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International Educators Group Recognizes UW’s Shepherd

November 20, 2017
a man and two women standing together, middle woman holding a plaque
UW’s Ruth Shepherd, center, receives the Bruce Tracy Award from Chris Churma, left, chair of the Association of International Educators’ Region 2, and Cindy Kraft, past chair of Region 2. (Shelley Jewell Photo)

Ruth Shepherd, assistant director of the University of Wyoming’s Education Abroad Office, was recognized for her outstanding contributions to the field of international education at a recent conference of NAFSA: Association of International Educators in Denver.

The Bruce Tracy Award is given to a NAFSA member in Region 2 whose professional and personal contributions to the field of international education go beyond the normal expectation of the job. Region 2 consists of Arizona, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas and Wyoming.

“Thanks in large part to her efforts, her institution now has a strong study abroad program that is poised to continue growing and thriving for years to come,” says Chris Churma, chair of Region 2 and director of university relations at Semester at Sea. “Upon her arrival 12 years ago, the program was extremely small with very low participation. Her long hours and dedication to education abroad have paved the way for this growth and for future success.”

Shepherd participates in NAFSA activities and is a dedicated member of a Colorado/Wyoming international educators’ group, which meets regularly to discuss issues related to study abroad among Colorado and Wyoming colleagues.

“She is a leader who exhibits calm, patience, logic and compassion as she works with others through varied situations,” Churma adds. “She is a mentor to students, colleagues and staff. She exemplifies the qualities that all international educators aspire to achieve.”

Shelley Jewell, director of UW’s Education Abroad Office, says Shepherd is deserving of the honor.

“Her years of service to the University of Wyoming have built a program that has enabled countless numbers of students the opportunity to engage and be transformed by academically enriching experiences overseas,” Jewell says. “Ruth is a true star in our field, and we are very lucky to have her expertise and spirit in the office every day.”


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