In Honor of Homer Higbee

Homer D. Higbee served as a NAFSA life member, former president (1970-71), chair of the Field Service Steering Committee, and on the boards of trustees/directors of numerous professional organizations. He is known as one of the major figures in international education and a leading NAFSAn for more than 25 years. His landmark study of foreign student advising on American campuses in 1961 provided the first comprehensive profile of NAFSAns as a professional class.

The NAFSA International Education Award for Distinguished Service to NAFSA in Honor of Homer Higbee recognizes a NAFSAn who is currently involved in associational activities; has already contributed at least ten years of distinguished service to NAFSA’s membership; and plans to continue his/her involvement in the Association. In addition, the Awardee must have contributed significantly to the professional development of colleagues through mentorship and participation in numerous NAFSA activities. 

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...

Fanta Aw

Fanta Aw
American University
Fanta Aw, PhD is serving as Vice President of Campus Life & Inclusive Excellence at American University in Washington D.C. Aw has spent 25 years in higher education administration, most recently as Assistant Vice President of Campus Life. She advises American University leadership on matters related...

Christopher Viers

Chris Viers
Indiana University Bloomington
Christopher Viers, PhD is the Associate Vice President for International Services in the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs at Indiana University (IU), where he provides executive leadership of a dynamic organization responsible for meeting the comprehensive needs of...

To be eligible for the Award for Distinguished Service to NAFSA in Honor of Homer Higbee, a nominee must have donated at least ten years of distinguished service to the Association and should be continuing as an active NAFSAn. The nominee must be a NAFSA member.

Nominees must have documented accomplishments in all three of the areas below:

  • Demonstrated expertise and commitment to the field by acting as a professional mentor to colleagues in two or more NAFSA knowledge communities
  • Inspired other international educators through mentoring, publications, and service to NAFSA which has benefited two or more knowledge communities
  • Continues to serve in a variety of associational leadership positions, both elected and appointed, where they can influence and encourage the professional development of others
Nomination Procedures

The primary nominator must be a NAFSA member. Nominations must present clear evidence of the nominee's achievements in the areas mentioned above. Nominations must be supported by a minimum of two additional nominations, each from a NAFSA member addressing a different perspective on the nominee’s accomplishments. These additional nominations must be from different institutions, knowledge communities and NAFSA regions. Current members of the NAFSA Board of Directors, Membership Engagement Committee, Awards Subcommittee, and NAFSA staff are not eligible for consideration. Individuals may not self-nominate. The nominations process is confidential. As recommended by the NAFSA Board of Directors, the Awards Subcommittee will strive to put forth no more than one name each year for the Award for Distinguished Service to NAFSA in Honor of Homer Higbee.

Please note that nominations that do not comply with the award criteria or nomination procedures will not be considered.

Benefits and Recognition

The awardee will receive:

  • Complimentary registration to attend NAFSA Annual Conference to receive their award
  • Recognition on stage during a NAFSA Annual Conference plenary, with reserved audience seating for the awardee and two designated guests
  • Acknowledgement on Circle of Excellence signage at the NAFSA Annual Conference and on the NAFSA website
  • A video interview to be hosted on the NAFSA website
  • An invitation to the NAFSA Appreciation Reception for the awardee and two designated guests
  • An opportunity to review Shared Interest proposals for a future annual conference
  • A framed recognition plaque to display at their home or office
  • An invitation to write a NAFSA blog post on their connections to international education, NAFSA leadership, etc.
All Past Recipients
  • Fanta Aw, American University, 2018
  • Christopher J. Viers, Indiana University, 2017
  • Adria L. Baker, Rice University, 2016
  • Sara Thurston-González, Kansas State University, 2015
  • Joy Stevenson, University of Central Missouri, 2014
  • Masume Assaf, Penn State, 2013
  • Rose Mary Valencia, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 2012
  • Anita Gaines, University of Houston, 2011
  • Janice Bogen, Thomas Jefferson University, 2010
  • Patti Jones, Western Illinois University, 2009
  • Peter Briggs, Michigan State University, 2008
  • Evelyn Levinson, American University, 2007
  • Bill Barnhart, University of Utah, 2006
  • Dr. William W. Hoffa, Amherst College, 2005
  • Michael Smithee, Syracuse University, 2004
  • John Pearson, Stanford University, 2004
  • Denise Connerty, Temple University, 2003
  • Marian Beane, University of North Carolina-Charlotte, 2002
  • Ann Kuhlman, Yale University, 2001
  • Heidi Gregori-Gahan, University of Southern Indiana, 2001
  • Catheryn Cotten, Duke University Medical Center, 2000
  • Kenneth A. Rogers, Indiana University-Bloomington, 1999
  • Jean Delaney, University of Colorado-Boulder, 1998
  • Robert Watkins, University of Texas-Austin, 1998
  • Kay Thomas, University of Minnesota-Minneapolis,1997
  • Valerie Woolston, University of Maryland-College Park, 1997
  • Stephen C. Dunnett, State University of New York (SUNY)-Buffalo, 1996
  • G. James Haas, Indiana University/Purdue University, 1995
  • Patricia Byrd, Georgia State University, 1994 
  • James R. Graham, Colorado State University, 1993
  • Clayton Hubbs, Transitions Abroad, 1992
  • James Frey, Educational Credential Evaluators, 1991
  • Jon V.C. Booth, University of Minnesota, 1990
  • Marvin J. Baron, University of California-Berkeley, 1990
  • Rosalie H. Berg, Columbia Council for Internationals, 1989
  • David Horner, Michigan State University, 1989
  • Jerry D. Wilcox, Cornell University, 1989
  • M. Archer Brown, NAFSA, 1988