Mestenhauser Student Award for Excellence in Campus Internationalization

The Josef Mestenhauser Student Award for Excellence in Campus Internationalization recognizes outstanding student contributions to international education. This award acknowledges important work being done by students at the University of Minnesota to internationalize the curriculum and campus.

The Mestenhauser Student Award honors Dr. Josef Mestenhauser, Distinguished International Emeritus Professor, recognizing his long career of advocacy for and commitment to students.

2014 recipients with Josef Mestenhauser
2014 recipients with Dr. Mestenhauser

2017 Recipients

Karen Soi ChoiKaren Soi Choi

Karen Soi Choi is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Crookston majoring in Biology and Environmental Science and minoring in Chemistry. Karen is actively involved in promoting environmental sustainability and building community for students from around the world.

Watch Karen’s digital story to learn about the many ways she has been involved in internationalization and sustainability initiatives, including organizing a trip for international students to a local sustainable farm.

Takehito KamataTakehito Kamata

Takehito Kamata is a Doctoral Candidate in Higher Education in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Takehito is involved with a wide range of projects to further campus internationalization. In his video, he describes how he wants to use research “to engage in developing global scholarship, fostering global competence, sharing intercultural and international education experiences, advancing science and promoting international research collaborations across all academic disciplines.”

Watch Takehito's digital story to learn more about his efforts to promote student and alumni engagement in the College of Education and Human Development and his research interests in internationalization.

Nick LeeNick Lee

Nick Lee is a senior majoring in majoring in Management Information Systems at the Carlson School of Management with a minor in Computer Science at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Nick’s own experiences returning to campus after military service in his native South Korea inspired his desire to help others in similar situations.

Watch Nick's digital story to learn more about his work to improve the experiences of fellow South Korean male students.

Camila Fonseca SarmientoCamila Fonseca Sarmiento

Camila Fonseca Sarmiento is a second year master’s student in Public Policy at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Camila has been a leader in a number of initiatives to improve the experiences of international students at the Humphrey School.

Watch Camila's digital story to learn more about her work to connect international students to the wider Humphrey community and to hear from students and staff at the Humphrey School about the important role of fostering community with international students.

Past Recipients

2016 Recipients

Paidamoyo ChikatePaidamoyo Chikate is a master's student at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. There are few roles that Paidamoyo Chikate has not taken on as a student at the University of Minnesota. For her video, Chikate asked several of her fellow Humphrey School peers to explain what campus internationalization meant to them, because, in her words, “Internationalizing any place is not a one man or woman job.”

Watch Paida's digital story to learn about how she pushes the Humphrey School community to go outside of their comfort zones, to see diverse perspectives, and play their part in internationalizing the campus.

Carl ZwiegCarl Zwieg is a senior at the Carlson School of Management. Zweig’s first experiences with internationalization occurred when he did study abroad in Denmark. After having an amazing experience where the college’s Buddy Program made him feel at home, he “decided to give back” by becoming the president of GLOBE, the Carlson School’s program that pairs incoming international exchange students with domestic students.

Watch Carl's digital story to learn about how was inspired by his experience studying in Denmark to make sure that international students at the Carlson School have the best experiene they can.

2015 Recipients

Head shot of Si ChenSi Chen
Economics
University of Minnesota, Morris

“I was expecting to make friends with local students and learn American culture, but it was harder than my expectation.”

Watch Si’s digital story to learn about how she became a student leader on campus and built connections between international and U.S. students.


Head shot of Ben MaYizhou Ben Ma
Food Science
College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

“I want to keep contributing to campus internationalization and become a responsible global citizen.”

Watch Ben’s digital story to hear about the many ways he became engaged with student groups to better serve international students and help U.S. students understand new cultures.

2014 Recipients

Douglas KennedyDouglas Kennedy is a Ph.D. student in the University of Minnesota’s Comparative and International Development Education program. Inspired by the experiences of his Distinguished Fulbright Award in Teaching grant in Tamil Nadu, India, Douglas has worked with Fulbright colleagues to build collaborative partnerships and international study programs in India and South Africa. Among many other commitments to internationalize the University of Minnesota, Douglas served as a student representative to the College of Education and Human Development’s International Education Committee; his work with the committee includes a project to promote internationalization of higher education and faculty collaborations on international education projects by providing access to resources, information, and opportunities to engage. Through this position, he also worked to build a collaborative partnership between the college and an educational trust in Mumbai, India.

Sook Jin OngSook Jin Ong, originally from Malaysia, is a master’s student at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. She completed her undergraduate education in Australia, where her own experience as an international student inspired her to work to improve the experiences of international students in the Humphrey School. Sook Jin became the first International Student Representative in the Humphrey School’s Public Affairs Student Association (PASA). She has been active in setting up a formal organization, the Humphrey International Students’ Association, to prepare international students to live and study abroad as well as to increase interactions between domestic and international students. She has also been integrally involved in initiatives to create opportunities in the Humphrey School community for honest dialogues about racial discrimination, stereotypes, and negative perceptions that impact the lives of international students.

Khoa Vu is a senior majoring in economics and Khoa Vumathematics. He is a leader in fostering multiculturalism on campus. Khoa has served as the president of the Minnesota International Student Association (MISA) and has worked with the International Buddy Program (IBP). Through his involvement in these organizations, he has planned activities and events with the goal of introducing many different cultures to the University of Minnesota community and raising cultural awareness through intercultural interaction. Khoa believes strongly in the power of cross-cultural discussions and open dialogue to help students understand other cultures and appreciate diverse perspectives. He has been instrumental in developing collaborative opportunities among international student organizations and programs to the benefit of the entire community.

 

 

Award Details and Nomination Materials

Nominees must demonstrate:

  1. a strong commitment to international education and broadening international understanding at the University of Minnesota or the community at large.
  2. active involvement in programs and activities that contribute to the University of Minnesota's mission of fostering global competence and developing global citizens.

Eligibility

Undergraduate, professional, and graduate students in good academic standing from any discipline from all five campuses at the University of Minnesota are eligible to be nominated for the award. Nominees must be registered for full-time study.

Nomination

Faculty members, administrators, staff, or other students may nominate eligible students by submitting the following materials:

  1. a brief nomination letter (200-500 words)
  2. a brief statement from the student outlining how he or she demonstrates the established award criteria (one page max)
  3. a copy of the student's resume or C.V.
  4. a nomination cover sheet, completed by the student; this form requires two references (reference information from family members or high school references not accepted)

Nominations cannot come from staff within the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance. Please submit nomination materials by Friday, January 20, 2017.

The Award

Up to two monetary awards will be given in the amount of $500 each. Awards will be processed as a scholarship to the recipients' student accounts (please note that this may have an effect on financial aid).

Awardee Obligations

Award recipients will be asked to prepare a digital story that highlights their engagement with internationalization at the University of Minnesota. Students will be supported and provided the necessary resources in the production of their digital stories. The award recipients will be recognized at an award ceremony on March 3, 2017; the digital stories will be shared with the audience at the ceremony.

Please contact Elizabeth Schwartz at 612-625-8829, schw1304@umn.edu, or Gayle Woodruff at 612-625-6065, gwoodruf@umn.edu with questions.

Support the Student Awards

Make a Gift

Thanks to donations from generous individuals, recipients receive a $500 scholarship along with the Mestenhauser Award.

We welcome gifts of all sizes to the Mestenhauser Legacy Fund.

 

Mestenhauser Legacy Initiative

The Mestenhauser Legacy Initiative was launched by the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance in close consultation with Professor Josef Mestenhauser to recognize his legacy to international education. Through this collection of innovative programs and scholarship, we strive to honor Professor Mestenhauser's legacy of working to broaden international understanding.

Make a gift!