1. Kansas State University
  2. »Division of Communications and Marketing
  3. »K-State Today
  4. »International Education Week concludes, internationalization of the campus continues

K-State Today

November 22, 2013

International Education Week concludes, internationalization of the campus continues

Submitted by Mary L. Pyle and Brian Snodgrass

International Education Week concludes, but internationalization of the campus continues

Sections of this International Education Week article continue to be part of the on-going collaboration between the office of international programs and the MC 280 Public Relations Writing classes under the guidance of Barb DeSanto, professor at the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications who chose the office of international programs as their client.

The week's finale was the International Education of the Year awards ceremony. The ceremony — attracting close to 100 people — opened with the International Educator of the Year Award presented to P.V. Vara Prasad by Provost April Mason. Mary Beth Kirkham, professor of agronomy, nominated Prasad and accepted his award because Prasad was in India.

Provost Mason referred to the funding Prasad has obtained while serving at K-State and his passion for international agriculture and his commitment to advancing international research and education was at K-State.

Kirkham recognized his graduate students in attendance at the reception by having them stand and indicate the diverse countries they represented.

The Outstanding Support for International Initiatives Award was presented to housing and dining services director Derek Jackson by Sara Thurston-Gonzalez, director of international student and scholar services. Jackson and Thurston-Gonzalez established the first International Student and Housing Committee to better serve the increasing number of international students, set up staff trainings on international students and tours for international program staff to help understand the different living options. Jackson credited his professional staff of hundreds who have stepped up to serve the international student population.

Pedro Saldanha, adviser for the educational sector from the Brazil Embassy in Washington, D.C., traveled to Manhattan to accept the Innovative Education Program, which was presented by Marcellus Caldas, director of international research and faculty collaborations.

Saldanha said, "I would like to thank the office of international programs for making my trip to Manhattan possible. It was a great opportunity for me to know a little bit more about your impressive university. The photos from the International Education Award Ceremony have already been posted at the Embassy's Facebook page. I am sure it will have many 'likes.'"

Saldanha joined K-State faculty at dinner to talk about Brazil's interest in expanding higher education and discussed future initiatives to attract graduate students to K-State with Carol Shanklin, dean of the Graduate School.

Other International Education Week activities included:

• Willie the Wildcat Study Abroad Contest in the K-State Student Union featured 10 small Powercat logos hidden in the display cases on Willie's missing global belongings. Eight winners accurately and legibly described the Powercat locations and won prizes.

This contest was sponsored by the office of international programs, the Union Program Council, or UPC, and the university's chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America, or PRSSA.

"This is the first time that both UPC and PRSSA had been engaged with our IEW initiatives and were thrilled to have additional campus partners to elevate international awareness on our campus,” said Mary Pyle of the international programs office.

As a result of this partnership the office now has a Public Relations Student Society of America intern student, Jenny Jirovec assisting it with on communications needs.

• The office presented an International Fair from in the Student Union Food Court highlighting K-State departments, organizations and activities that promoted and educated K-State students of the many international events, departments and activities that are available to them.

• Two Brown Bag luncheons highlighted:

Janet McKinney, KSU Foundation Scholarship Award donor; Akmaral Kuralbayeva, Kazakhstan awardee; and Tracy Robinson from the KSU Foundation were at the brown bag. McKinney shared her international Peace Corps experience and with Robinson, discussed their family’s scholarship to Kuralbayeva. Kuralbayeva talked about her experience in the U.S. and K-State and shared a little bit about her home country of Kazakhstan with a video and slides.

• The Growth Potential for International Collaboration on Campus and Abroad was the final event sponsored by the international programs office for International Education Week.

Marcelo Sabates, interim associate provost, and Kirkham, the 2013 International Education Week Educator of the Year awardee department representative, led the discussion with a presentation on the university’s current international collaboration efforts and its potential for growth and engagement.

Kirkham, speaking on behalf Prasad, strongly expressed that faculty need to build greater bridges between K-State and international partners to make “meccas for students” for research and education. For more on this story see additional feature in today's K-State Today by MC 280 student Rebecca Oberrieder.

As our International Education Week concludes, Brain Snodgrass, MC 280 student wrote the following as part of a collaboration between the MC 280 Public Relations Writing class and the international programs office.


Kansas State University is a global school. With more than 2,000 students from 108 different countries, it’s becoming more and more common for international students to come to K-State to learn. While K-State is thrilled to have these students and their unique perspectives in our classrooms, we also want to provide our students with the same earth-spanning opportunities to learn. This is where you, the K-State faculty, come in.

The international programs office would like to encourage you,  the educators at K-State, to help students get excited for an opportunity to step far outside of campus by encouraging them to plunge into an international experience.

DeSanto says, “Students who work on an international project gain knowledge and experience that employers value when it’s time to enter the workforce. What’s best though is seeing the personal growth that students discover about themselves. Students that participate in a study abroad experience gain a confidence that really sets them apart from their peers.”


“Brian Snodgrass presented a very thorough media kit to the international programs office as his final assignment in his summer MC280 class," Pyle said. "The office utilized many of his suggestions as we planned and implemented International Education Week activities and we will continue to do so as we move forward in expanding awareness of international opportunities essential for K-state global graduate.”