It is our pleasure to announce that Kory M. Saunders, Study Abroad Office’s Assistant Director for Strategic Marketing, Diversity & Inclusion, is the 2020 recipient of the NAFSA Region VII inaugural Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in International Education Award.
NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the world’s largest nonprofit dedicated to international education and exchange. NASFA aims to foster global understanding among people of diverse backgrounds by helping individuals develop a global mindset.
The NAFSA Region VII inaugural Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in International Education Award recognizes excellence in international education. The award is presented annually at the NAFSA conference and honors an international educator in the region who has shown exceptional dedication to NAFSA’s mission of “advocating for the interests of under-represented populations; improving recruitment and retention of under-represented populations; or incorporating diversity or anti-oppression training in international education programming.”
Saunders initially joined the Study Abroad Office as an International Programs Coordinator in 2017, and has since been promoted to Assistant Director for Strategic Marketing, Diversity and Inclusion. Since joining, she has done an exceptional job at leading the Study Abroad Office’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts which includes starting the Global Diversity Advocate Program, holding office hours in Multicultural Student Affairs and the GLBT Center, co-authoring an article with Kyle Keith (NC State) and Christina Thompson (Barcelona SAE) published on Diversity Abroad’s website and in NAFSA Rainbow SIG’s newsletter (called True Allyship: A Toolkit for Allies of the LGBTQIA+ Community). She also recently presented “The Elephants in the Room: Bridging the Gap between Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy and Action” with Christina Thompson (Barcelona SAE) and Malaika Marable Serrano (WorldStrides) at the 2020 NAFSA Region VII Conference.
“She demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to and is passionate about diversity, equity & inclusion in her professional and personal life,” notes Kim Priebe, Director of the Study Abroad Office.
“This work is not done by the individual,” said Saunders. “Although I am the one who received this award, this goes far beyond me. To my ancestors and elders who paved the way, to my community and village (including my colleagues) who continue to support and engage in this work with me, and to our future generations, thank you!”
Saunders was also a 2020 finalist for Diversity Abroad’s Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion in International Education Rising Star Award.
Special thanks to Kim Priebe, Kyle Keith (NC State Study Abroad), Nashia Whittenburg (NC State Multicultural Student Affairs), Marcela Torres-Cervantes (UNC Chapel Hill), Allegra Laing (Elon University), Malaika Marable Serrano (Worldstrides – Higher Education), and Dr. Alejandra Parra (Florida International University) who all contributed to her nomination letter.