Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger was among the three recipients of the 2010 Michael P. Malone International Leadership Award, sponsored by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU).
Other recipients included of Robert J. Jones of the University of Minnesota, and Barbara J. Stoecker of Oklahoma State University.
Established in 2000, the annual award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to international education at public and land-grant institutions. The award is named in honor of Michael P. Malone, president of Montana State University (MSU) from 1991 until his untimely death in 1999. Malone made many contributions to MSU and U.S. higher education through his work as chair of APLU’s Commission on International Programs, where he focused the group’s efforts on issues critical to international programs and increased its stature within APLU and elsewhere. The award will be presented during the summer meeting of the APLU Commission on International Programs July 12-14, 2010, in Sedona, Ariz.
“This year’s Malone Awards recipients have worked tirelessly to promote international education and development,” said APLU President Peter McPherson. “Their focus on international problems speaks well of America’s highly regarded university system and the willingness of our scholars to promote higher education around the globe.”
In Steger’s more than 10 years as president of Virginia Tech, five international centers were established around the globe, doubling student participation in the university’s study abroad programs. As former dean of the university’s College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Steger was the driving force behind the establishment of Virginia Tech's Center for European Studies and Architecture in Switzerland, which has hosted hundreds of study abroad students from departments across the university.”
“I am pleased and honored to be among the 2010 APLU Malone Award recipients for international leadership,” said Steger. “Globalization is real. It is imperative that the entire academy, but particularly students, respect, understand, and learn to interact in other cultures through immersion in those cultures and involvement in partnerships, and educational opportunities within countries around the world.”
In 2000, Steger’s dedication to cultural immersion was on display when he partnered with Swiss officials and The World Bank to establish a foundation in the United States to conduct research on mitigating global natural disasters. Virginia Tech is the only university in the country to have concurrently served as the management entity for two United States Agency for International Development Collaborative Research Support Programs (USAID-CRSP) projects. In the past year alone, Steger led an effort of 32 institutions world-wide to explore major program collaborations to build higher education capacity with institutions on the African continent.
Jones, senior vice president for systems academics administration, and professor of agronomy and plant genetics at the University of Minnesota, has raised the visibility and priority of the institution’s international programs by establishing international partnerships, facilitating global scholarship and faculty development, and recruiting international students and scholars.
As a Fulbright senior specialist at Hawassa University in Ethiopia, Stoecker not only teaches courses on nutrition and metabolism to first year students in the master of science program, her internationally recognized research on the connection between child malnutrition and cognitive development is having a lasting impact in one of Africa’s poorest countries.