Ohio University

International Education Week gala recognizes global engagement

International Education Week gala recognizes global engagement
Published: December 11, 2018 Author: Alaina Bartel

On Nov. 14, Ohio University alumni David Wilhelm BA ‘77 followed up on conversations he had weeks ago with the Minister of Energy in Barbados about renewable energy opportunities and education. 

That same day, his team at Hecate Energy finalized a memorandum of understanding for a 30-megawatt solar power project in Djibouti. Also that day, he spoke with people in Tanzania, Ghana and Mongolia about solar energy. 

And, later in the evening, he accepted the Alumni Award for Excellence in Global Engagement during the sixth annual Global Engagement Awards Gala hosted by OHIO’s Office of Global Affairs and International Studies. The event was one of many celebrating International Education Week at Ohio University. 

“I’ve been all over the world this year, mostly in Africa, and I’ve taken OHIO with me,” Wilhelm said. “I take the lessons I learned from Ohio University and from growing up in Appalachian Ohio.”

Wilhelm was one of several people and organizations recognized for their global engagement at the event. Dr. Lorna Jean Edmonds, vice provost for Global Affairs and International Studies, said all of the IEW events at OHIO tie back into the theme of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. 

“While you are listening to the remarks of our incredible speakers and you enjoy this memorable evening, I hope tonight also can inspire you about the importance of global education, and the work we can do here at Ohio University in moving toward these important Sustainable Development Goals,” she said.

Dr. David Koonce, interim vice president for research and creative activities and dean of the Graduate College, introduced the award recipients of the evening. 

Dr. Geoffrey Dabelko, professor and director of environmental studies and associate dean in the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, was recognized with the Faculty Award for Excellence in Global Engagement. 

In his remarks, Dabelko discussed the mentors he worked with at OHIO and around the country, and explained how today’s students have to understand the global context in order to be prepared and effective wherever they choose to work, whether that’s in Southeast Ohio or around the world.

“It is a privilege to receive this award given all of the dynamic international leaders on this campus,” Dabelko said.

Debra McBride, assistant director of Global Health Initiative, was the recipient of the Staff Award for Excellence in Global Engagement. 

“I am privileged to work with a great team at Global Health who are as equally dedicated to global health, education, research and outreach as I try to be,” McBride said. 

First Presbyterian Church, Athens, was recognized with the Community Award for Excellence in Global Engagement.

“We feel very honored to be the first recipient of this award,” said the Rev. Robert Martin “From the number of people that we have here this evening, you can see that the gift of hospitality is an important aspect of our church community.” 

The Tanaka-OHIO Award for Excellence in Global Engagement was accepted by Dr. Hiromi Imamura, professor of English Education at Chubu University in Japan. 

“Since I started teaching at Chubu University in 1991, I have been luckily involved in teaching with many wonderful educators and staff not only of Chubu University but also Ohio University,” Dr. Imamura said. “This partnership has become an example of international academic collaboration and has helped our two institutions evolve into true sister universities.” 

The Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Dr. Felix V Gagliano, former vice provost for international programs and director of the Center for International Studies. 

“I have followed OHIO’s international activities closely and with nostalgia since my retirement 20 years ago,” Gagliano said. “I have been delighted to note that President Duane Nellis and Vice Provost LJ Edmonds have continued to support and strengthen OHIO’s international activities.” 

In closing, Edmonds said that OHIO”s students, faculty, alumni, staff and leadership all contribute to the success of the university’s global engagement programs, and she thanked the university community for its efforts.

“I must say that global engagement is all about friends, but it is also all about making a difference,” Edmonds said. “It’s so nice to have had  the honor this evening to see how you are all making a difference in your own imitable way, with your own connections, your friends and community, whether it is here in Athens or in Japan or around the world. It is really quite extraordinary and for that we are very grateful.”

The 2018 Global Engagement Awards Gala.

Photographer: Neketa FordeThe Global Engagement Awards Gala honored faculty, staff, alumni, a community organization and a Chubu University faculty member for excellence in global engagement.

Felix Gagliano received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 Global Engagement Awards Gala.

Photographer: Neketa FordeFelix Gagliano received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Nov. 14 Global Engagement Awards Gala.