Award for Distinguished Service Recipients


The NAFSA International Education Award for Distinguished Service recognizes NAFSAns currently involved in association activities who have donated at least 10 years of distinguished service to NAFSA and who have acted as mentors to colleagues in all aspects of the field.

2017 Recipient

Homer Higbee Award WinnerChristopher J. Viers, PhD, serves as associate vice president for international services in the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs at Indiana University, where he provides executive leadership of a dynamic organization responsible for meeting the comprehensive needs of approximately 9,000 international students and 1,500 visiting scholars on the university’s eight campuses. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Viers teaches graduate coursework in international higher education administration in the Department of Higher Education and Student Affairs at the university, as well as the master of arts in higher education program at Taylor University. His research interests include international higher education administration, global issues in higher education, and global student flows. Viers is a frequent presenter and session chair at the NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo, and has held numerous state, regional, and national leadership positions for NAFSA, including vice president for education and professional development, chair of the Governance Committee of the Board of Directors, and president and chair of the Board of Directors in 2010. He recently served as chair of the Search Committee for NAFSA’s new Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, and currently serves on NAFSA’s Governance Committee of the Board of Directors.

Previous Recipients

  • Adria L. Baker, EdD, Rice University
  • Sara Thurston-González, PhD, Kansas State University
  • Joy Stevenson
  • Masume Assaf, Penn State
  • Rose Mary Valencia, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
  • Anita Gaines, University of Houston
  • Janice Bogen, Thomas Jefferson University
  • Patti Jones, Western Illinois University
  • Peter Briggs, Michigan State University
  • Evelyn Levinson, American University
  • Bill Barnhart, University of Utah
  • Marvin J. Baron, University of California-Berkeley
  • Marian Beane, University of North Carolina-Charlotte
  • Rosalie H. Berg, Columbia Council for Internationals
  • Jon V.C. Booth, University of Minnesota
  • M. Archer Brown, NAFSA
  • Patricia Byrd, Georgia State University
  • Denise Connerty, Temple University
  • Catheryn Cotten, Duke University Medical Center
  • Jean Delaney, University of Colorado-Boulder
  • Stephen C. Dunnett, SUNY at Buffalo
  • James Frey, Educational Credential Evaluators
  • Heidi Gregori-Gahan, University of Southern Indiana
  • James R. Graham, Colorado State University
  • G. James Haas, Indiana University/Purdue University
  • David Horner, Michigan State University
  • Dr. William W. Hoffa, Amherst College
  • Clayton Hubbs, Transitions Abroad
  • Ann Kuhlman, Yale University
  • John Pearson, Stanford University
  • Kenneth A. Rogers, Indiana University-Bloomington
  • Michael Smithee, Syracuse University
  • Kay Thomas, University of Minnesota-Minneapolis
  • Robert Watkins, University of Texas-Austin
  • Jerry D. Wilcox, Cornell University
  • Valerie Woolston, University of Maryland-College Park

NAFSA Awards

NAFSA honors excellence in international education.

Explore NAFSA's national awards.