The Marita Houlihan Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Field of International Education


2017 National Award for Leadership Nominations Submission Dates: Oct 1, 2016 – Jan 15, 2017 (late submissions will not be accepted)

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Marita Houlihan, former State Department official, pioneered in the establishment and administration of the Fulbright international student exchange program in the 1940s and ‘50s. She was also instrumental in the development of the U.S. government program for improving the cultural and academic experiences of privately sponsored students through grants to universities and institutions which share this goal, including NAFSA, although she was not a member.

The Marita Houlihan Award recognizes an individual who has displayed imaginative activity, outstanding personal enterprise, and creative contributions to the field of international education through program development, writing, or research. The Awardee does not have to be a practitioner but his/her work must be recognized for its impact on professional colleagues.

Selection Criteria

To be considered for the Marita Houlihan Award, a nominee need not be directly involved with the everyday concerns of the NAFSA membership and need not be a NAFSA member.

Nominees must have documented accomplishments in contributions to the field of international education and exchange through program development, writing, or research that has clearly influenced the work of the profession and that displays imaginative activity, outstanding personal enterprise, and creativity.

Nomination Procedures

The primary nominator must be a NAFSA member. Nominations should describe at least one of the nominee’s noteworthy original activities that has had a broad impact on the field of international education and exchange. Nominations must be supported by a minimum of two additional nominations, each addressing a different perspective on the nominee’s accomplishments. These additional nominations do not have to be from NAFSA members but must be from individuals at different institutions or organizations. Individuals may not self-nominate. The nomination process is confidential.

As recommended by the NAFSA Board of Directors, no more than one name shall be put forth each year for the Marita Houlihan Award.

Please note that nominations that do not comply with the award criteria or nomination procedures will not be considered.

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