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K-State Today

November 15, 2013

Prasad selected as the 2013 International Educator of the Year winner

Submitted by mary k pyle

The office of international programs is honoring P.V. Vara Prasad, professor of crop ecophysiology in the agronomy department, with the 2013 International Educator of the Year award.

This award recognizes one faculty, staff, administrator or other member of the K-State community for his or her major contributions and sustained commitment to advancing international education at K-State.

Marcellus Caldas, director of international research and faculty collaborations, served as the chair of the search committee comprised of previous award winners. 

"The committee had a difficult task in selecting this year’s winner as we had a very competitive group of nominees. Each candidate had outstanding professional contributions for international education at K-State," Caldas said.

Charles Rice, university distinguished professor and past president of the Soil Science Society of America, in his recommendation letter referenced the amount of funding that Prasad has obtained as a K-State faculty member — more than $12 million in extramural funding, $8 million of which he served as principal investigators and about $3 million focused on international research and education.

Prasad also has advised 10 international students to graduation with advanced degrees and has trained 27 international scholars and faculty in his laboratory from various countries. These include six winners of Borlaug Fellowships and several of these scholars and faculty are now serving their institutes as lead researchers and administrators.

Marcelo Sabates, interim associate provost of the office of international programs, echoed Rice's recommendation.

"Dr. Prasad has made significant contributions to the culture of international engagement, scholarship, and excellence in research and teaching here and is very deserving of the 2013 K-State International Educator of the Year Award," Sabates said.

Prasad joins two additional awardees for the K-State International Education Awards Ceremony from 4-5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, in the Alumni Center. The ceremony will recognize three categories of exceptional service:

• The 2013 Outstanding Support for International Initiatives Award will be presented to housing and dining services recognizing the professional efforts by Derek Jackson, the director of housing and dining services at K-State.

This recognition is given by the office of international programs' leadership team. Sara Thurston-Gonzalez, director international student scholar services, and Jackson created the first international student housing committee on the campus to better serve the increasing number of international students requiring on-campus housing.

“Housing and dining has gone above and beyond in providing exceptional service to our international students and supporting our international initiatives," Thurston-Gonzalez said.

• The 2013 Innovative Education Program of the Year Award will be presented to the Brazilian government, recognizing its investment and commitment in transforming education in Brazil through the Brazilian Science Mobility Program. Brazil Embassy officer Pedro Saldanha, the embassy adviser for the educational sector, will accept the award on the behalf of the Brazilian government and meet with students from the program.

The International Award Ceremony occurs during International Education Week, a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide and promote cultural understanding.

Please join us in celebrating with the winners on Nov. 19. Celebrate and promote international education and exchange.

Read additional information about International Education Week.