The opening day of conference kicked off with the opening of the International Education Expo Hall at 9:00 a.m., featuring more than 600 exhibitor booths. NAFSA’s Conference Symposium on Leadership, “Partnerships for Transformative Internationalization,” allowed participants to interact with leaders who have created innovative models of partnerships and rethought the role that partnerships can play in an institution’s overall internationalization strategy. The joint keynote address was delivered by Dr. Waded Cruzado, interim president of New Mexico State University (NMSU), and Dr. Raúl Favela, director of Servicios Internacionales of Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua (UACH).

The visionary founder of the Grameen Bank, Professor Muhammad Yunus, was the keynote speaker at the opening plenary session. Professor Yunus leads a global network aimed at ending poverty around the world. Recognized alongside the bank for these efforts with the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, his ideas couple capitalism with social responsibility and have changed the face of rural economic and social development forever. He signed copies of his books after the plenary.

The Cassandra Pyle Award for Leadership and Collaboration in International Education and Exchange was awarded to Caroline Matano Yang, who served on the presidentially appointed J. William Fulbright Board of Foreign Scholarship for nine years, the last two as chair. Previously, she was executive director of the Fulbright Program in Japan for more than 20 years.

The Marita Houlihan Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Field of International Education was awarded to Bruce Sillner, dean of International Programs and chief international officer at the State University of New York at New Paltz.

The Homer Higbee Award for Distinguished Service to NAFSA was awarded to Patricia Jones, who has tirelessly served NAFSA as a leader at both the national and regional levels for almost 20 years.

Life Membership Awards were given to Margaret D. Pusch, executive director of the Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research – USA; Martin Limbird, director of International Advancement at Ball State University; and Dixon Johnson, who has worked in international education for more than 30 years, most recently serving as executive director of the Office of International Services at the University of Southern California (USC) from 1983–2007.

NAFSA annual conference participants had an opportunity to enjoy the Southern California sunshine and breezes at the private outdoor opening reception Tuesday evening at L.A. Live.

NAFSA 2009 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

The International Education Expo is the largest ever with over 600 booths representing all aspects of international education. NAFSA President John Hudzik and 2009 Annual Conference Chair Mell Bolen welcomed attendees to the Expo.

NAFSA 2009 Opening Plenary

NAFSA 2009 Opening Plenary

Some 7,500 international educators attend the NAFSA Annual Conference in Los Angeles.

Muhammad Yunus at NAFSA 2009

Founder of the Grameen Bank, Professor Muhammad Yunus kicked off the 2009 NAFSA Annual Conference, sharing his ideas and experiences in coupling capitalism with social responsibility.

NAFSA Award Winners with Muhammad Yunus

NAFSA award winners with Muhammad Yunus: NAFSA President John Hudzik, NAFSA Awards Subcommittee Chair Ann Kuhlman,

Cassandra Pyle Award Winner Caroline Matano Yang, Marita Houlihan Award Winner Bruce Sillner, Homer Higbee Award Winner Patricia Jones, and Life Membership Awards Winner Margaret Pusch. Not in the photo are Life Membership Awardees Martin Limbird and Dixon Johnson.

John Hudzik and Caroline Matano Yang at NAFSA 2009

NAFSA President John Hudzik awards the Cassandra Pyle Award to Caroline Matano Yang.