International efforts recognized
Since 2009, the University of Missouri Council on International Initiatives has annually recognized faculty, staff and student efforts to internationalize MU with International Engagement Awards. The awards highlight “meaningful and sustained commitments to international work” and “the concrete impact made upon scholarship, students or MU programs” by awardees.
This year, JR Swanegan, director of study abroad, international and diversity outreach for the College of Engineering, and Balavinayagam Ramalingam, a doctoral candidate in electrical and computer engineering, were nominated for the award.
Though neither of engineering’s nominees received the award, the pair was recognized at the award ceremony for their efforts.
“Through JR’s leadership as director of the study abroad program he created ten new and viable international programs that provide an international experience to undergraduate students wanting to increase their global view of engineering,” wrote Swanegan’s nominator. “His innovative programs have made him respected by both students and faculty campus wide.”
Ramalingam’s nominator outlined the many ways he supports the International Student Programs Office, from his help with the peer mentoring program to his organization of student development programs and activities. He also is actively engaged in coordinating the evaluation of international students’ courses for transfer credit and plays a primary role in getting them settled in their new surroundings. He is a key player in the international program’s mission.
The College of Engineering has been well represented in MU’s recognition of international efforts. In 2009, Daniel Huaco, a doctoral student in civil and environmental engineering, and in 2010, Ahmed Ibrahim, a doctoral candidate in civil and environmental engineering, received the outstanding student award. Jill Ford, engineering’s director of student enrichment and international student program received the award for outstanding staff contribution in 2012 and that same year, Xinhua Zhang, C.W. LaPierre professor in computer science, was recognized as the international scholar for making the outstanding faculty contribution.