Awards and Leadership Recognition

NAFSA honors excellence in international education in many ways and at many levels. Areas of recognition include long-term service to NAFSA and the field, innovation, and collaboration. All members of the association are encouraged to participate in the awards process by submitting their nominations.

Leadership and Collaboration

In Honor of Cassandra Pyle

The NAFSA International Education Award for Leadership and Collaboration honors the contributions of an international educator to international exchange on a global scale.

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Distinguished Service to NAFSA

In Honor of Homer Higbee and Marita Houlihan

This award recognizes a current NAFSA member who has shown leadership in associational activities or sustained stewardship of the field.

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Impact in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in International Education

This award honors a NAFSA member who has shown sustained commitment to this mission by advocating for the interests of under-represented populations. 

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Life Membership

Life Membership is awarded each year to NAFSAns in recognition of their career achievements in advancing the goals of the Association and of international education and exchange.

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Rising Star Young Leader

The Rising Star Young Leader Award is given annually in recognition of a professional who has impacted the field of international education during the first five years of the recipient's area of work.

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Advocate of the Year

The Advocate of the Year Award is an annual award presented at NAFSA Advocacy Day to recognize an international education advocate who has excelled in grassroots advocacy.

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With the Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization and the NAFSA Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award, NAFSA recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that are making significant, well-planned, well-executed, and well-documented progress toward comprehensive internationalization—especially those using innovative and creative approaches.

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