Prasad wins International Educator of Year award

Josh Staab | Collegian K-State Provost April Mason presents the International Educator of the Year award to Mary Kirkham, who stood in for recepient, P.V. Vara Prasad. Prasad could not attend because he was working abroad during the event.Photo credit: Josh Staab.

P. V. Vara Prasad, professor of agronomy, was awarded the title of K-State’s International Educator of the Year on Tuesday in the Alumni Center. Provost April Mason presented the award as a part of the International Education Week celebration.

“We have so much to be proud of with the activities we are involved in here at K-State,” Mason said.

Mary Beth Kirkham, professor of agronomy, accepted the award on Prasad’s behalf, as he was out of the country during the ceremony.

Prasad was selected for his substantial contributions in developing international education. Prasad has raised over $12 million in extramural funding and has a passion for international research.

“He has active on-going research and education programs in Africa and Asia,” Mason said during the reception.

Some of Prasad’s original research includes contributions to crop science internationally.

The 2013 International Education Awards Ceremony also recognized the government of Brazil as the Innovative Education Program of the Year for its vision and investment in the Brazilian Science Mobility program.

“Brazil put higher education on the top of its agenda,” said Pedro Saldanha, embassy adviser for the Educational Sector in the Washington D.C. embassy.

K-State has been able to reach an all-time high of international students on campus this semester, with 2,106 students. The university also currently employs over 350 international faculty members.

The Outstanding Support for International Initiatives award was presented to Housing and Dining Services director Derek Jackson for his professional efforts in increasing engagement with the international community.

Jackson’s contributions included making international students feel more comfortable as they transitioned to life at K-State.

Sara Thurston-Gonzalez, director of International Student Scholar Services, said the award belongs to not only Jackson, but also everyone involved in Housing and Dining Services who contributed to helping international students feel more welcomed.

“It’s down to the RAs that make a difference and care about our international students and do everything they can to welcome them when they come,” Thurston said.

In conjunction with International Education Week, Mason said she was proud to celebrate all three award recipients.

“In today’s world, an education is not complete without understanding that we are all global citizens,” Mason said.