Eight Outstanding International Educators Recognized with NAFSA Awards


NAFSA Executive Director and CEO, President and Chair of the Board recognized honorees during the 2016 National Awards Ceremony at the Annual Conference & Expo


Rebecca Morgan, rebeccam@nafsa.org, 202.737.3699 x4449

DENVER, Colo., June 1, 2016 – NAFSA: Association of International Educators honored eight outstanding international educators during the 2016 National Awards Ceremony at the 68th Annual Conference and Expo. This year's recipients are Ally Calhoun Mack and M. Peter McPherson for the Cassandra Pyle Award; Adria L. Baker for the Homer Higbee Award; Shao Chen (Johanna) Pan-Carr for the Rising Star Young Leader Award; and Mary Anne Grant, William E. Nolting, John Pearson and Deborah L. Pierce were awarded NAFSA Life Memberships.

Cassandra Pyle Award for Leadership and Collaboration in International Education Exchange presented toAlly Calhoun Mack, Ph.D. and M. Peter McPherson, MBA and J.D.

Ally Calhoun Mack founded and served as the Director of the Jackson State University Office of International Programs (OIP) before being named Dean of the Division of International Studies. She was selected for shaping the development of international education throughout Mississippi, and mentoring others in founding OIP units at additional Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the state. More than 800 international development and exchange projects involving countries in Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East that were successfully implemented are attributed to her efforts. 

Peter McPherson, President of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), has served as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, and as a Special Assistant to President Gerald Ford at the White House. As President of Michigan State University, McPherson adopted a “hands-on” approach to advancement of study abroad. McPherson was the principal force behind creation of the Federal Abraham Lincoln Study Abroad Commission and served as its Chair. McPherson’s transformational belief that colleges and universities would compete for institutional grants to lower systemic barriers to education abroad was a fundamental cornerstone in the design of the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund, the key building block and leading element of President Obama’s signature educational initiative in the Western Hemisphere.

Homer Higbee Award for Distinguished Service to NAFSA presented to Adria L. Baker, Ed.D.

Adria Baker, Associate Vice-Provost for International Education at Rice University, has served as NAFSA Region III Chair; volunteer coach for Regional chair cohort; Local Arrangement Committee for the NAFSA Annual Conference in Houston; trainer of NAFSA workshops; member of the J-1 NAFSA Subcommittee, presenter at annual, regional, and state conferences, and presenter in Collegial Conversations online. She received the Region III Outstanding Service to International Education Award and the inaugural NAFSA Advocate of the Year in 2006. 

Rising Star Young Leader Award presented to Shao Chen (Johanna) Pan-Carr.

Shao Chen (Johanna)Pan-Carr joined the international education field in 2014 and serves as International Student Advisor at Fordham University. She has served as a trainer in two NAFSA Core Education Program workshops at the 2014 State Conference for Region X and at the 2015 Annual Conference, where she stepped in at the last minute. Pan-Carr has educated members of Congress during NAFSA Advocacy Day, and also joined the NAFSA Region X team in 2015 as Downstate New York Representative and organized and managed a successful 2015 Region X Downstate & New Jersey State Conference.

NAFSA Life Membership is awarded to past presidents of NAFSA upon their retirement from the field to honor achievements in advancing the goals of the association and of international education and exchange.

Mary Anne Grant served as President and Chairman of the Board of NAFSA and held several other leadership positions including Chair of NAFSA’s 50th Anniversary Conference and Chair of NAFSA Section on US Study Abroad (SECUSSA). She was an active NAFSA member and volunteer leader for more than 30 years and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Forum on Education Abroad. For more than 34 years, Grant served as President and CEO of ISEP, a network of over 300 colleges and universities cooperating to provide affordable international educational experiences for a diverse student population.

William E. Nolting has served on the NAFSA Region X team, as lead co-author of the NAFSA publication, Internships, Service Learning, and Volunteering Abroad and contributed to all four editions of NAFSA’s Guide to Education Abroad. He founded the Education Abroad – Knowledge Community Subcommittee on Work, Internships and Volunteering Abroad (WIVA) and co-chaired it for a decade. He was appointed to the NAFSA Task Force, "Strengthening the Association for the 21st Century", was selected Chair of NAFSA’s SECUSSA national team, and served on EA-KC subcommittees for health and safety and data collection, where he advocated for the inclusion of co-curricular data collection in Open Doors. 

John Pearson served as Director of the Bechtel International Center, Stanford University and has held various appointed and elected positions within NAFSA at the regional and national level. He served as the Chair of NAFSA’s SECUSSA National Team, as an elected member of the NAFSA Board of Directors, and Chair of the Conference Planning Committee. He is a past recipient of the NAFSA Homer Higbee Award and at Stanford has been acknowledged with both the Kenneth M. Cuthbertson Award, which recognizes exceptional contributions to the University, and the Margaret Ann Fidler Award for Distinguished Service in Student Affairs.

Deborah L. Pierce, Ph.D. recently retired as Associate Vice President for International Affairs, faculty associate of the Title VI-funded Center for Southeast Asian Studies, and adjunct assistant professor of French at Northern Illinois University. She served as a senior international officer for nearly 18 years. Pierce has served on the Region VI team, and on the founding team of the International Education Leadership Knowledge Community. She chaired the Leadership Development Committee and the 2010 Annual Conference Committee, and on the NAFSA Board as Vice President for Education and Professional Development.

For more information on the awards, visit www.nafsa.org/awards.


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About NAFSA: With more than 10,000 members, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the world's largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education. Visit us at www.nafsa.org/press. To learn more about our advocacy efforts on behalf of international education, visit www.ConnectingOurWorld.org and @ConnectOurWorld on Twitter.