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2018 Office of Global Engagement Unit Awards

The Office of Global Engagement recognized four outstanding staff members at our 2018 retreat on December 7.

Each year, staff in the division have the opportunity to nominate colleagues in the following award categories: outstanding service, campus outreach, rookie of the year, and Think and Do.

This year’s recipients for the Office of Global Engagement Awards are:

  • Campus Outreach Award: Melissa Edwards Smith, Global Training Initiative

“Melissa has a passion and dedication for advancing and integrating diversity and cross-cultural initiatives beyond the student population. Through her extensive efforts to reach out to campus and community partners, such as the Caldwell Fellow study program, Moncure Farmworker Health Program, National Coalition Building Institute team, Equal Opportunity Institute, the Hispanic Liasion, campus academic departments and more, she has connected the community, on-campus and off-campus international and domestic populations to engage in meaningful and lasting global learning. Jeff Allen, a lecturer in the French department, has had hundreds of his students participate in cultural workshops with international students. He said: ‘Students often tell me how invaluable this interaction was, and some even keep in touch with those whom they meet on that day to continue the dialogue. Both the world and the NC State community is so large and diverse, and I am grateful for Melissa’s outreach and her efforts to make those worlds a bit smaller and foster cross-campus and international relationships.'”

  • Outstanding Service Award: Lauren Ball, Office of International Services

“When alumni think back to the Office of International Services, the memories that they recall will most likely include Lauren. For ten years, she has been the center of OIS’s efforts to be a welcoming and positive part of each international student’s, scholar’s, and dependent’s NC State experience. At OIS, we often say that Lauren gets to do the “fun stuff” – but that does not accurately describe the planning, organization, time commitment, energy, and dedication that is required of her to make the “fun stuff” a success. Our students remember Lauren because she was the one that picked them up at dawn to glean sweet potatoes all day for ISSERV, she was the one who would sit with them in the rain at their first Durham Bulls game, she was the one who would show up when their student group would reach out to OIS with an invitation to come to join in their celebrations and events, and she was the most excited to welcome them to NC State. Through her actions and experience, Lauren reminds us that we all need to do our part to represent our school well, to always be kind and welcoming, to advocate, and to be strong stewards of international education.”

  • Rookie of the Year Award: Kory Saunders, Study Abroad

“Kory has demonstrated phenomenal focus and strategy in performing her job duties and in prioritizing the Study Abroad’s Office’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. She is sincerely driven by her mission to include. Almost immediately, Kory formed relationships between herself and other members of her team and across campus. She could not walk into a building where she had not already established a relationship with someone in the room. As the coordinator for developing and implementing Study Abroad diversity and inclusion efforts at NC State, Kory has reached students from backgrounds underrepresented in Study Abroad. Her thoughtfulness and positivity have been a welcome inspiration to the team. The campus collaborations she’s created are impressive, and the dedication to the goals of her position and her own personal goals are apparent. She’s also an excellent colleague and regularly inspires me to put forth my best effort.”

  • Think and Do Award: Mollie Khanna, Study Abroad

“I can think of no better recipient of the Think and Do Award than Mollie. Some of her primary responsibilities in the office include providing fiscal planning and leadership, and she does so with incredible aplomb. Since joining the Study Abroad Office in December 2016, she has made significant improvements to our financial and administrative processes. She developed a new system for tracking our operating budget, pulling directly from Wolf Reports into line items that make sense for our office. This new way to organize our budgets makes it much easier to maintain and create budget projections. Additionally, Mollie has spent countless hours meeting with campus partners, such as HR and the Controller’s Office, to build relationships and strengthen our collaborations in order to better support study abroad program directors. She also frequently consults with peers at other institutions within the state to look for new and innovative ways for our office operations. Due to Mollie’s tremendous leadership and resourcefulness, the Study Abroad Office is poised for growth in the coming years.

Congratulations to this year’s recipients!