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.
When Associate Professor of Law Noah Novogrodsky joined the UW Law School in 2009, there was little in the way of international opportunity for its students. The time faculty had to devote to such opportunities was sparse, and besides, why would law students in Wyoming need to understand international law? But where others might have seen scarcity, Professor Novogrodsky saw opportunity. After his years of working in international law, both in scholarly and clinical roles, and he was convinced that building a program where students can hone their lawyering skills in the most challenging arenas and become better lawyers overall in the process would make the UW Law School stand out from the pack. It would provide Wyoming with better lawyers, and would make an impact on the lives of students, and their clients, for years to come. He set out to build the University of Wyoming Center for International Human Rights Law and Advocacy, and under his stewardship and guidance, the Center has become a magnet for top law students, a forum for UW Law students to learn about the challenges of practicing international law, and a thriving center for advocacy for asylum seekers in the US.
Professor Novogrodsky’s impressive efforts to internationalize UW have created positive change for Wyoming and the world. The practicum that he has created through the Center has allowed UW students the chance to work right here in the U.S. successfully representing six asylum seekers in their pursuit of safety from persecution in their home countries. UW Law students are also afforded the opportunity to work across the globe on issues ranging from property rights in Cambodia to Thai/U.S. trade policy in intellectual property rights for pharmaceuticals. To benefit those who are unable to work in the practicum, he has actively brought balanced international law panels to UW to discuss, in a civil, productive, and instructive way, all sides of some very thorny but important international legal issues. Professor Novogrodsky also recruits and coaches the Jessup competition team at UW, the primary inter-school competition in the international arena. He continues to provide pro-bono expert testimony in human rights cases every year, and will be bringing a respected Ugandan law professor to speak in various locations across Wyoming about international security law and free speech this May..
Lambert “Nike” Kabwar, a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, arrived at the University of Wyoming in the summer of 2009, and since that time, his smile, his drive and enthusiasm, and his passion for bringing international awareness to UW have become famous on this campus. He came to improve his language skills in our intensive English-as-a-Second-Language program, but he will leave here in May with a degree in Chemistry, and will always have a place in his heart for Wyoming, as we do for him.
Nike is a tireless ambassador of the cultural contributions of the Wyoming international student population. He has served as the president of the Wyoming African Student Association (WASA) and is the current president of the International Student Association (ISA). He has traveled Wyoming to share the cultural richness of Africa with high school students with the WASA drumming group, and helped to initiate and organize the first international Soccer Fiesta at UW. As one of his recommender notes, “When asking his friends and other members of the organization about Nike’s leadership, the common response is, ‘Nike was the best president WASA has ever had. His inclusive leadership style paired with his ability to get things done, made for an awesome year where we accomplished a lot!’” As president of ISA, the group that coordinates all international students and international student organizations at UW, he has successfully led the organization of International Education Week and the International Talent Show, two of the most high-profile international events on the UW campus annually. He is praised among his peers, his professors, and the staff who interacts with him as truly providing visionary leadership and as a true diplomat of the world. His love for both Wyoming and bringing the world to his adopted home-state shine through every day.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “It is not the years in your life that matters; it is the life in your years.” Kathleen Bouzis has packed an immense amount of life into her young years, and many great things are still to come from this International Studies and Political Science double major. She has served as a foreign policy intern for Wyoming’s U.S. Senator Michael Enzi and an intern to Nebraska’s U.S. Representative Terry as liaison to FEMA; was selected as a Stennis Congressional Leadership Program participant; and has organized UW students to recognize and remember the victims of the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster in Japan. She is a distinguished member of the UW Intercollegiate Policy Debate Team, an accomplished Honors student, and the recipient of numerous scholarships and honors.
Kathleen’s original career path was leading towards law school; however, her internship with International Orthodox Christian Charities, a non-governmental organization in Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories, has set her on a different trajectory. Her internship allowed her to become even more skilled in Arabic, one of her two foreign languages. It also allowed her to observe, on the ground, the status of women and families in the West Bank and to monitor first-hand the impact of the charity’s projects. This has led Kathleen to shift her goals to studying for her doctorate. She plans to tackle no less than understanding the formation of political cultures of the former Ottoman Empire, and the historical impacts, as one of her recommenders describes it, of historical policies “in British Mandatory Palestine…and how these may have shaped subsequent policy formation.. in both Israel and the occupied territories after the state of Israel was established.” Another recommender points out that her work has already raised awareness on- and off-campus “of a part of the world about which little is known, except for what is portrayed in the news, and this is the area of the Middle East.” She has shared her understanding of and experiences with Arabic cultures with high school students at World Languages day at UW, with her fellow UW students at the Arabic Coffee Hour and Arabic Day, and with broader audiences nationally through her debate activities. Through the work that Kathleen has done and plans to do, and with her passion for sharing her knowledge and expanding her own experiences with the Israeli-Palestinian situation, peacebuilding in the Middle East will have a very powerful new tool in its arsenal.
Kathleen Bouzis has been, in so many capacities, an ambassador of the University of Wyoming to our country and the world. We could not ask for a better ambassador.
Diem Thu Pham, a Ph.D. student in Zoology and Physiology from Vietnam, came to Wyoming to get her undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering, which she obtained in 2009. Since that time, she has received a Masters in Zoology and Physiology from UW as well. In the process, she has performed ground-breaking research that will change the face of public health both in the U.S. and globally.
One of Diem’s recommenders summarizes her work: “Diem…[understands well] the complex and very sensitive international science-policy and public health issues associated with Agent Orange/dioxin contamination in Vietnam…. Her efforts [are focused] on understanding the consequences of human population exposure and health effects from dioxins near ‘hot spots’ resulting from Agent Orange spillage at former U.S. military bases.” While research has been more extensive on the effects of short-term Agent Orange exposure, less is known about the long-term impacts of exposure. With Diem’s cultural fluency in both the rigors of scientific data collection and analysis, and her native country’s systems and bureaucracy, she has been able to work with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, other researchers, and the so-called “Office 33” staff (the agency responsible for dioxin research in the Vietnamese government) to participate in a major dioxin sampling and epidemiological survey of potentially exposed individuals. The continuing research stemming from this effort would have been impossible without her ability to steer both the U.S. academic and the Vietnamese governmental systems. Access to these data and samples was gained by Diem when others have tried for years - in the words of another of her nominators, “She has managed to gain … permission they had been reluctant to confer for decades.” As the analysis of this data moves forward, our understanding of the health consequences of long-term dioxin exposure will accelerate. This is an incredibly significant contribution to global public health.
Diem has also used her knowledge and considerable abilities to help a group of U.S. parents who have adopted children from Vietnam to identify Vietnamese orphanages that house children that have birth defects due to dioxin exposure. These families have used that connection to assist those orphanages with donations to improve their conditions.
Diem has been the recipient of numerous scholarships and honors in her time here in Wyoming, including being awarded the prestigious Ellbogen Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award last year. She was also on the Scientific Review Committee for the 2013 Wyoming State Science Fair. Diem has agreed to travel the state with International Programs to share her work with Wyoming, as she is well known for being able to explain extremely complex science to anyone!
Diem Thu Pham is truly the epitome of the scientist-diplomat – a young woman whose scientific skills and research have brought Wyoming great recognition and prestige already.
One of Sabrina Sameshima’s nominators calls her “a force for internationalization.” There is no other phrase, quite frankly, that can so perfectly describe Sabrina, a third-year UW Law student. As the Student Director for the University of Wyoming Center for International Human Rights Law and Advocacy, a first-generation American, and an immigration law expert, she is the embodiment of the spirit of the Internationalization Awards – she brings awareness and understanding of the importance of the global environment to Wyoming.
Sabrina entered the UW Law School with significant work under her belt already in the area of immigration law and human trafficking. She had worked in Colorado with law firms and other organizations translating legal documents and assisting child and adult victims of human trafficking. Since her arrival at UW, she has held numerous student clerkships working to assist victim-of-crime visa applicants and asylum seekers. As a clinical student in the UW Center for Human Rights Law and Advocacy, she has assisted asylum seekers from Tibet and Nepal as well as providing legal support for the Kenyan Samburu indigenous tribe in a property rights dispute. Because of her impressive work in these two cases, she was appointed Student Director of the Center in May of 2012, where she promotes community awareness of human trafficking issues, recruits students to do clinical work with the center, and provides support to the faculty director of the Center. She has served on a volunteer basis as an interpreter for the UW Law Domestic Violence Clinic. She has brought internationally-oriented speakers to campus, including Bertine Ghaige, a resettled refugee and former child soldier from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Sabrina also took a leadership role in coordinating the UW student group International Justice Mission to inform the Wyoming State Legislature about the dangerous loopholes that existed in Wyoming law with respect to human trafficking. Because of her work with her fellow-students, HB 133, a comprehensive human trafficking ban, passed both bodies of the legislature in the 2013 Legislative Session and was signed into law by Governor Matt Mead.
In addition to her work in immigration law and human trafficking, Sabrina serves in leadership roles in the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy and the Multicultural Law Students’ Association. Sabrina has significantly contributed to Wyoming’s understanding of the significance of international issues, and is an outstanding role model for future generations of Wyoming students.