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Three Honored for International Excellence at UW

April 30, 2018
Noah Miles, Hillary Yoder and Matthew Chuckwana Adimoraegbu

A faculty member who fosters Japanese studies, a graduate student who researches kidney disease in Guatemala and an undergraduate who has built African awareness have been honored for their internationalization efforts at the University of Wyoming.

Department of Modern and Classical Languages Assistant Lecturer Noah Miles, Division of Kinesiology and Health master’s degree student Hillary Yoder and engineering undergraduate Matthew Chukwana Adimoraegbu are recipients of UW’s 2018 international excellence awards.

Each year, UW’s International Board of Advisors recognizes individuals who have significantly contributed to internationalization and the promotion of global awareness at the university.

Miles received the Faculty Award for Internationalization. Colleagues credit him with revitalizing the Japanese language program at UW; making Japanese history and culture a central part of the honors program; fostering engagement with Japanese culture on campus and in the community; expanding student opportunities to study abroad in Japan; and cultivating relationships with Japanese universities.

“In short, he has participated in internationalization at every level, from the classroom to the community, from conferences and symposia in Wyoming to classes and residencies in Japan,” one nominator wrote. “And, he has done so on a shoestring budget while teaching one of the highest teaching loads in the university.”

Every semester, Miles teaches an average of 70 Japanese language students. The number of UW students pursuing minors in Japanese has doubled from 13 to 26 in the last three years. He also is instrumental in UW’s relationships with two Japanese institutions, Kobe College and Saitama University.

Yoder was selected for the Student International Excellence Award for exceptional international research regarding the incidence of chronic kidney disease among sugarcane workers in Guatemala. The graduate student from Lawrence, Kan., has traveled to the Central American country five times over the past year as part of the research project.

“The insightful reflections and stories she has shared about living and life in rural Guatemala vs. life here in Wyoming in the courses she has taken with me, alone, have made significant contributions to global and cross-cultural awareness and internationalization on our campus,” wrote Division of Kinesiology and Health Associate Professor Christine Porter. “The significance of her international research itself would be hard to overstate, with agricultural workers who supply our global food system literally dying in what should be the peak of their lives from unknown causes she is part of identifying.”

Yoder is scheduled to receive her master’s degree in exercise physiology in May.

Adimoraegbu, who is from Nigeria, is scheduled to graduate with a bachelor’s degree as a double major in chemical and electrical engineering in May. He also received the Student International Excellence Award.

During his time at UW, he has raised $30,000 for the nonprofit Passion for Humanity Foundation, has provided over 300 hours of volunteer service and served as vice president of the Wyoming African Students Association.

“Matthew strives to utilize every available pulpit in his efforts to raise awareness about international issues and programs,” one colleague wrote. “He has presented talks in several classes in an effort to enlighten the UW community about stereotypes surrounding Africa and its people. Matthew continues to show his deep understanding of student and international issues, his ability to work affably with everyone and his always amazing attentiveness to detail.”

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