Honored International Academician

The University of Minnesota has substantial and critical relationships with faculty from institutions all over the globe. These partners are crucial to the University’s global mission and enhance the University’s ability to deliver exemplary education, research, and outreach to students here and abroad.

The University, through the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance, wishes to recognize these international faculty partners for their ongoing contributions by awarding them the honorary title of Honored International Academician. This award is meant to recognize faculty from institutions outside the U.S. who contribute to the University’s international education and research mission by collaborating with faculty on research projects; coordinating visits or study by students or scholars from their universities at the University of Minnesota; hosting learning abroad students and/or organizing their educational or cultural activities; or other activities that serve the University of Minnesota.

While this is not a competitive process (the number of recipients is not limited) the recognition is intended only for international faculty who are making extraordinary contributions. The recipients may use this title professionally; there are no other University benefits associated with this recognition.

Applications may be submitted at any time, but applications will be reviewed on April 1 and November 1.

For questions or more information, please contact Molly Portz at 612-626-8792 or mportz@umn.edu.

Eligibility Guidelines

Eligibility is limited to faculty partners at international academic institutions, non-governmental or governmental organizations who have contributed to the University’s mission of education, research, and outreach over time and have exceeded expectations through their hard work, creativity, and dedication to international partnerships. They engage in some or all of the following activities:

  • Teaching seminars/courses
  • Directing field experiences or experiential education
  • Collaborating in research
  • Providing clinical supervision

Faculty abroad who already hold the title of “adjunct” at the University of Minnesota are eligible for this title as well.

Selection Process

The Associate Vice President and Dean of International Programs will review the applications and make recommendations to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, who will have final authority to confer the title. Action by the Senate All-University Honors Committee or approval by the Board of Regents is not required.

Presentation of Award

  • Once the application has been approved, a letter of congratulations, a certificate, and a U of M pin will be provided by the Global Programs and Stragey Alliance to the nominator to send/present to the international faculty colleague.
  • A list of recipients will be maintained on the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance website.
  • Other recognition or celebratory events may be sponsored by the nominating department at their expense.

Nomination Procedure

  • The nominator must be a current faculty or staff member of the University of Minnesota who is familiar with the important contributions of the nominee.
  • A completed nomination packet must be submitted to the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance, 100 University International Center, 331 17th Avenue S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55414. A complete nomination packet should include:
    • A completed nomination form that is signed by the nominator, department head, and the dean of the nominating college/school or the equivalent on your campus.
    • A letter from the nominator that describes the nominee’s relationship with the University and focus on his/her contributions to the University’s mission of education, research, and outreach.
    • The nominee’s curriculum vitae or resumé.
    • A supporting letter from the department chair of the nominating department (unless the chair is the nominator).


Applications may be submitted at any time, but applications will be reviewed on April 1 and November 1.


Alphabetical by Last Name

Rima Hooja, Ph.D.
Jaipur, India
On-Site Director, Minnesota Studies in International Development (MSID) India
University of Minnesota

Dr. Rima Hooja has been with the MSID India program since 2003 and since then has spearheaded the implementation of a new spring semester program, taught one of the core courses of the program each semester, and has advised students on their internships. Under Dr. Hooja’s leadership, the MSID India program has attracted students from more than a dozen U.S. institutions. Her dedication to her students and her award-winning scholarly activities on India has heightened the insights she provides students. She is highly praised for her teaching excellence, and is also a mentor to students and staff on the MSID India program. She is consistently available for individual student consultation, anticipates students concerns, and creates a welcoming and open environment for faculty, staff, and students.

Mohamud Jama, Ph.D.
Nairobi, Kenya
On-Site Director, Minnesota Studies in International Development (MSID) Kenya
University of Minnesota

Dr. Mohamud Jama has been with the MSID program in Nairobi, Kenya, since 1996. He received his Ph.D in agricultural economics from Washington State University and has been principal investigator on dozens of projects and papers in the areas of environmental economics, agriculture, land use, and economic policy. He is also currently on the board of directors of the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), a National Governing Council member of New Partnerships for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Kenya Secretariat, and associate professor and former director of the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Nairobi. The MSID student program evaluations speak to his credibility as an outstanding teacher and administrator. In 2008, Dr. Jama and his colleague, Program Coordinator Khalif Maalim, were awarded the first Balkcum Award recognizing excellence in and commitment to serving University students abroad.

Yu Wu Jiang, M.D., Ph.D.
Beijing, China
Vice Director, Department of Pediatrics
Peking University First Hospital

The association between the University of Minnesota and Peking University Health Center is long-standing and began when Professor Jiang was a pediatric neurology fellow in Minnesota several decades ago. Dr. Jiang is now the leading pediatric neurologist in all of China and president of the China Pediatric Society. Dr. Jiang is currently a coordinator for visiting medical students particularly from Minnesota. The development of a stronger relationship with Peking University Health Center under Dr. Jiang’s leadership and Minnesota with its new U of M office in Beijing will make Peking University Health Science Center an excellent site for collaborative education and research with the University of Minnesota.

Dolores Lopez Paredes
Quito, Ecuador
Administrative Director, Minnesota Studies in International Development (MSID) Ecuador
Fundacion Cimas del Ecuador

Ms. Lopez Paredas has provided leadership for enhancing the University of Minnesota’s ties with Ecuador since 1989. In addition to her responsibilities with MSID Ecuador, Ms. Lopez Paredas is a leader in promoting development in Quito as the president of Fundacion Cimas del Ecuador, a development-focused nonprofit organization. Throughout her professional career she has authored numerous articles and books and is currently completing her Ph.D. in Cultural Latin American Studies at the Universidad Andian Simon Bolivar. Since the MSID Ecuador program’s inception over 20 years ago, more than 425 students have benefitted from the knowledge, expertise, and dedication that Ms. Lopez Paredas has provided.

Dr. David Meya
Kampala, Uganda
Senior Lecturer, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University
Adjunct Associate Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine, University of Minnesota Medical School

Dr. Meya has been an invaluable contributor to the University’s international research and education mission for over a decade through his research collaborations, mentorship of students, and hosting of visiting scholars. He has proven to be a brilliant researcher and outstanding teacher and continues to play a fundamental role in the success of Uganda as a hub of innovation, research, and learning for the Academic Health Center. Throughout his career, Dr. Meya has distinguished himself through his ongoing dual commitment to translational research and health education. His current research focus is centered on HIV Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome (IRIS) and cryptococcal meningitis. Dr. Meya has shaped the AHC Uganda Hub and the Uganda Research Training Collaborative (URTC), an innovative new pilot program for University of Minnesota and Makerere University students.

Ousmane Sene, Ph.D.
Dakar, Senegal
On-Site Director, Minnesota Studies in International Development (MSID) Senegal
University of Minnesota

Dr. Ousmane Sene has been the on-site director of the MSID program in Dakar since 2006 and under his leadership has initiated unique engagement activities for MSID students with local Senegalese students in rural communities to promote grassroots community engagement. In addition, Dr. Sene’s extensive connections as a former chair of the Department of English and as a senior faculty member at Cheik Anta Diop University have enabled him to identify colleagues around the country who have been willing to teach in the MSID program and offer internships opportunities to MSID students. Dr. Sene also works with the U of M community to strengthen Senegalese cultural understanding by introducing a unique Senegalese literature and film course in the MSID curriculum that has broadened the appeal of the MSID Senegal program to U.S. students.

Jose Suarez, M.D., Ph.D.
Quito, Ecuador
Director, Minnesota Studies in International Development (MSID) Ecuador
Fundacion Cimas del Ecuador

Dr. Jose Suarez has a long-standing relationship with the University of Minnesota as an alumnus of the School of Public Health, program coordinator for the Learning Abroad Center in 1989, and today, as the director of MSID Ecuador. In addition to providing leadership with the MSID Ecuador program, he is a leader in promoting development in Quito as the executive director of Fundacion Cimas del Ecuador, a development-focused nonprofit organization. A physician and epidemiologist with extensive community experience, he has authored several research studies and books on Ecuador. In addition he has extensive teaching experience in U.S. and Ecuadorian universities and received the University of Minnesota’s Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals in 2006.