International outreach coordinator lauded for lifting students
Miguel Ayllon, the College of Engineering’s international outreach coordinator, loves working with students, be it through study abroad programs, his work as adviser of the MU chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers or the multitude of additional daily interactions he has with Mizzou engineers. And several of those students found a tangible way to show that they’ve noticed and appreciated Ayllon’s efforts.
Ayllon was one of 10 MU faculty and staff members to receive a 2016 Excellence in Education Award from MU Student Affairs and the Parent Leadership Council in April. Recipients are lauded for their involvement “in out of class learning experiences with students and (their demonstration) of a longstanding commitment to student learning and personal development.”
Ayllon said he was honored that some of the students he’s worked with felt him worthy of such an honor.
“I was excited and grateful. It was a surprise for me to receive this award,” he said. “It of course made me very happy and excited, because if there’s something that makes me excited to come to work every day and get up in the morning, it’s that I get to work closely with students.”
The Lima, Peru, native has been director of the College of Engineering’s study abroad program since 2013. He’s also incredibly proud of his involvement with the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), which recently has seen a robust revival after a dormant period. The successes, however, he credits entirely to the students.
“I have been blessed to work directly with them,” he said. “I think we have formed a core group of student leaders who revamped the organization. When I came into the College, the organization wasn’t functioning. As a Latino, anything Latino or Hispanic is always interesting to me, so I looked at it as, ‘What do we have to do to restore this?’
“Little by little, I was able to meet some students who were interested, and obviously the credit goes to them. All I did was put the resources in front of them. … Ultimately for this to be successful, it has to be their idea, their effort, their vision.”
Ayllon holds a master’s degree in public administration from East Tennessee State University, and he said the reason he chose a path in the realm of higher education was to use his abilities to aid students during such a formative time in their lives.
“We have bright students,” he said. “We have students who want to make a difference. We have students that want to use their skills to solve complex problems.
“When you give students the resources that they need, you’ll be amazed at the results that you can get.”
Ayllon’s passion for students and the MU College of Engineering is evident in the way he interacts with colleagues and students alike.
“Miguel is an outstanding resource for our students and the college,” Dean Elizabeth Loboa said. “He is enthusiastic about proving global experiences that broaden the engineering curriculum. You will never see Miguel without a smile on his face as he works with our fantastic Engineering students. I am thrilled our students recognized his efforts with this well-deserved honor.”