2008 Awardees

Charles H. Wood

Professor of Sociology and Latin American Studies
Center for Latin American Studies

Campus Winner – Senior Faculty
Dr. Charles H. Wood, Professor of Sociology and Latin American Studies, has made significant contributions to the internationalization of the university through his scholarship, teaching and mentoring, and program development activities. Director of the Center for Latin American Studies from 1996 to 2004, he led the Center in a period of rapid growth in external funding for its research and graduate student training programs which raised the visibility and prominence of the Center both nationally and internationally. His career has been marked by his uncanny ability to identify emerging issues of global importance, whether deforestation of the Amazon in the 1980s or the impact of crime and violence on economic and political development in the Americas in the current decade, and to translate these themes into innovative, interdisciplinary programs grounded in collaboration between U.S. and Latin American scholars. He also contributed greatly to the internationalization of UF by enhancing the breadth and depth of Latin American expertise on campus through the development of joint appointments with units throughout the university.

Juan-Carlos Molleda

College of Journalism and Communications
Campus Winner – Junior Faculty
Dr. Molleda has developed a ground breaking research agenda on international public relations during his tenure at UF, which has resulted in 25 peer-review publications, 12 invited publications, 26 research papers presented at national and international conferences, 38 lectures or speeches at national and international professional events, and two teleseminars, since his first academic year in his position (2000-2001), he has conducted international research in Brazil (2001,2007); Colombia (2002,2004,2006,2008); Mexico (2003,2004); Panama, Venezuela, and Nigeria (2004). He incorporates results of his international research in the classes he teaches, transferring his up-to-date knowledge to his undergraduate and graduate students.

2008 Nominees

Alba Amaya-Burns
Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health
College of Public Health and Health Professions

Dr. Amaya-Burns came to the University of Florida after working for five years at USAID-El Salvador as the Infectious Diseases Project Manager Specialist at the U.S. Embassy. There she was responsible for the management and implementation of the US Missions on Infectious Diseases: HIV/AIDS and the Tuberculosis program. Her success in conducting those programs provided her the recognition by the Salvadoran government and donor agencies working in El Salvador as being a leader in building partnership to establish international initiatives. Shortly after she joined our college, she began international educational efforts that have as their goal the betterment of disadvantaged communities in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico. She has also sought to establish relationships with international universities, especially for our MPH students and for Ph.D. students from other public health concentrations or from other colleges on campus. Dr. Amaya-Burns has initiated collaborations with faculty from other departments in our college and from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, where she holds an affiliate position with the Latin American Center. She is one of the founders and participant faculty in the new initiative to create a certificate in Global Health through the College of Medicine.

Thomas T. Ankersen
Professor, Levin College of Law
In 15 years of service, Professor Ankersen has integrated research, teaching and service to the substantive development of international and comparative environmental law programs. Prof. Ankersen has been instrumental in creating programs in Latin America, Central America, the Caribbean and Africa regarding the protection of the environment, wildlife, forests, human rights, and the peaceful settlement of border disputes. He has involved numerous students in these efforts, both here and abroad and has contributed substantially to the international reputation of our university. Professor Ankersen’s forte has been applied research resulting in tangible law and policy services and ongoing programs. In 1999, he conducted pioneering research into the international legal framework for the management of shared resources and biological diversity in Central America. He has also conducted applied research to the development of international environment policy in the areas of community resource tenure and bioregionalism. Professor Ankersen’s current research interest lies in the development of land use policy in Latin America, and especially Costa Rica, where urban and coastal development and resultant gentrification threatens the country’s social and environmental fabric, while burdening its infrastructure. He is presenting this ongoing work at UF’s annual Latin America Conference in 2009.

Scott Banks
Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
College of Engineering
Dr. Banks is a world leader in the fields of human biomechanics, joint replacement and in-situ imaging of moving joints. Since joining the University of Florida, Dr. Banks has recruited 14 international post-doctoral fellows to UF through the J-1 visa program. In 2005, Dr. Banks was one of two non-Japanese authors to contribute a chapter for a textbook that is “the standard” for Japanese knee surgeons. In September 2005, Dr. Banks was honored to be the sole non-Japanese guest of the Eastern Japan Association for Orthopeadics and Traumatology, delivering a one-hour keynote lecture. More recently, he has given keynote lectures in Seoul, South Korea (2008), an invited lecture in London (2008), The Tewkesbury Fellowship Lecture in Melbourne, Australia (2007), a Presidential Guest Lecture in Sapporo, Japan, and the International Guest Lecture in Drakensburg, South Africa. Even though he is still an assistant professor, he has amassed 71 journal publications and 12 book chapters. Of particular relevance is the fact that many of these publications are coauthored by his international collaborations.

Enrique Bimstein
Professor of Pediatric Dentistry, College of Dentistry
Dr. Enrique Bimstein participated in the “Jornadas de salud” of the “Organizacion de la Juventud Mexicana” that provided dental treatment to underprivileged areas in Mexico City, its surroundings and various States of the Mexican Republic. He participated in a postgraduate fellowship on the Pediatric Dentistry in the Faculty of Dentistry of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Dr. Bimstein was a faculty member in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry of the Faculty of Dentistry of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem from 1972 to 2003. From 1972 to 2003, he spent sabbaticals in the U.S. ( San Francisco, San Antonio, Boston, Baltimore and Gainesville), New Zealand and Canada (the length of these varied from 1 month to 2 years). He has been invited to lecture at dental schools and local and international dental organizations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Spain, China, Cyprus and Turkey. In the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, he was the coordinator for the Pediatric Dentistry Department to the “D. Walter Cohen Middle East Center for Dental Education” that organized meetings and cooperative projects for Middle East countries and the Palestinian Authority. At the UF College of Dentistry, Dr. Bimstein was a a member of the UF Office of Global Health committee until UF closed it. Since then, he has been a representative of the UFCD to meetings of the interdisciplinary global health group of the UF Health Sciences Center.

Oana Cazacu
Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering
College of Engineering
Professor Oana Cazacu is truly an outstanding leader in international research and teaching. Oana is a visionary, and she has made a profound impact on the university and the international community by establishing the International Center for Applied Computational Mechanics, by her leadership in planning international workshops and symposia, through her research partnering, and by bringing her “classroom” abroad to reach the world’s students. Oana’s vision, technical competence, hard work and personal diplomacy were the fundamental ingredients used in establishing the International Center for Applied Computational Mechanics (ICACM) at UF-REEF. ICACM’s mission is to promote collaborative research among UF and other American and European academic institutions. ICACM has created a forum for interaction among graduate students, young researchers and senior researchers in the field of solid mechanics through the presentation of technical workshops and short-courses. Oana has recently been instrumental in organizing prestigious international symposia in Florida and in France. These symposia raised the stature of UF in the eyes of other academic and research institutions and increased recognition and visibility of the research activities at UF and UF-REEF. The results of the symposia are being published in several books (publishers Wiley and Sons, Elsevier), ensuring widespread dissemination of information on the most advanced knowledge in key areas in computational solid mechanics.

Sylvia Chan-Olmsted
College of Journalism and Communications
Dr. Chan-Olmsted is one of the most respected scholars of media economics in the world. She was co-editor of the 1988 book, Global Media Economics, and her Competitive Strategy for Media Firms received the 2006 “Most Significant Contribution to Media Management and Economics Book Award” from the Media Management and Economic Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Her scholarship focuses on comparative studies of world media markets, mergers and acquisitions and alliances of media firms, expansions of global media conglomerates, and strategic management in emerging media industries.

C. Richard Conti
Department of Medicine, College of Medicine
Dr. Conti has been involved in International Education, Service and Research. He is an internationally recognized cardiologist, and as such is called upon frequently to contribute in teaching, research and service throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, South America and the Soviet Union. Through his efforts, he has brought international recognition to this Division of Cardiology, this Department of Medicine and this university. In 1989, Dr. Conti was elected president of the American College of cardiology, and during his tenure, he spearheaded and coordinated an effort to establish a relationship with the European Society of Cardiology. He and the then president of ESC (HP Krayenbuhl) established reciprocal international symposia at both the American Colelge of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Sessions and the European Society of Cardiology’s Scientific Sessions. These co-hosted symposia persist today, and have led to invaluable sharing of scientific information, relationship building and international research opportunities. His presence and innovations in these activities led to collaboration at all levels, and he developed an exchange program in which young American academic cardiologists visited leading university centers in the UK, Netherlands, France and Germany. He was the first to lead a delegation of these young cardiologists to these countries, and in subsequent years there was a reciprocating agreement with the European Society of Cardiology to send young, academic cardiologists to the United States, including the University of Florida.

Joseph Funderburk
Professor of Entomology
College Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Dr. Joseph Funderburk, an entomologist located at the North Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy, Florida, is a world expert in thrips, an insect with 5,000 species worldwide, 87 of which are serious agriculture threats. Dr. Funderburk’s programs in the management and identification of thrips species, which threaten U.S. crops when they enter the nation through Florida, are of great domestic and international significance. His work, carried out in many countries in a wide variety of crops, has been of great benefit to the citizens of Florida, the U.S., and the world. Dr. Funderburk’s research, extension, and teaching programs are focused on the ecology, management, and taxonomy of thrips. His ability to turn taxonomy research into new agricultural inspection procedures in the U.S. and abroad helps crops and many national economies from the invasion of new thrip species and the viruses they carry. The success of Dr. Funderburk’s research and extension program is reflected in his 2004 USDA Honor Award for Excellence, USDA’s highest recognition for service to agriculture and the public.

Lauren Garber Lake
Assistant Professor of Studio Art
School of Art and Art History, College of Fine Arts
Garber’s dedication to her students is evidenced both in her teaching philosophy that extends to her desire to enhance the international educational experience for our students and her role in coordinating with other faculty and administrators to initiate, recruit and teach courses beyond campus, such as Personal Geographies: Sketching Paris (www.sketchingparis08.blogspot.com) and Ground Truth: Evidence of Paris for the UF Paris Research Center in 2007 and 2008. Garber also twice organized and taught UF students in courses at the Skopelos Foundation for the Arts in Skopelos, Greece. The student’s work and experience is beautifully documented at www.skopelos2008.blogspot.com. Garber stresses the importance of the roles of the artist-both student and professional- as a leader who helps insure the well being, growth and sustainability of democracy and advocacy. She encourages her students to seek out leadership positions in government, environmental, scientific and cultural arenas and broadens their world view by assigning projects that foster a sense of place and community.

Robert Gilbert
Associate Professor, Department of Agronomy
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Dr. Robert Gilbert, a sugarcane agronomist located at the Everglades Research and Education Center in Belle Glade, Florida, was recruited to UF/IFAS in 2000, after four years as a Research Fellow with the Rockefellar Foundation in West Africa. Dr. Gilbert uses his 50% research 50% extension appointment to conduct cultivar breeding programs that have yielded varieties used worldwide, including more than 90% of Florida’s commercial sugarcane acreage, 25% of Argentina’s total acreage, 16% in Belize, 50% of in El Salvador, 65% in Guatemala, 47% in Honduras, 15% in Mexico, 54% in Morocco, 75% in Nicaragua, 9% in Senegal, and 9% in Venezuela. He has taught internationally, as well. Dr. Gilbert taught his “Sugarcane Production Course” to 20 fourth-year students from 9 countries at EARTH University, with faculty drawn from UF/IFAS and the USDA-ARS Canal Point sugarcane breeding station. This allowed the students greater exposure U.S. sugarcane industry and allowed guest faculty to gain greater exposure to EARTH University.

Bob Hatch
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Bob Hatch received his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin in the History of Science, and soon after joining UF helped establish the Program in the History of Science, the first doctoral program in the Southeast. His interest in international issues and globalism are reflected in his research, teaching, and study abroad commitments. His research focuses on the role of science in early modern Europe, the so-called Scientific Revolution, where the Nation State first joined hands with New Science to sharpen national identity, where the Republic of Letters soon evolved into the Public Sphere. His research regularly takes him to European archives, where 30 visits he has conducted research in over 65 libraries in 9 countries; he has published in England, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and the Netherlands. Strongly committed to international studies, he served 12 years as a Director of the Cambridge Program (1987-1998), the oldest and perhaps the most prestigious program at UF. Here he worked with Cambridge faculty on the curriculum, coordinating ‘supervisions’, and publishing Guidelines still in use today. More recently, he served as Summer Program Coordinator for the Paris Research Center, Reid Hall, Paris (2001-2005) during the first four years, crafting the curriculum, excursion sites, and in organizing supervision and travel procedures.

Rafael Muñoz-Carpena
Associate Professor Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Institute of Food and Agriculture and Natural Resources

Dr. Rafael Muñoz-Carpena is one of the most internationally accomplished young faculty members in the UF/IFAS Agricultural and Biological Engineering department. He has collaborated with scientists in Europe, Latin America, and Africa for many years. Educated in the U.S. and Spain, he in naturally comfortable in many cultures. Working with colleagues in other countries, he collaborates in research projects and co-publishes with them, including a recent book on an integrated approach to soil-water-solute characterization, co-authored with a professor in Spain. His extension activities include developing and delivering short courses in South America, such as his series on intensive 7-day courses, delivered over three years in Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, and Guatemala. Committed to international education, Dr. Muñoz-Carpena developed an undergraduate/graduate exchange program between UF and EARTH (Escuela de Agricultura de la Region Tropical Humeda) University in Costa Rica, which gives UF students international experience and helps recruit top Latin American students to UF.

Esther Obonyo
Assistant Professor, Rinker School of Building Construction
College of Design, Construction & Planning
During the three years that Dr. Obonyo has been at the Rinker School, she has had major accomplishments as an “international educator.” These include securing both UF and NSF (National Science Foundation) funding for international research and educational activities. She has published and presented to international audiences. She has also been awarded traveling grants. Further details are provided in the subsequent paragraphs. Dr. Obonyo’s research interests range across construction informatics (intelligent information and knowledge-based systems for construction), sustainable building technologies and more recently the globalization of construction engineering education. In all these areas, she has collaborated with leading professionals in the built environment to further scientific advances. Her recent international research activities in the area of sustainable building technologies have been focusing on the use of eco-materials. Her first NSF award (with Dr. Ries) was for Developing Global Scientists and Engineers. It was in fact designed around engaging students to work with her to understand how this philosophy would work within the context of developing countries. Through this three year program she is able to integrate her research with education.

Todd Palmer
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Over the past decade, Todd Palmer has been awarded 4 major National Science Foundation grants totaling over 1.6 million dollars to conduct research, train students and establish collaborations with scientists in Africa, resulting in the funding and mentoring of numerous African and American Ph.D. and Masters students, several active collaborations with African scientists, 24 peer-reviewed research papers in many of the highest-profile journals in the sciences (including Science and Nature) and inclusion of his research in three on the premiere undergraduate and graduate textbooks in ecology. In addition, in 2001 Todd created an affordable, experientially-based field school in ecology, conservation and cross-cultural learning for U.S. and Kenyan undergraduates (to be administered through UF’s Study Abroad this summer, pending approval) training scores of undergraduates in ecology and conservation in the developing world, as well and funding and building four primary and secondary schools, potable water-delivery systems, and zero-grazing dairy facilities through rural Kenya. Through field schools, Todd has trained over 100 students (75% females), many of whom are now actively working in international conservation.

Yong G. Peng
Dr. Peng has many significant international accomplishments. His research has crossed all international boundaries; his teaching of residents and fellows in our department, and his scholar exchange program have crossed international barriers that many would never dream; and his service has built bridges between our university and other universities throughout the world that will always hold steady. Dr. Peng received his medical education in his native China at Xi’an Medical University where he graduated at the top of his class. He then immigrated to the United States and received a Ph.D. from the Medical University of South Carolina in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Pathology. After obtaining his Ph.D., he came to the University of Florida where he was an exemplary resident in anesthesiology. Dr. Peng then went to Emory University for fellowship training in cardiovascular anesthesia before returning to UF to join our faculty in 2002. Dr. Peng’s primary clinical focus has been on the delivery of cardiovascular anesthesia. He is a superb clinician and his presence is a benefit to the patients he cares for, and the students, fellows, and visiting physicians who have the privilege of interacting with him on a daily basis.

Randy Ploetz
Department of Plant Pathology, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Dr. Randy Ploetz, a plant pathologist located at the Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead, Florida, is a new world-renowned authority on diseases of tropical fruit crops. Dr. Ploetz researches diseases that are significant threat to many of the commercially important tropical fruits grown in South Florida and in several tropical countries that are U.S. trading partners. He is the world authority on Panama disease of banana and has been instrumental in the International Musa (banana) Testing Program for this disease. In this effort he has collaborated with the CGIAR’s Bioversity International, the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, the Centre decooperation internationale en researche agronomique pour le developpement (CIRAD, a French development agency), the Fundacion Hondureña de investigacion Agricola, the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency, the Queesland Department of Primary Industries (Australia), the USAID, and the World Bank.

Francis E. “Jack” Putz
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Jack Putz has established himself as a world leader in tropical forest ecology and conservation and has contributed substantially to UF’s international reputation for research on a wide range of topics. Most importantly Jack’s research has contributed significantly to the development of forest protocols and carbon sequestration through improved forest management in the tropics. Although he did not success in getting improved forest management included in the Kyoto Protocol, his recent publication have had a direct impact on pioneering new initiative the UN-REDD program (Reduced Emissions from Deforesting and Degradation) aimed to help tropical forested countries step up the fight to combat climate change. Jack’s service is exemplary and global in scope. He has served on the advisory boards of several international NGO’s (e.g., Tropical Forest Foundation and Rain Forest Alliance). He is also a member of editorial boards of journals focused on international issues, Biotropica, Forest Ecology and Management, Conservation Biology and the Journal of Tropical Forest Science. Currently he is dedicating a great deal of effort to the recently announced REDD initiative, sponsored by three United Nation agencies.

Paul Richards
Associate Professor of Composition in the School of Music
College of Fine Arts
Paul Richards is an Associate Professor of Composition in the School of Music in the College of Fine Arts. His compositions have been recorded and performed around the world and he has been involved in many international teaching activities. His music has been performed in countless international venues over the years, such as The International Clarinet Association Conference in Tokyo, Japan; The International English Literature Conference, Famagusta, North Cyprus; The Hermopolus Guitar Festival, Siros, Greece; The New Music for Sligo Festival, Ireland; The International Academy of Music St. Petersburg, Russia; The Wroclaw Conservatory of Music, Wroclaw, Poland; The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Wales. His musical compositions have been recorded for commercial release by the Moravian Philharmonic, Olomouc, Czech Republic; the Slovak Radio Orchestra with clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, Bratislava, Slovakia and by the Israeli String Quartet, Tel Aviv, Israel. Richards has organized valuable international travel and musical experiences for dozens of UF students- traveling, rehearsing and presenting performances in Russia and Poland.

Diane Ryndak
Associate Professor, Department of Special Education
College of Education
Dr. Ryndak has worked with policy makers at the Ministry of Education and with researchers at the Polish Academy of Sciences to promote the inclusive education of children and youth with moderate to severe disabilities in Poland. As a leading authority on the inclusive education with children and youth with moderate to severe disabilities, Dr. Ryndak’s research has made a significant contribution to the discipline. She has collaborated with researchers around the world. Results of her work has been published in prestigious outlets and disseminated through conferences and workshops in a number of countries. In 2003-04, Dr. Ryndak was a Fulbright Scholar in Poland. In addition, she was invited by the Sate Department to work with the United States embassies in Peru and the Ukraine to facilitate inclusive education in their countries.

R. Terry Schnadelbach
Professor of Landscape Architecture
College of Design, Planning & Construction
Schnadelbach, a fully tenured professor, has developed and heads our efforts to internationalize the curriculum. Professor Schnadelbach initiated, developed and teaches the fall semester at the University of Florida’s Paris Research Center (PRC). The program, open to all bachelors and graduate students, is unique, establishing a curriculum and course content specific solely to landscape architecture. Contact with French professionals and participation with leading French academic institutions is integrated into the curriculum. To provide library resource to our students, Schnadelbach has donated his European collection – over 300 books – to the PRC, and generated numerous papers on historical and contemporary French landscapes, to enrich the student’s field of study. Additionally, Professor Schnadelbach has received annual grants from the Florence Gould Foundation to support an evening lecture series, and has undertaken in his design studio several design projects of service to Parisian institutions.

Gregory Schultz
Department of Medicine, College of Medicine
Dr. Schultz is a truly outstanding researcher who is internationally recognized for his research in the area of molecular regulation of wound healing, as indicated by over 6,400 citations of his work by researchers in his field. Much of his research involves international collaborations with over 50 of Dr. Schultz’s 230 research papers, book chapters and reviews being co-authored by students, scientists and physicians in 23 other countries, including the UK, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Italy, France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Japan, Cuba, Canada and Australia. His research with faculty and graduate students in the Department of Pathology at the University of Linkoping in Sweden is so extensive that the University of Linkoping awarded him a Medicinae Doctorem, honoris causa, degree. Dr. Schultz established the Collaborative Agreement between the Institute for Wound Research at UF and the Institute for Ophthalmology at the University of London in the early 1990s, which has enabled more than a dozen foreign graduate students and faculty members to engage in extended research rotations at UF that have led to numerous co-authored publications and joint patents in the area of reducing scar formation and contraction.

Sharleen Simpson
Associate Professor, College of Nursing
Dr. Simpson has regularly taught interdisciplinary seminar on International Maternal Child Health. She has co-developed a course for undergraduate nursing students titles “Nursing in Yucatan” that has attracted an increasing number of students who then travel to Mexico and appreciate first-hand the living conditions that influence health in an impoverished population. These students also participate in on-going nutrition assessments that utilize their foreign language skills, participating frequently on interdisciplinary committees in anthropology, Natural Resources & Environment, Food Science and Human Nutrition, and Latin American Studies. She has regularly practiced as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner in health department settings where her Spanish language skills enable her to communicate with underserved Hispanic women and serve as a culturally competent role model for nurse practitioner students. Her international service has included serving as an external examiner for nurse practitioner programs in the West Indies and a grant reviewer for the International Maternal Child Health Project sponsored by the Fogarty Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Ian R. Tebbett
Professor, College of Pharmacy
Dr. Tebbett initiated and developed distance education courses in forensic science at the University of Florida, which were first offered in Fall of 2000. Under his direction, the program has now expanded into four distant MS programs: Forensic Toxicology, Forensic Drug Chemistry, Forensic Science, and Forensic Serology and DNA, and offers certificates in 6 specialized areas (see website at www.forensicscience.ufl.edu). The target audience for these programs includes working professionals in crime laboratories, medical examiners offices, and law enforcement, who wish to improve their qualifications to enhance courtroom credibility and career prospects. As a result of Dr. Tebbett’s efforts in making the distance education program know world-wide, we currently have students from 28 different countries taking online forensic courses through the University of Florida. Through bulletin boards, email and real time chat theses students are able to discuss cases and share information on current practices in different parts of the US and around the world. Through the development of global education initiatives, UF Forensic Science programs have established partnerships with academic institutions in Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Poland, Lithuania, India, Great Britain, and Australia to facilitate the dissemination of our material throughout those regions.