Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Field Recipients


The NAFSA International Education Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Field, in honor of Marita Houlihan, recognizes those who have displayed imaginative activity, outstanding personal enterprise, and creative contributions to the field through research, writing, or program development.

2019 Award Honoree

NAFSA is pleased to posthumously recognize R. Michael Paige with this award. Paige died on November 9, 2018. Until his retirement in 2012, Paige was professor of international and intercultural education at the University of Minnesota. His intercultural education career began in 1968 when he served as an intercultural trainer for the U.S. Peace Corps. After earning his doctorate from Stanford University, he joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota, where he cofounded the innovative and ground-breaking Comparative and International Development Education masters and PhD degree programs. These programs continue to thrive today. During his tenure at the University of Minnesota, Paige was a lead author for the Maximizing Study Abroad book series and program materials, which emphasize the role of intercultural and language learning in study abroad. He also led numerous studies on study abroad outcomes, including the landmark “Study Abroad for Global Engagement (SAGE).” He retired from full-time work at the University of Minnesota in 2012 but continued to teach until 2017 and advise students until 2018. He remained committed to students throughout his career at the University of Minnesota. However, Paige’s contributions expanded beyond his role as a professor. He was a senior instructor for the Intercultural Development Inventory and a faculty member for the European Association for International Education and the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication. In total, he authored or coauthored more than 140 articles, books, and book chapters. In 2016, he received the University of Minnesota Award for Global Engagement and was named as a Distinguished Global Professor.

Previous Recipients

  • Joan Solaún, Academic Programs International
  • Gayle Woodruff, University of Minnesota
  • Philip G. Altbach, Boston College
  • Ellen Badger, Binghamton University
  • Joan Rosalie Dassin, Ford Foundation International Fellowships Fund
  • Rosemarie Arens, U.S. State Department in Lima, Peru
  • Bruce Sillner, SUNY-New Paltz
  • Ellen Mashiko, Japan-United States Education Commission
  • Marty Etchison Babcock, University of North Carolina
  • Rebecca Zeigler Mano, US Embassy – Harare, Zimbabwe
  • Gary Althen, University of Iowa
  • Janet M. and Milton J. Bennett, Intercultural Communication Institute
  • Edward S. Blankenship, California State University-Long Beach
  • Alice Chandler, State University of New York (SUNY)-New Paltz
  • Todd M. Davis, Institute of International Education
  • Hans de Wit, University of Amsterdam
  • Stephen Dunnett, SUNY at Buffalo
  • Rene Greenwald, IIE-Mexico
  • G. James Haas, Indiana University/Purdue University
  • Linda Heaney, Linden Educational Services
  • Ann Helm, City University of New York-Staten Island
  • Axel Market, University of Tuebingen
  • Ivy McQuiddy, University of Texas-Austin
  • Josef Mestenhauser, University of Minnesota
  • Terry O'Donnell, Commission on English Language Program Accreditation
  • Jody Olsen, Peace Corps
  • Mary E. Peterson, NAFSA
  • Norman Peterson, Georgetown University
  • Cassandra Pyle, CIES
  • Kay Thomas, University of Minnesota-Minneapolis
  • Kevin Scheiffer, Experiment in International Living
  • Gene Smith, University of Colorado-Boulder
  • Ralph Smuckler, Michigan State University
  • Caroline Atsuko Matano Yang, U.S.-Japan Educational Commission

NAFSA Awards

NAFSA honors excellence in international education.

Explore NAFSA's national awards.