Anne Alexander, Associate Dean
1000 E. University Avenue, Dept. 3707
Laramie, WY 82071
Each year, the International Board of Advisors and International Programs Office (IPO) recognize individuals who have significantly contributed to the promotion of global awareness.
Recognizes faculty and academic professionals for success in internationalizing teaching, outreach, service, and scholarship at the University of Wyoming. The awardees is recognized during commencement activities including the President's Commencement Dinner and the UW International Board of Advisors annual spring banquet. The awardees are also given a $2,000 honorarium.
The criteria for the UW Faculty Internationalization Award require that nominees exhibit “strong leadership in establishing and maintaining activities that enhanced internationalization at UW.” This is demonstrated by showing the nominee has advanced UW’s international prestige by interacting with colleagues around the world, providing opportunities for UW students to study or do research abroad, promoting interactions between UW students and international colleagues, and significant collaboration with partners outside the US. Usually, we receive a UW recommendation letter and three support letters explaining how the nominee has met these criteria. It’s very rare that our winner has received eleven support letters from people in Wyoming, Wisconsin, Texas, Australia, Uzbekistan, Mauritania, Russia, and organizations like the UN, USDA, and Fulbright; nor is it common for them to have significantly improved agricultural sustainability on nearly every continent on the globe and quite literally helped save millions of people from starvation.
Locusts and grasshoppers are probably the most devastating agricultural pests on earth, threatening the livelihood of one out of ten people on this planet. Developing biologically sound, economically viable, and environmentally acceptable methods of their control is a critical food security matter. The University of Wyoming is the international leader in this domain – and that is in large part because of Alex Latchininsky.
Alex is world-renowned for his work with grasshoppers and locusts. He conducted research, conducted trainings, and gave presentations in 21 countries and six continents. He taught courses with significant international components, mentored international graduate and undergraduate students, and served on foreign institution graduate student committees/juries. He hosted visiting scientists from China, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Australia, Morocco, and Mauritania. The statistics alone don’t tell the whole story, however.
During a transcontinental upsurge of the desert locust in 2003-2005, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization selected the University of Wyoming to develop a training program in French for desert locust control specialists in West Africa. Dr. Latchininsky delivered this training to National Trainers in Niamey, Niger, and subsequently on a “train-the-trainers” basis to over 600 specialists in 21 countries. Following this successful experience, FAO UN is working with Alex to develop “Practical Guidelines for Locust Control” in Russian for ten countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia. Alex has also worked with several governments to build capacity to protect their food crops and ecosystems from grasshopper and locust destruction. Dr. Latchininsky’s efforts to promote international cooperation and capacity building of national plant protection services are highly valued by those countries. This is illustrated by the fact that the Ministries of Agriculture of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan wrote letters of gratitude to Dr. Latchininsky for his invaluable contributions to locust management in these countries.
As Prof. Furkat Gapporov writes on behalf of the Uzbek Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, “Locusts and grasshoppers are extremely dangerous pests in Uzbekistan, which threaten food security and independence of our young country. Thanks to Alex’s tireless work, we now have means to combat them successfully and without harming the environment.”
Alex’s work impacts both the world and Wyoming. Methods of grasshopper control developed at UW saved Wyoming producers $13 million in just one year during an outbreak in 2010. Alex and his team received the International Award of Excellence in Integrated Pest Management for this remarkable achievement. As Extension Entomologist, Alex and his team created a system of public education and technology transfer that trained producers in efficient grasshopper control methods. It went far beyond the state of Wyoming and covered all 17 western states affected by rangeland grasshoppers. The impact was again much broader: through his numerous presentations and trainings Alex delivered these efficient pest control methods to countries in Central Asia, Central and South America and Africa.
It is imperative for young American scientists to be well prepared for future work in global settings, and Alex provides unmatched opportunities for his UW students to do so on a routine basis. One of his former students, Jerod Smith, writes, “In working with Dr. Latchininsky, a world of international opportunities was opened up for me… Keep in mind that I am just one student; imagine the hundreds of opportunities that Dr. Latchininsky has afforded other colleagues and students during his tenure at the University of Wyoming!” To provide an even larger number of new scientists from the US and around the world with the chance to contribute to this important scientific endeavor, Alex is working to develop an International Locust and Grasshopper Professional Certification Center based at the University of Wyoming, which would be instrumental in educating locust field specialists from around the nation and around the globe on the most cutting-edge strategies and methods of locust and grasshopper management. The center would strengthen the international reputation of the University of Wyoming as the world educational leader in applied ecology and management of locust and grasshopper pests.
While Dr. Latchininsky’s work has led to the public presentation and publication of world-class science in his field, it is also important to recognize that his international efforts have produced substantially better lives for people in many countries. Because of his ability to bring together key government ministries and scientific organizations, the locust management programs affecting millions of acres and thousands of lives are more safe and efficient, as well as being less economically costly and environmentally damaging. Dr. Latchininsky has not only conducted good science, but he has transformed that research into good works. In short, he has made direct and substantial contributions to food security throughout the world.
One of Alex’s nominators sums it up beautifully: “I have known Alex for many years, and he is the example I share with my students as to what it means to be an international scientist.“ His work has brought immense acclaim to UW in his astounding scientific accomplishments; just as importantly, he has taken that work’s relevance and importance and made it accessible to practitioners around Wyoming, the region, the country, and the world. In so doing, he has provided many people with the means to combat one of the most critical threats to global security. He is the embodiment of a true diplomat and ambassador of our state and this university. He serves as a role model for UW faculty, staff, and students in his pursuit of solutions to global problems.
Jose Andres Cabrera Rodas, a native of Guatemala, arrived in Wyoming last fall semester, and his infectious enthusiasm for his new-found home at UW and passion for honing his leadership skills have already made a big impression. A double major in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and a member of the UW Honors Program, he has a perfect grade point average. As extremely impressive as that is, his scholarly accomplishments almost pale in comparison to the contributions he is already making to global awareness in Wyoming.
Jose Andres is making a name for himself at UW as an ambassador of his country to Wyoming. He has been working with Dr. Aurora Chang, College of Education, as she prepares to take her first study abroad trip this summer in the indigenous highlands of Guatemala. Jose Andres assisted Dr. Chang in planning, will serve as a guide for the UW students when they visit Guatemala City, and will act as a support person in-country during their travels.
Jose Andres is also actively involved in diversity and internationalization efforts on campus. He is an active member of the St. Paul’s Newman Center, and is the representative of United Multicultural Council to ASUW, the UW student government. He was nominated for the Willena Stanford Commitment to Diversity Award this year, and was awarded the Associated Students of the University of Wyoming Leadership Award based on his commitment to leadership and service, leadership experience, campus involvement, and an exemplary academic record. He has also participated in cultural diversity education trainings with the College of Education, The Big Event, Cowboy Cultures Connect, and Friendship Families.
Back home in Guatemala, Jose Andres was the president of the student body at Colegio Suizo Americano, and a member of the Guatemalan National Handball Team. Given his early track record in Guatemala and Wyoming as an outstanding leader in many arenas, and his immensely productive contributions to internationalization efforts in Wyoming, we can expect great things in the future from Jose Andres. We’re so glad he came to UW!
Megan Wilson came to Wyoming from Illinois in the dead of winter, sight unseen, to work with Dr. Scott Shaw in UW’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Since arriving here, she completed her Master’s in Entomology and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Ecology with an emphasis on insect ecology.
Megan’s research for her Ph.D. focuses on international conservation biology and ecology by examining insect and plant interactions in a unique high elevation tropical cloud forest, an endangered tropical habitat. Her work has significant international scientific significance that will inform conservation decisions around the world. She is an active science educator, as well, having served as graduate teaching assistant and graduate mentor for UW’s Cloud Forest Ecology in Ecuador class co-taught by Dr. Shaw and Dr. Greg Brown. For the past two summers, she travelled with this class to not only work on her own collection and research work, but as a scientific and cultural counselor for the undergraduate students on the trip. Many of those students had never traveled to Latin America or experienced the challenges of field work in an isolated, rugged Andean location. Dr. Shaw points out that “For the Ecuador classes, Ms. Wilson’s role goes well beyond mere academic instruction. While there, she serves as a friend, colleague, travel agent, trip planner, camp counselor, and ‘den mother’ for all the students.” Dr. Brown says of Megan’s work on these courses, “All of our Honors class students came away with very positive experiences and memories, in part because of Meg’s mentorship during this trip.”
Megan serves as a docent for Insect Museum tours for Wyoming K-12 students. There she has helped to maintain living Insect Zoo, and has met with hundreds of Wyoming students from around the state – she makes it a habit to promote to them the importance of international scientific study. She shares her passion for global research and travel as a teaching assistant for Biology as Culture, an introductory level Zoology course, by sharing her experiences and encouraging students to have at least one international travel experience in their UW career. Megan is a member of Gamma Sigma Delta, the Agricultural Honor Society, and Beta Beta Beta, the Biological Honor Society, and a recipient of the Cheney Study Abroad Grant. She is the Vice President of the Wyoming Entomology Club and is in the UW Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Club.
One of her nominators describes Megan this way: “Ms. Wilson is an exceptionally smart, adventuresome, enthusiastic, and pleasant graduate student, deeply involved in international activities, who exemplifies all the criteria for this award.” Meg is the quintessential scientist-diplomat – doing important research with global implications, representing Wyoming to the world, and ensuring our students understand the importance of a global education.
Dilnoza Khasilova came to Wyoming with a vision. Originally from Uzbekistan and holding a degree in Linguistics from Smolensk University for Humanities in Russia, she now is working towards her degree in the College of Education’s Master’s Program in Curriculum and Instruction. Since her arrival at UW in January of 2013, she has been a force of nature, working to bring people from across the university and across the world together here in Laramie. Uzbekistan has no better ambassador to the United States than Dilnoza Khasilova.
Besides being a promising young scholar of education, she is, as one of her nominators said, “a seasoned and innovative global citizen…well-traveled and multilingual.” Her work to bring global awareness to the campus is legendary. She served as President of one of our newest student organizations, the Central Asian Students Association (CASA), and brought her significant energy and enthusiasm to bear on hosting CASA’s inaugural New Year celebration of Nauryz on campus. She organized the delicious traditional cuisine, music, dancers, and a full program – and hundreds of people attended. She organized this amazing event in a very short period of time through her excellent ability to bring people together to work towards a common cause; the campus benefitted immensely by being able to learn about the cultures of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and other Central Asian Countries.
Three examples of Dilnoza’s latest efforts at UW epitomize her drive to help improve access to global perspectives and educational opportunities. Last semester, when UW hosted a visiting psychology professor from our partner institution, Saratov State University, she was invaluable in assisting our visitor, including translating for her during her 2-week long visit. Along with a group of fellow students, Dilnoza is working to establish a World Languages Center at UW, which would bring opportunities for non-credit courses and language tutoring in a variety of languages. She has procured initial seed funding from UW’s student government to begin acquiring technology and materials for the center. In addition, Dilnoza has been spearheading an effort for the past several months to bring the Uzbek Ambassador to the US to Wyoming for meetings with UW students, faculty, and staff as well as the Governor and legislators. This visit will likely occur in the Fall of 2014. Without Dilnoza‘s tireless efforts and endless enthusiasm, this effort would not be happening. A nominator brings to the fore exactly how Dilnoza accomplishes these things: “Dilnoza’ Khasilova doesn’t think small and doesn’t let bureaucracy or cultural differences become obstacles to her vision.” Dilnoza’s hard-working, can-do attitude sets her head and shoulders above her peers in bringing the world to Wyoming. She does all of this, maintaining outstanding grades in her courses all the while, as she raises her two small children here in Laramie.
According to one of Dilnoza Khasilova’s nominators: “Dilnoza is fearless. She is outspoken, friendly, and energetic. She is in constant motion… You can bet, with Dilnoza at the helm, anything is possible.” Dilnoza Khasilova truly exemplifies the spirit of the UW IBOA internationalization awards. She is a cultural ambassador, always seeking ways to help UW learn more about the world, and making sure the world knows about Wyoming. We are lucky to have her here.
“A gifted mind.” “[A] compassionate and abiding desire to help students make the most of their international education.” “A splendid colleague.” These are just some of the superlatives used by her nominators when they describe Manuela Hofer-McIntyre, the recipient of the very first UW International Board of Advisors Award for Excellence in Staff Achievement in Internationalization. Manuela, a native of Austria who has worked for the past three years in the Global and Area Studies degree program as student advisor and special projects coordinator, has had an immensely positive impact on the lives of students majoring in that program, and an incredible impact on expanding UW’s global presence to Wyoming communities.
From start to finish, inside and outside the classroom, in Laramie and beyond, Manuela is a champion for her students, the consummate professional who leads them through the maze of academics, co-curricular involvement, and the many opportunities she works tirelessly to open up for them. Manuela is, as one of her nominators says, “the first face that potential Global and Area Studies students see when they visit UW.”
From that first contact, Manuela is the primary advisor for all freshmen and sophomore majors, around 80-100 students. She teaches the program’s initial foundation course, INST 1010, a large, challenging course where, in “leading students to question so much of what they take for granted about the world, she opens doors to that world, to more advanced, international coursework and study abroad opportunities.” She offers seminars for undergraduate students interested in applying for the Master’s International Peace Corp program, leading to a substantial increase in applications to that program. She is the advisor for the International Studies Student Club and gives unfailingly of her time to help that group organize philanthropic, service, and speaker activities – she has been named top club advisor both by her college, Arts and Sciences, and by UW in recognition of her work. She is the primary education abroad advisor for undergraduate and graduate majors in Global and Area Studies, finding perfectly-suited, tailored opportunities for study, research, and internship abroad for them as well as seeking out funding sources for them. This summer, she will be the coordinating advisor for UW’s course in Israel, acting as both leader and guide to our students as they navigate the academic and cultural rigors of the course. For the majority of the students in Global and Area Studies, Manuela is not only the first face they see – she is the face of their UW experience, and it is a kind, professional, problem-solving, energetic, and always-smiling face.
Manuela has also been key to expanding international programming to communities around Wyoming – as one nominator says, “There is no doubt that our reputation as Wyoming’s University and Wyoming’s University with its eyes on the world are due to Manuela’s efforts.” Manuela organizes and coordinates speakers, outreach, logistics, marketing, and advertising for the multiple events Global and Area Studies brings to Wyoming each year – 25 events in 11 communities around the state in the last year alone.
Manuela Hofer-McIntyre embodies the spirit of the Excellence in Staff Achievement in Internationalization Award. She is a major contributor to UW’s goal of providing a global perspective to all of our students and to our state constituents. For that, we are all grateful!