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. The award honors imagination, personal enterprise or creative contributions to professional development through leadership, mentorship, program development, training, writing, or research. NAFSA welcomes nominations from the United States and from the international education community worldwide.

The Award for Distinguished Service to NAFSA honors Marita Houlihan and Homer Higbee, two early trailblazers in international education. Marita Houlihan, pioneered in the establishment and administration of the Fulbright international student exchange program in the 1940s and 1950s. She was also instrumental in the development of the U.S. government program for improving the cultural and academic experiences of privately sponsored students through grants to universities and institutions which share this goal. Homer D. Higbee was awarded NAFSA life membership, and served as NAFSA president (1970-71), chair of the Field Service Steering Committee, and on the boards of trustees/directors of numerous professional organizations. His landmark study of foreign student advising on American campuses in 1961 provided the first comprehensive profile of NAFSAns as a professional class.

In 2020, the former Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Field in Honor of Marita Houlihan and the Award Distinguished Service to NAFSA In Honor of Homer Higbee were merged to create the NAFSA International Education Award for Distinguished Service to NAFSA in honor of Homer Higbee and Marita Houlihan.

Linda Gentile

Linda Gentile
Carnegie Mellon University’s Office of International Education
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...

Michael Paige, PhD

Michael Paige
University of Minnesota
In 2019, NAFSA was pleased to posthumously recognize R. Michael Paige with the NAFSA International Education Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Field. Paige died on November 9, 2018. Until his retirement in 2012, Paige was professor of international and intercultural education at the...

Nominate a Colleague

The nomination period for the International Education Award for Distinguished Service to NAFSA is November 16, 2020 to February 1, 2021.

Criteria for Nomination
Nomination Procedures
Benefits and Recognition
All Past Recipients for the Award for Distinguished Service to NAFSA in honor of Homer Higbee
All Past Recipients for the Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Field in Honor of Marita Houlihan