Award for Global Engagement

2009 Recipients

Gerald W. Fry

Dr. Gerald W. Fry is an accomplished researcher, mentor, teacher, and global citizen. From his early years in the Peace Corps, to his latest role as professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development, he has dedicated his career of more than 40 years to the field of international education.

Professor Fry’s interest in international education began early as a graduate student when he conducted field research on education and development in Costa Rica. This experience inspired his interest in the field of development education and led him to complete a Ph.D. in international development followed by service in the Peace Corps teaching in Thailand.

His work has focused on developing new internationally oriented academic programs, doing overseas consulting related to the improvement of education in Thailand and Laos, taking students to Southeast Asia, and doing collaborative research with scholars from other nations. He has worked on major projects for organizations such as UNESCO, the Asia Foundation, and the Asian Development Bank. Professor Fry is an international expert in Southeast Asia and speaks several Southeast Asian languages. His work and writings are highly respected in Southeast Asian educational circles. Not only is he involved outside the United States with issues regarding Southeast Asia, but locally he is active with the Southeast Asian immigrant and refugee communities in Minnesota and has served as a member of the Hmong Cultural Center board.

Professor Fry has brought much to the University’s Comparative and International Development Education (CIDE) graduate program; the strengths of the program are a testament to Professors Fry’s international visibility and scholarship. He has mentored many graduate students to their degrees in CIDE, and his writings are used regularly in comparative education and thesis research courses in the CIDE graduate program. Students who have accompanied Professor Fry on global seminar programs have had profound and life-changing experiences. In addition, he served for five years as the chair of the College of Education and Human Development International Education Committee.

Professor Fry has been highly successful in publishing research in collaboration with international scholars. He has mentored dozens of young Asian scholars and helped them get their first publications in prestigious juried journals. Currently he is completing a major research project with University Professor Michael Paige, Beyond the Immediate Impact: Study Abroad for Global Engagement (SAGE), which seeks to examine the long-term personal, professional, and global engagement outcomes associated with study abroad experiences that occur during the college years. The researchers define global engagement as the contributions a person makes to the common good by means of civic engagement, knowledge production, social entrepreneurship, and philanthropy.

Professor Fry has advanced his stellar career with creativity, intelligence, passion, and dedication. He has engaged faculty, students, and the world outside of the University to be globally engaged. He has truly made a difference locally and globally.