: South Korea
Jihee Hong received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Biology, then earned her master’s degree in Counseling and Clinical Psychology from Sogang University in Seoul, Korea, prior to attending Georgia State University. While pursuing her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, she served as a graduate teaching assistant, research assistant, and mentor focusing on empowering students of color and international students. She also served as an intern and practicum counselor at Emory University, Georgia Tech, Grady Hospital, and private practices in Atlanta.
Learn more about the International Graduate Student of the Year Award
Major: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
College of Arts & Sciences
Home Country: Republic Of Korea
Chanwoo Park is a Junior pursuing a B.S in Computer Science from the College of Arts & Sciences at Georgia State University. He graduated from GSU Perimeter College and earned an Associate in Computer Science in the Summer of 2022. He was awarded the 2022 Sophomore STEM Student Scholar Award, an award given to a sophomore dedicated to high academic performance in a STEM discipline.
He received Dean’s List for Spring 2021, Spring 2022, and President’s List for Summer 2021, Fall 2021, and Summer 2022.
Chanwoo is a member of Phi Theta Kappa’s Alpha Zeta Mu Chapter. As a treasurer of the Dunwoody Korean Student Association, he has shared and informed Korean culture. He taught Koran to American and international students as a Koran Drill Instructor and served as an International Peer Assistant Student Leader for the International Student and Scholar Services department at Perimeter College (ISSSPC). Chanwoo assisted with International Student Orientation, led the various events, and helped new international students with initial questions. With a high GPA and academic standing, Chanwoo will transition to the Atlanta campus in Fall 2022 with Georgia State University’s 100% Campus Atlanta Transfer Scholarship.
Learn more about the International Undergraduate Student of the Year Award