Six international alumni receive U of M awards
Contacts: Jennifer Schulz, Office of International Programs, (612) 624-0557
Bob San, University News Service, (612) 624-4082
MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (04/24/2006) —Six international alumni of the University of Minnesota have been named recipients of the 2006 Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals - a university-wide award for alumni, former students and friends of the university who have distinguished themselves as leaders in their professional careers.
This award is conferred on alumni, former students and friends of any campus (current or former) of the university who have attained unusual distinction in their careers within institutions or in public service and have demonstrated either sustained outstanding achievement and leadership or demonstrated promise of such on a local, national or international level.
A faculty selection committee, headed by Tom Fisher, dean of the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, reviewed the nominations and chose the six winners.
"The international alumni and friends of the University of Minnesota have gone on to do very impressive and important work in their home countries and around the world," said Gene Allen, associate vice president for international programs. "The goal of this award is to increase the visibility of their achievements and to highlight the global impact of a University of Minnesota education.
Recipients for 2006 are:
Soon Ang, Singapore, received a doctorate in management and information systems from the Carlson School of Management in 1993. Ang is the Goh Tjoei Kok Chair Professor in Management and the executive director of the Center for Cultural Intelligence at the Nanyang Business School at Nanyang Technological University. Ang's groundbreaking research on the measurement of cultural intelligence has had a major impact on the field of international education and cross-cultural training and counseling.
Benedicta Chiwokwu Aguisabo, Nigeria, was a Humphrey Fellow at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs in 2001-02. Aguisabo is senior program officer of the ENHANSE USAID project, a five-year bilateral agreement between the United States and Nigeria to strengthen education in Nigeria. Aguisabo has been called the mother of early childhood education for her tireless work to achieve basic rights and protection for children. She was instrumental in establishing a government policy on school feeding.
Shenggen Fan, China, received a doctorate in applied economics from the College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences in 1989. Fan is the division director of development strategy and governance at the International Food Policy Research Institute, one of the youngest division directors in the 30-year history of the institute. Fan has devoted most of his professional life to working in international development, especially in the areas of poverty and hunger. Fan received the prestigious Outstanding Young Scholar Award from the National Science Foundation of China in 2005.
Jostein Mykletun, Norway, received a masters and a doctorate degree in international relations/political science from the College of Liberal Arts in 1972 and 1979 respectively. He is the deputy director general of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which allows him to work at the crossroads of higher education, science, technology, innovation, commercialization, industry and business. One of his greatest achievements was the recent signing of the United States-Norway bilateral science and technology agreement, which will result in a stronger relationship between the United States and Norway. He was also instrumental in obtaining funding for The Norwegian Centennial Interdisciplinary Chair at the University of Minnesota.
Jose Suarez-Torres, Ecuador, received a master's of public health degree in 1979 and a doctorate in epidemiology in 1984 from the School of Public Health. Suarez-Torres is the founder and executive director of Fundacíon Cimas del Ecuador, a non-profit organization focused on the study of the environmental, developmental, and medical problems of Ecuador. He is also the director of the University of Minnesota's Minnesota Studies in International Development program in Ecuador, a unique model that combines study abroad and local development work. Suarez-Torres is described as an unofficial ambassador of the university for his ongoing support of students and the institution.
Winston C. Y. Yu, Taiwan, received a doctorate in animal science from the College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences in 1979. He is secretary general of Taiwan's National Health Research Institute, which was modeled after the National Institutes of Health in the United States. As the institute's first leader, Yu developed the institute into a leading research organization with 700 employees. Yu is also an accomplished researcher in the field of human papilloma virus and its close ties to cervical cancer.
The winners are recognized individually in ceremonies hosted by their colleges, either at the university or in their home countries. Jostein Mykletun will receive his award during University President Robert Bruininks's visit to Norway in May 2006.
The deadline for the next round of nominations will be in February 2007. See http://www.international.umn.edu/awards/leader/leader.html for more information, including longer biographies and photos of the recipients.