Award for Distinguished Service Recipients


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

2019 Honoree

Linda Gentile is the director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Office of International Education, which coordinates study abroad and provides immigration advising to international students, faculty, and staff. Gentile has spent more than 30 years in international education, joining NAFSA before she had a full-time job in the field. As a long-time member of NAFSA, she has served in a number of leadership positions, including as vice-chair of the International Student and Scholar Services Regulatory Practice committee. Gentile has also served NAFSA on the regional level as a Government Regulations Advisory Committee (GRAC) representative, regional council representative, workshop dean for the “F-1 Student Advising for Beginners, ”regulatory trainer, and chair of the J-1 Regulations Task Force.

Previous Recipients

  • Fanta Aw, American University
  • Christopher J. Viers, Indiana University
  • Adria L. Baker, Rice University
  • Sara Thurston-González, Kansas State University
  • Joy Stevenson, University of Central Missouri
  • 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, State University of New York (SUNY)-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.