Hugh Jenkins Award


Hugh Jenkins LogoThe Hugh M. Jenkins Award for Excellence in Community Programming recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to promoting global understanding and international exchange in the local community. Specifically, it honors people who exemplify a spirit of volunteerism and a long-term dedication to international exchange. The award identifies individuals whose leadership encompasses outstanding skills in recruiting, training, and recognizing community volunteers. It is also intended to reward personal involvement with international students in the local community.

Selection Criteria

The nominee must have:

  • commitment to promoting global understanding and providing for international exchange in the local community;
  • spirit of volunteerism and a long-term commitment to international education and exchange;
  • excellence in leadership for recruiting, training, and recognizing community volunteers;
  • active participation with internationals in the local community.

Nominating Procedures

All ISSS members are invited to submit nominations for the award.

Each nominee must have the following:

  • one primary nomination form
  • at least one additional reference (their name, organization/institution, daytime phone number, and e-mail address)
  • a copy of the nominee's professional CV/resume

The deadline to submit a nomination has passed.


Robert and Leah Rubenstein2018 - Robert and Leah Rubenstein

Robert and Leah Rubenstein became involved in The College of William and Mary’s Reves Center for International Studies shortly after their retirement to Williamsburg, VA. They signed up to be part of the Global Friends program, which matches international students with members of the community to foster cross-cultural friendships. Since their first connection, they have gone above and beyond the requirements of the program.

Global Friends are matched for an academic year, and the expectation is that community members will meet with their student once per month. However, Rob and Leah are one of the few members who chose to remain paired with all their students throughout the duration of their studies and beyond. They have also helped their students practice conversational English, review their school papers or resumes, and prepare for jobs by conducting mock interviews. They also arranged a summer internship for one of their students in the Beijing office of the firm from which Rob retired.

Students that have been matched with Rob and Leah not only benefit from establishing a connection with a local American family, but they get the added benefit of an in-depth connection, as Rob and Leah truly embraced their international students as part of their family, connecting them with their extended family, taking the students to concerts, athletic events, museums, and hosting the students in their home with family for the holidays. One of their students was preparing to spend last summer studying in Florence, Italy. Since they had a niece who lives there, they arranged for them to meet so that their international student would have a local contact in Italy for the summer.

Rob and Leah have also helped publicize the Reves Center programs and recruited friends and family to join the Global Friends program. They make time to attend many Reves Center events, even when their international students are unable to attend. They are always welcoming to new participants, and take the time to meet the international students, scholars and their families, having engaging conversations on a broad number of topics with the international community.

Unfortunately, Leah passed away on May 22, but she and Rob are incredibly deserving of this award, and it is an honor to be able to recognize their involvement in improving the lives of international students at William and Mary.

View all of the Hugh Jenkins Award recipients.