2010 Awardees

Dr. Ranga Narayanan

Professor, Chemical Engineering
College of Engineering

Campus Winner - Senior Faculty
Dr. Narayanan is a member of UF’s Academy of Distinguished Teacher Scholars, a recipient of the Florida Blue Key Distinguished Faculty Award, and the Director of the 3.2 million dollar NSF funded program Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE). The PIRE program provides training for over 35 UF graduate students in international collaboration with France and Japan, cultural education, and co-direction of theses. The PIRE is the first of its kind in the College of Engineering and the first in this topical area in the nation.  In addition, this program has helped bring in the prestigious Chateaubriand Fellowship to the University of Florida.  Professor Narayanan is also the recipient of a Japan Society Fellowship (2009), Distinguished Foreign Scientist Award from India (2010), and has been elected as academician to the International Aeronautics Academy (2006).  This follows his past awards of fellowships by the Fulbright and Humboldt Foundations.  

Dr. Richard Wang

Assistant Professor of Chinese
Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Campus Winner - Junior Faculty
Dr. Wang’s research has made a significant contribution to his discipline through the creation of new knowledge regarding the literary narrative of the Ming-Qing dynasties (roughly 14th – 18th century) and its religious dimensions. Dr. Wang studies the negotiation, exchange, and interaction between fictional works and the history of books and print culture. Dr. Wang’s research has resulted in two book projects.  Dr. Wang has developed and taught the introductory course in Chinese culture and revised many of the syllabuses for existing courses to enhance their content and pedagogical value. Dr. Wang has also designed three new courses: Taoism in Chinese Culture (CHT3513), Journey to the West (CHT 4603), and Religious Dimensions of Late Imperial Chinese Literature (CHI 4122). These are all dynamic and bold new courses that have substantially enriched our Chinese offerings. Dr. Wang is a consummate example of the scholar for the new millennium and a researcher who moves seamlessly across cultures and disciplines to reveal new aspects of age old traditions.

DeEtta Rhodes

Program Assistant
College of Health and Human Performance
Campus Winner - Staff Award
Ms. Rhodes played a foundational role in creating the first study abroad courses in the college and has been instrumental in the success of every study abroad course since. These courses have increased student and faculty awareness of international activities, enhanced the college’s curriculum, recruited international students and visiting scholars to UF, resulted in international research projects, and enhanced both UF and the college’s profile.  Ms. Rhodes’ enthusiasm, passion, and belief in the significant value of how a study abroad experience can enrich a student’s academic career is evident by listening to her talk with students. She explains the excitement of visiting places never before experienced, opening eyes to a different worldview, and the life‐long friendships that are made through study abroad experiences better than any faculty and staff can.

Jason Steuber

Cofrin Curator of Asian Art
Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art
Campus Winner - Staff Award
Since his arrival at UF and the Harn Museum, Jason has increased and sustained the Harn Museum and its Asian art collections in the international field through symposia, publications, and research. Not only has the Harn Museum hosted visiting scholars from Asia, Europe, Canada and across the United States, it has also benefited by being invited to participate in art and cultural exchange programs, particularly with Japan and Korea. Jason has collaborated with various departments, centers and student organizations on the UF campus on international themes found in the Asian art exhibitions and collections held at the Harn Museum, such as CHiTra (Center for the Study of Hindu Traditions), Asian Studies, School of Art and Art History, Shands Hospital, and Asian American Student Union.

2010 Nominees

Johanna Cleary
Associate Professor
Department of Telecommunication
College of Journalism and Communications

Johanna Cleary, has contributed to international education in support of the College of Journalism and Communications’ Study Abroad Program for the past four years.  The program involves four departments and is the second largest UF-sponsored study abroad experience.  She is responsible for recruiting and teaching all telecommunication students who participate, a number that now approaches 150.  She has developed several courses that are offered exclusively during study abroad.  Her students have produced professional news stories on the light rail system in Bordeaux, French wineries, and the museums of Madrid.  She spends considerable time both before and after travel helping students plan and produce their stories.  The result has been additions to student portfolios that are a cut above those of almost any telecommunication major in the United States. 

Dr. Reza Ehsani
Assistant Professor
Citrus Research and Education Center, IFAS

Dr. Ehsani’s international program goal is focused on developing tools and technologies to benefit small growers enabling them to increase productivity. Dr. Ehsani has active collaboration projects with Japan, Malaysia, China, India, Iran and Turkey and is well recognized in other countries. As a result of a collaborative project in Malaysia, he has developed and field-tested a small active optic sensor that can assist oil palm growers to apply the right amount of fertilizer in their fields. Dr. Ehsani has provided opening and keynote talks for international conferences and has been invited to give presentations at several international conferences and workshops. He has hosted and trained many students, visiting scholars, and scientists from Asia who are now actively working in the area of precision agriculture.

Dr. Ian Flood
Associate Professor
Building Construction, M.E. Rinker, Sr.
School of Building Construction
Dr. Flood has initiated and helped establish a student exchange program between the National University in Singapore and the Rinker School.  The program started this semester and currently has 4 students from Singapore studying at UF and 1 student from UF scheduled to study in Singapore in the Spring.  He has taught and developed 8 courses within the Rinker School over the last 5 years. Many of these courses have some international components; the most relevant is a graduate course in International Business Management. Dr. Flood has taken on senior officer and organizational positions with the American Society of Civil Engineers and has worked closely with the European Group for Intelligent Computing in Engineering, and the Computational Mechanics Group from Strathelyde University, Scotland. 

Dr. Heather Gibson,
Associate Professor
Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management (TRSM)
College of Health and Human Performance

Dr. Gibson is a recognized international scholar in three interrelated dimensions within tourism: Sport Tourism; Tourism in later life; and Gender and Tourism. For her work in the area of tourism in later life she was appointed a Fellow of the World Demographic Society, St Gallen, Switzerland in January 2006 and was an invited speaker at the World Ageing & Generations Congress in 2005 and 2006.  In 2004 Dr. Gibson assumed the role of International Studies Coordinator for TRSM. In this role she is the academic manager for two exchange programs, the University of Western Sydney and the University of the Northern Territories, both in Australia.

Dr. Geoffrey Giles
Associate Professor of History
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Dr. Giles has conducted research in Germany, England and elsewhere, published extensively on the culture, society and history of modern Germany, Nazism, and the Holocaust, and presented his work at conferences and in lectures here and abroad. Last year he received the history department’s Mahon award for undergraduate teaching.  He has made significant contributions to UF’s international programs and education through his direction of the “UF-Cambridge University” study abroad program and the Thanksgiving break in Munich program.  In 1983 Dr Giles along with Dr David Colburn founded UF’s summer program at Cambridge University.  Dr. Giles’ superb organizational skills, dedication to teaching, and expertise in the history of modern Germany and Nazism continue to form the foundation for the remarkably successful and affordable study-abroad program in Munich.

Chandra Hardy
Director of Admissions and Student Services
Information Systems and Operations Management Program
Hough Graduate School of Business

With an international student population of 59% in their program, she has had constant exposure to international students and has fielded many questions and concerns related to their academic and social experiences at UF. She has worked with undergraduate and graduate students (current and prospective), faculty, administrators, and alumni, most of whom come from foreign countries whose first language is not English. These countries include China, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Morocco, Canada, Colombia, Jamaica, Lebanon, Macau, Peru, Poland and Thailand.

Dr. Willard Hasty
Professor of German
Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Professor Hasty’s research has made a significant contribution to his discipline through the creation of new knowledge in the field of Medieval and early Modern Studies and in particular in the role of German Chivalric Literature in the creation of a European culture.  Professor Hasty has published three books and edited or co-edited six others as well as numerous book chapters and refereed articles.  His work in developing the Intensive Intermediate Program in Mannheim Germany and the Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS) in Mannheim Program has involved his students in academic activities abroad. He has developed a core curriculum for the MEMS program that introduces students to the international aspects of Medieval Culture. From his efforts in organizing MEMS conferences to the Center’s sponsorship of sessions at national and international conferences, his tireless efforts have made scholars throughout the field aware of the importance of UF in Medieval and Early Modern Studies.   

Dr. Suming Huang
Assistant Professor
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
College of Medicine

Dr. Huang serves as Principal Investigator on two National Institutes of Health research project grants and is involved in a variety of activities in Hong Kong.  He has an exemplary record in gaining research funding, mentors Ph.D. students, and acts as a reviewer for multiple international funding organizations.  He has established international research collaborations including those with the University of Glasgow, The Institute of Cancer Research in the UK, and Jilin University, China.  He has also presented at international seminars including The University of Hong Kong, The 1st World Cancer Congress in Shanghai, and the IMCB A*STAR in Singapore.

Dr. Robert Knechel, Director
International Center for Research in Accounting and Auditing
Warrington College of Business Administration

Dr Knechel is a highly influential accounting scholar with a global reputation. He has an extensive history of international research and educational initiatives.  His work is frequently cited in discussions of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board. He has been invited to participate in studies with international accounting firms based in Brussels, (Deloitte), Amsterdam (KPMG), and Frankfurt. Current internationally based research projects are underway in the following countries: New Zealand, The Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Canada and Germany.  Dr. Knechel was appointed Director of UF’s International Center for Research in Accounting and Auditing in 2006 and holds the title Professor of Auditing at Maastricht University (the Netherlands) and the title of Visiting Research Professor at the University at Auckland (New Zealand). 

William A Messina, Jr.
Food and Resource Economics, IFAS.

Mr. Messina has been on staff in the Food and Resource Economics Department at the University of Florida for 21 years and throughout his time at UF he has been extraordinarily dedicated to the promotion of research, teaching, and extension on topics in the field of international agriculture. Whether it be through the development of innovative research programs (e.g., the Department’s unprecedented research program on Cuban agriculture conducted in collaboration with the University of Havana), presenting his research results across a wide spectrum of extension and professional audiences, or bringing his expertise to students through teaching of courses on international agriculture and his key role in the successful introduction of UF’s minor in International Development and Humanitarian Assistance, he constantly strives to expand the knowledge base on international agriculture.

Dr. Kelly T. Morgan
Associate Professor
Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, IFAS

Dr Kelly T. Morgan has contributed to research and extension efforts at the University of Florida by devoting a portion of his program to international activities.  Most of Dr. Morgan’s activities have been in Costa Rica but also includes work in or with people from Honduras, South Africa, Malawi, Uganda, India, Egypt, China, Australia, and Georgia.  A highlight of Dr. Morgan’s international efforts has been chairing the organizing committees of two international biofuel crop production conferences at EARTH University in Costa Rica (2008) and Zamorano University in Honduras (2010) as well as a third conference to be held in Florida (2011).  

Dr. Juan C. Nino
Associate Professor
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
College of Engineering

Since 2003 Juan C. Nino has developed, fostered and established a number of new international research, teaching and service activities that have elevated UF’s profile, recognition, and ties with South American countries.  These activities include the organization of research workshops at host universities in Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela. These workshops have led to several new research collaboration agreements with research groups in those countries, including visits from professors and students.  In addition, he has systematically focused on the recruitment of international graduate students from South America via recruiting visits and most recently by working directly with senior leadership of UF’s Graduate School in representing UF abroad and increasing international graduate admission.

Neta Pulvermacher
Assistant Professor
School of Theatre and Dance
College of Fine Arts
It is Professor Pulvermacher’s belief that the world (physical and spiritual, locally and globally) is our classroom, lab space, and playground.  To that end she has developed programs and courses at UF that strive to address the need for connecting between seemingly disparate academic disciplines and fields of academic research and creative inquiry.  Her service to our students, school, and the larger community of the University of Florida and the world are addressed by striving to take students across the geographic and cultural boundaries and to challenge their minds with difficult questions while seeking their own answers. In her words, “I strive to bring dance to the world and the world to the dance.”

Dr. Ralf Remshart
Associate Professor
School of Theatre and Dance
College of Fine Arts
Dr. Remshart’s curriculum is heavily invested in questions regarding global theatre past and present, while virtually all of his courses have a strong international component.  Seminars, guest artists, and trips abroad are conducted for students within and beyond the School of Theatre and Dance. His teaching has recently extended itself into China with a number of courses offered during last year’s sabbatical as a “foreign expert.” As a director of theatrical productions within the School of Theatre and Dance, he strives to emphasize the presentation of foreign drama, classical as well as modern and postmodern, on the UF main stage.  Dr. Remshart is a member of several international organizations: International Brecht Society, International Federation for Theatre Research, and Gesellschaft für Theaterwissenschaft, and frequently attends conferences to present papers.

Dr. Steve Sargent
Horticultural Sciences, IFAS
Dr. Sargent has developed an internationally recognized program with the goal of reducing losses in the quality of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs from harvest through packing and shipping. His programs in extension outreach, research, teaching, and service are intertwined with active and directed international collaborations that have had significant impact on Florida and U.S. horticulture, and in the institutions and homelands of his collaborators. His most significant international contributions lie in the areas of: development of appropriate methods and technologies for maintaining fresh produce quality, informal training of professionals via organizing and offering short courses overseas, and formal training by hosting visiting scientists and advising M.S. and doctoral students and undergraduate interns. In May 2010, he was awarded the title of Honorary Professor in Food Technology by the Universidad
Nacional del Santa in Chimbote, Peru.

Dr. Mel Sunquist
Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, IFAS
Dr. Sunquist’s research is directed at understanding the biology of big cats and how these landscape species can survive in an increasingly fractured and human-dominated world. His field studies of big cats have spanned the globe from Nepal, India, Malaysia, and Laos, to Venezuela and Brazil. Nearly 100 of the 140+ graduate students he has mentored or advised have gone on to established themselves in prominent positions in international wildlife conservation organizations and to provide leadership in key policy making roles. Dr. Sunquist serves as an invited member and advisor to Exxon Mobile Save-The-Tiger fund, IUCN Cat Specialist group, and PANTHERA among others. Dr. Sunquist’s research has earned him international recognition as a leading authority in the field of wildlife and conservation and has significantly raised UF’s profile. He has provided education and training for the next generation of global conservation leaders.

Kevin R. Thompson
Assistant Professor
Center for International Design and Planning
Department of Landscape Architecture
Landscape Field Schools operate on a study abroad model Professor Thompson developed called the ISLE (International Service Learning Exchange) Program. This program focuses on collaborative planning and design exchange experiences between US students and host country program participants.  The program has excelled in providing unique and important service at no cost to communities in need, provided an innovative teaching approach, valuable service learning opportunity to students, and opportunities Professor Thompson to conduct original research and disseminate it to a national and international audience. The programs have been situated in Southeast Asia with an emphasis on Indonesia (Java and Bali specifically) but have also included Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and South Vietnam. 

Dr. Debbie Treise
Department of Advertising
Associate Dean for Graduate Studies
College of Journalism and Communications
Dr. Treise has helped to design, execute, and enhance one of UF’s largest and most successful sponsored study abroad programs for the past nine years.  Her study abroad courses typically have the highest enrollment of any at UF. One of these, Advertising Campaigns, a senior-level capstone course, requires many hours of lectures, meetings, and feedback. Although the Campaigns course is a part of UF’s domestic curriculum each semester, the study abroad version taught by her provides an international twist.  Students may be asked to market an international product in the United States, or be asked to market a U.S. brand in a foreign land.  She also teaches a rotating topics course that explores the culture, values, and symbols of the country each program has visited, including Greece, Italy, Spain, England, Ireland, Scotland, and Australia. Finally, in her role as counselor and friend to students during their study abroad experience, she has had a profound influence on students’ welfare, success, and international growth that extends well beyond the classroom. 

Dr. Bernard Whiting
Department of Physics
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Dr. Whiting enables substantial international recognition of his department through his role as PI for an NSF supported International Research Experiences for Undergraduates (IREU) Program that he has directed since 2007.  The focus is gravitational wave physics and one of its purposes is to allow students at small schools with limited research access to work with laboratories abroad, experience the international atmosphere of big science, and establish contacts they can use to enhance their own academic environment.  Dr. Whiting is a member of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) Scientific Collaboration (LSC) that is dedicated to the detection of gravitational waves. In the spring 2007 Dr. Whiting and Luc Blanchet from the Institute for Astrophysics in Paris (IAP) worked together to develop a Cooperative Agreement between UF and IAP to create possibilities for student and intellectual exchange.