Peter A. Wollitzer Advocacy Award

The Forum’s Peter A. Wollitzer Advocacy Award was established to honor a Forum member who has been remarkably effective in influencing institutions of higher learning to understand and support education abroad through the dissemination of The Forum’s goals: standards of good practice, data collection and research, curricular development and academic design, and assessment. The award will be given to an individual, but individual achievement pre-supposes institutional efficacy and impact and provides inspiration to the field of education abroad. Awardees can be individuals who work on a U.S. or foreign university campus or for domestic or foreign providers or organizations.

The award is presented each year at The Forum’s Annual Conference.

 The deadline to submit nominations for the 2018 Award was December 15, 2017.


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2018 Wollitzer Award

Martha Johnson, Kathy Sideli, and Mary Dwyer
Kathleen Sideli (center) with nominators Martha Johnson (left) and Mary Dwyer (right) at the 14th Annual Conference in Boston.

The 2018 Wollitzer Award was presented to Dr. Kathleen Sideli of Indiana University at The Forum’s 14th Annual Conference in Boston, MA.

The Award was presented by Mary Dwyer, President and CEO of IES Abroad, who described Sideli as follows: “The recipient is one of twenty founders of The Forum. As one of the twenty, I can assure you that as hard as the rest of us worked for years, none of us matched the stellar, herculean efforts of the recipient to establish The Forum. […] This nominee is the kind of person that makes you ask yourself, ‘What was I doing while she was accomplishing all of this?’”

Upon accepting the award, Sideli declared, “I have the best job in the world! Working with wonderful colleagues like Mary and so many of you keeps me going to work every day—with no plans for retirement anytime soon, by the way!” She ended her remarks by reminding us all to take an active role in the organization, saying, “At this pivotal time in The Forum’s history, please play your part, no matter how minor it might be. Pay attention. Get involved. The Forum is us! This is us. Thank you!”

Sideli is Associate Vice President for Overseas Study at Indiana University, where she also taught in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese for twenty-five years. She was The Forum’s first President and Chair.

Selection Committee

Joy Gleason Carew (Forum Board of Directors, University of Louisville)
Tracey Bradley (Advocacy Committee, Tennessee Consortium for International Students)
Mary Ann Letellier (CUPA)
Terence Miller (Marquette University)
Tonija Hope Navas (Howard University)

2017 Wollitzer Award

Margery Ganz is presented the Wollitzer Award at the 13th Annual Forum Conference in SeattleDr. Margery Ganz was awarded the Peter A. Wollitzer Advocacy Award at The Forum’s 13th Annual Conference in Seattle, WA.

In his nomination letter, ‘Dimeji Togunde wrote, “Margery is a tenacious advocate, who understands the transformative impact of sending students abroad so they can acquire knowledge of global issues and develop skills needed to be successful in a global society.”

Kathy Sideli wrote, “It is hard to imagine the field of education abroad without Margery Ganz… Margery has been ubiquitous in the field of education abroad for the better part of four decades, devoted to ensuring high standards in study abroad while intensely demanding that study abroad opportunities be more accessible to all underrepresented students… She worked assiduously with her own creative ideas and networks to make sure something actually was accomplished to change the landscape. The face of study abroad today is very different because of her tireless efforts.”

Ganz served as the Director of Study Abroad & International Exchange and Professor of History at Spelman College, and retired in July 2017 after 36 years of service to the field.

Selection Committee

Donna Scarboro (Forum Board of Directors, The George Washington University)
Tracey Bradley (Advocacy Committee, Tennessee Consortium for International Students)
Leanne Johnson, University of Maryland
Davina Potts, The University of Melbourne
Carmelo Urza, University Studies Abroad Consortium

2016 Wollitzer Award

Wollitzer DSC_0392The 2016 Peter A. Wollitzer Advocacy Award was awarded to the late Joe Brockington at the 12th Annual Forum Conference in Atlanta. The award was accepted on his behalf by his wife, Cathy, and sons, David, Sam and Drew. The award was presented to the Brockington family by Joe’s colleague and friend, Margaret Wiedenhoeft, Acting Director of the Center for International Programs at Kalamazoo College. According to Wiedenhoeft:

“Throughout his twenty-plus years in international education, Joe Brockington consistently contributed to and advocated for the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, mentoring colleagues at institutions on how to develop and provide programs incorporating The Forum’s Standards that met curricular goals while also fully supporting students. His contributions to the research of theWollitzer DSC_0347 development of the profession of international education helped to create recognition of the increasing professionalization of our work while acknowledging how much the field has changed. Throughout his career, Joe never missed an opportunity to remind colleagues that having standards was so important because, as he would say in his very Midwestern, dry, humorous tone, ‘that next to parenting, education abroad is the world’s greatest amateur sport.'” Click here to read Wiedenhoeft’s full citation.

Brockington, a member of the founding Board of Directors of The Forum, passed away in August 2015. He served as associate provost for international programs and professor of German language and literature at Kalamazoo College. He was instrumental in the founding of The Forum and over the years contributed to the field in innumerable ways by presenting at conferences and initiating projects.

2015 Wollitzer Award

WollitzerMichael Steinberg, Executive Vice President of Academic Programs for IES Abroad, received the Peter A. Wollitzer Advocacy Award at The Forum’s 11th Annual Conference in New Orleans.

Steinberg wrote in an email: “I am grateful for this recognition by The Forum on Education Abroad, an organization that has added so much to our field in its relatively short life. I was especially touched to receive an award established in memory of Peter Wollitzer, who was a colleague during both of our early years in study abroad and a close personal friend until his sad, untimely death. Peter and I shared a vision of concern for the personal and academic growth of each student who has the opportunity to study abroad.”

Steinberg was presented the award by Tracy Williams, Texas Christian University, a member of the Wollitzer Award Selection Committee. Other members of the Committee were: Patti Brown, IFSA Butler; Jim Buschman, New York University; Enda Carroll, University College Dublin, representing the Board of Directors; and Alicia Stanley, Northwestern University, representing the Council’s Advocacy Committee.

Barbara Rowe, Lorna Stern, Enda Carroll, Liam Ó Dochartaigh, Jon Booth, Michael Paige, Brian Whalen

2013 Wollitzer Award

Congratulations to Liam Ó Dochartaigh, former Director of International Education at the University of Limerick, who was awarded the Peter A. Wollitzer Award on April 5, 2013.  Enda Carroll, Centre for Study Abroad Manager at University College Dublin, presented the award to Mr. Ó Dochartaigh at the Forum’s Ninth Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois.

Michael Vande Berg and Jon Booth

2012 Wollitzer Award

The Forum proudly congratulates this year’s two recipients of the Peter A. Wollitzer Advocacy Award, Jon Booth, Executive Director, Syracuse University Abroad, and Michael Vande Berg, Vice President for Academic Affairs, CIEE.  Jon Booth’s award was presented by Michael Calo of Syracuse University, and Mick Vande Berg’s award was presented by Martin Hogan of CIEE.

2011 Wollitzer Award

On April 8, 2011 Dr. Susan Pugh, emeritus associate vice provost for enrollment management and director of student financial assistance at Indiana University, was awarded the Peter A. Wollitzer Award. Kathleen Sideli, associate vice president for overseas study at Indiana University, remarked for the conference attendees that Susan Pugh defined for the field of education abroad the highest standards of good practice regarding financial aid. Dr. Pugh embraced the cause of widening the availability of financial aid to students going abroad by promoting the concept among organizations in her own field, such as the National Association of Student  Financial Aid Administrators. Until that time study abroad was not widely seen by either financial aid administrators or federal education officials as an integral part of an undergraduate degree program. Her advocacy efforts helped change that perception.

Upon receiving the award, Dr. Pugh commented that she kept up her efforts over the years, despite it being outside her own experiences, because she wanted “to remove the various barriers to the success of others, so they might realize their dreams.”

2010 Wollitzer Award

Dr. James Langridge, University of Wollongong  received the 2010 Wollitzer Award. To a rousing standing ovation, James Langridge of the University of Wollongong accepted the Peter A. Wollitzer Advocacy Award at a plenary session at The Forum’s Annual Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. Jon Booth, Executive Director of Syracuse University Abroad, and a member of the Award’s Selection Committee, stated in his introduction to the ceremony, “The Peter A. Wollitzer Award is to honor a Forum member who has been remarkably effective in influencing institutions of higher learning to understand and support education abroad. We all need heroes. We all need role models. The Forum set up this award to identify heroes and role models amongst The Forum membership.”

2008 Wollitzer Award

The Forum is proud to congratulate the recipient of the 2008 Wollitzer Award, David A. Larsen, founding Board member of The Forum and Vice President and Director of Arcadia University’s Center for Education Abroad. Lorna Stern Laniak’s warm citation for Dr. Larsen spoke of the breadth and depth of his service, and led to a rousing ovation. Dr. Larsen provided some words of appreciation.

2007 Wollitzer Award

The recipient of the Wollitzer Award in 2007 was Professor R. Michael Paige, of the University of Minnesota. Diane Elton’s award citation, presented at The Forum Conference in Austin, TX, noted Dr. Paige’s many achievements, accomplishments and dedication on every level to education abroad.

2006 Wollitzer Award

The first Wollitzer Award was presented posthumously to Peter Wollitzer himself.  Peter was the Forum Advisory Council’s first chair, and was instrumental in helping to develop the Standards of Good Practice, the Council’s governance procedures, and much of the Council’s early work.  He did all this while working as Regional Director of Asia and Africa of the University of California Education Abroad Program, serving on the CIEE Academic Consortium Board, and while being treated for the brain cancer that ultimately took his life. Read the introductory remarks from the 2006 Annual Meeting.