Innovative Research in International Education Award Recipients


The TLS KC Innovative Research in International Education Award, established in 2013, celebrates and recognizes new and innovative research with potential or demonstrated impact in the field of international education. Impacts may include (but are not limited to) a policy or programmatic change, increased awareness of an issue, or a change in thinking among a group of professionals.

2017 Recipient

Polina VinogradovaPolina Vinogradova, PhD
Director, TESOL Program, Department of World Languages and Cultures, American University
Polina Vinogradova is a faculty member and director of the TESOL Program at American University in Washington, D.C. where she works with graduate TESOL students and teaches courses in second language teaching methods. In her research, she explores ways to introduce participatory approaches to English as an additional language education and language teacher development. In particular, she studies pedagogical uses of digital stories and the role of a pedagogy of multiliteracies in student and teacher empowerment. Vinogradova holds a PhD in language, literacy and culture from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and has MA degrees in TESOL from the University of Northern Iowa and in intercultural communication from UMBC.

Vinogradova’s chapter “Teaching with Digital Stories for Student Empowerment and Engagement” (in Carrier M., Damerow R. M., and Bailey K. M., eds. 2017. Digital Language Learning and Teaching: Research, Theory, and Practice. Routledge & TIRF) presents a study that explored potential for digital stories to facilitate gradual introduction of overt instruction through multimodal scaffolded collaborative activities in an English as a second language class. Here, overt instruction refers to systematic and explicit instructional interventions that build on the learners’ strengths and backgrounds and create new knowledge through collaborative efforts between the students and the teacher. The findings illustrate that with overt instruction and through activities involved in digital story production, English language learners gained understanding of multimodal meaning making and engaged in meaningful communicative practices in English. They also developed a positive view of themselves as English language users and found ways to support each other thus developing an engaging and creative multicultural classroom environment.

2016 Recipient

Chris R. Glass, PhD
Graduate Program Director, Higher Education and Community College Leadership Master’s and PhD programs, Old Dominion University
Chris R. Glass is an assistant professor of higher education at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. He takes a social psychological approach to researching issues in American higher education, with an interest in how the presence of others affects educational outcomes such as achievement, motivation, and social development. Glass is a lead researcher on the Global Perspective Inventory (GPI), a widely-used assessment instrument that examines the relationship between educational experiences and global learning outcomes. He received the 2016 Provost’s Award for Leadership in International Education at ODU and participated in the 2014-15 ASHE/NAFSA Collaboration Global Learning and International Educational Mobility.

Glass’s article, “Comparative effects of belongingness on the academic success and cross-cultural interactions of domestic and international students”, uses a resilience-based model of acculturation to examine the effects of a sense of belonging on cross-cultural interaction and academic success. He found that a sense of belonging increased cross-cultural interaction between international and domestic students, and it substantially enhanced international students’ average grade earned. Cultural events, leadership programs, and community service enhanced a sense of belonging, buffered the effects of racism, and provided a secure base for the exploration of cross-cultural relationships. You can access the article on the International Journal of Intercultural Relations journal website, or request a free copy from Glass via Research Gate or by emailing him at

Glass received his PhD from Michigan State University where he worked at the Global Institute for Higher Education (GIHE) and National Center for the Study of University Engagement (NCSUE).

He is the author of the book International Student Engagement: Strategies for Connective, Inclusive, and Purposeful Campus Environments (Stylus Publishing) and the report "Uneven Experiences: What’s Missing and What Matters for International Students. To learn more about Glass’s research and writing on international students, MOOCs, and publicly engaged scholarship, visit his ODU website.

2014 Recipient

Dr. Sonia MassariSonia Massari, PhD
Director, Gustolab Institute, Academic and Program Director, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Rome Center

Sonia Massari is director of the Gustolab Institute, Center for Food Studies, and academic and program director of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Rome Center. Massari serves as scientific consultant for the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Foundation, promoting new opportunities for young students and researchers in the food field. She currently teaches at Hobart and William Smith Colleges (Rome Programs), Roma Tre University and Instituto Superiore per le Industrie Artistiche (ISIA), School of Design, Rome. Previously, Massari worked as a researcher, academic advisor, and faculty at several education and communication agencies, European Commission research centers, and universities in Europe and the United States. Since 2005, she has designed, directed, and managed more than 35 study abroad programs in Italy.

With her background in communication studies and interaction design, Massari has applied the creative design thinking approach to her educational projects on food studies and supports the rational use of new technologies and narrative video tools as new forms of shared learning. She is a winner of the 2012 International Women and Technologies award for being one of the first people to introduce the academic study of food in the Italian university system and to extend her project at an international level.

Massari received her PhD in food systems and interaction design from the University of Florence, with a thesis that combined the importance of education, the food system, and new digital technologies.

To learn more about Massari's work, read an in-depth interview from November 2014 and her article Introducing Food Experience Design in the Food Studies Curriculum.