International awards recognize Emory's global impact

By Mary Lynn Dalton | Emory Report | Nov. 20, 2018

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Emory’s 2018 International Awards were presented Nov. 15. From left to right, Provost Dwight A. McBride poses with winners Uriel Kitron, Mark Butt and Do Mai Hoa, as well as Philip Wainwright, vice provost of global strategy and initiatives. Emory Photo/Video.

Emory University’s global impact is best viewed through the work of individual faculty, alumni and staff. Their innovation and enthusiasm for work with international scope brings to life the vast network that connects Emory to countless places, people and projects around the world.

“Emory’s global footprint is carved by the contributions of faculty, students, alumni and staff who help realize the vision of ‘One Emory’ on campus and abroad,” says Dwight A. McBride, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “Together, we advance research and impact on a global scale.”

In recognition of the people who stretch Emory’s international reach, the Office of Global Strategy and Initiatives annually honors three members of the Emory community – a faculty member, an international alumnus, and a staff member – to recognize their work and global impact. 

The 2018 International Award recipients are:

  • Uriel Kitron, Marion V. Creekmore Award for Internationalization
  • Do Mai Hoa, Sheth Distinguished International Alumni Award
  • Mark Butt, International Outreach Award

“This year’s award winners’ achievements change our lives at Emory and have impact around the world,” says Philip Wainwright, vice provost of global strategy and initiatives. “They are internationalizing our campus in Atlanta while also elevating Emory’s reputation on the world stage. They show that Emory is both a destination and a launching pad for global scholarship.”

Creekmore Award for Internationalization

Uriel Kitron, Goodrich C. White Professor of Environmental Sciences, has been named the winner of the 2018 Marion V. Creekmore Award for Internationalization. This award recognizes an Emory faculty member who excels in advancing the university’s commitment to internationalization. 

Kitron studies ecology and spatial epidemiology of infectious diseases with an emphasis on mosquito-borne diseases. His research focuses on international issues ranging from genetically modified mosquitoes to Zika virus to the disease risks of holding the Olympics in Brazil.

Kitron’s nomination letter for the Creekmore Award was co-signed by 17 faculty from a variety of disciplines who acknowledged that “the large number of endorsements from all over campus underscores [that] Uriel has long exemplified excellence, passion and leadership in his global research and has truly excelled in the advancement of the university’s commitment to internationalization.”

His contributions are not only to his field and to Emory’s global reputation; he is also committed to mentoring and training students and researchers worldwide. His lab has hosted international PhD students and post-doctoral researchers from a variety of countries including Brazil, Italy, Columbia and Kenya. 

Sheth Distinguished Alumni Award

Do Mai Hoa is the winner of the 2018 Sheth Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes international alumni who are highly distinguished in their field and have made outstanding contributions to humanity, science, art or human welfare.

In 2002, Hoa earned a master of public health degree from Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health after attending a six-week course through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Emory, Management for International Public Health. During her time at Emory, she became an AIDS International Training and Research Program fellow, an opportunity that contributed to her focus on HIV/AIDS programs. 

Hoa is now the project coordinator for the Residency Education Reform Project at the Partnership for Health Advancement in Vietnam, a Harvard University affiliated organization that aims to strengthen health care worker capacity by providing technical assistance, medical education and help with strengthening health policies in Vietnam. 

“Do Mai Hoa is an exemplary Emory international alumna who, through many years of hard work and dedication, has made a significant contribution to improving public health management capacity in Vietnam,” says Michael Malison, adjunct professor in Rollins School of Public Health. “Her efforts have inspired others and led to improved evidence-based decision making among HIV program personnel in Vietnam’s decentralized health system.” 

Hoa’s experience and enthusiasm has inspired other faculty and colleagues to attend the training-for-trainers MIPH course, and she has been instrumental in garnering grant funding to support public health and management capacity development.

International Outreach Award

The 2018 International Outreach Award winner is Mark Butt, director of undergraduate selection in the Office of Undergraduate Admission at Emory College of Arts and Sciences. The award recognizes professional Emory staff who have made significant contributions to Emory’s internationalization through the programs, schools and units in which they serve.

In his role, Butt has partnered with high schools and programs from across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. He has worked to establish a process in collaboration with the Office of Financial Aid to ensure international students can be considered for need-based financial aid.

William Segura, associate dean of admission in Emory College, describes Butt as “the kind of person you want as a friend and colleague. He is ethical, caring, hardworking and is always focused on doing what is right. Emory is lucky to have him.” 

In 2016, Butt initiated and helped establish the Emory University and United World College partnership as a part of the Davis Foundation, and Emory has welcomed its second cohort of UWC-Davis Scholars this academic year. 

Butt’s exceptional work to establish partnerships in his regions of focus has ensured that the best and brightest students are applying for admission to Emory University and to the Emory Scholars program.