Skip to main content

NC State Global Celebrates 2023 Global Engagement Exposition Award Recipients

On April 19, NC State Global hosted its annual Global Engagement Exposition to celebrate finalists and recipients of the Outstanding Global Engagement Award, Jackson Rigney Service Award and Distinguished Global Alumni Award.

The following text includes excerpts from nomination materials.

The Outstanding Global Engagement Award

The Outstanding Global Engagement Award encourages and recognizes exceptional accomplishment in globally engaged teaching, research, extension, and/or engagement and economic development. Finalists have a well-established and ongoing record of international activities while working at NC State, going above and beyond regular job responsibilities. In 2023, 9 nominations were received and 3 award recipients were selected, 1 for early-career and 2 for senior faculty.

2023 Outstanding Global Engagement Award Recipients

  • Dr. Ayse Ercumen, Early Career Faculty
    • Assistant Professor, Forestry and Natural Resources
    • College of Natural Resources
Dr. Ayse Ercumen
Dr. Ayse Ercumen

Dr. Ercumen joined NC State as Assistant Professor in 2019, as part of the Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) cluster in the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program. She is active in globally focused campus initiatives such as the Global One Health Academy. Her research focuses on global environmental health, specifically on affordable solutions to water and sanitation problems. Globally, more than 2 billion people lack basic water and/or sanitation services and her work directly improves lives. She is an excellent example of an NC State faculty member who places a priority on “Think and Do” and she has made significant accomplishments in globally engaged teaching, student support, research, extension, and/or engagement and economic development.

  • Dr. Alper Bozkurt, Senior Faculty
    • Professor and University Faculty Scholar, Electrical and Computer Engineering
    • College of Engineering
Dr. Alper Bozkurt
Dr. Alper Bozkurt

Dr. Bozkurt is a distinguished member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty with a long list of accomplishments and awards, and has a unique line of research. His research addresses globally important societal problems, such as using radio and microprocessor equipped animals’ trained using artificial intelligence for surveillance after natural disasters. The global visibility of his exciting and promising research vision has resulted in numerous international scholarly engagements. Additionally, he established a collaborative research program with Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC) in Belgium resulting in multiple joint publications together. His strongest global engagement has been through media interactions. He appeared on several documentary shows, news channels and printed magazines broadcasted and published all around the globe. In conclusion, Dr. Bozkurt has demonstrated outstanding international scholarship and research collaborations with many communities abroad and locally.

  • Dr. Mary Ann Lila
    • David H. Murdock Distinguished Professor, Department of Food Bioprocessing & Nutrition Sciences
    • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Dr. Mary Ann Lila
Dr. Mary Ann Lila

Dr. Lila’s career, spanning nearly four decades, has integrated transdisciplinary nutritional, plant sciences and food science research in a quest to decipher and capitalize on human health benefits of edible plant-derived compounds. Her approach merges culturally appropriate research strategies, outreach in communities across the globe, and hands-on instructional workshops that make a sustained impact on the lives of underserved and vulnerable segments of society. She was a Senior Fulbright Scholar to New Zealand, is currently a Lifetime Member of the Fulbright Association, has hosted numerous Fulbright students and visiting international student scholars in her lab team, and has consistently served on Fulbright and related international proposal review panels. Dr. Lila has been a strong advocate for international collaborations and study exchanges throughout her career.

The Outstanding Staff Global Engagement Award

The Outstanding Staff Global Engagement Award aims to encourage and recognize outstanding staff accomplishments in promoting global extension, engagement, and economic development. This year we had one finalist and recipient who exemplifies a dedication to global engagement in her work with NC State.

2023 Outstanding Staff Global Engagement Award Recipient

  • Suzanne Harle
    • Global Village Director 2022-2023
    • University Housing
Suzanne Harle
Suzanne Harle

Suzanne has been instrumental in advocating for our international exchange students and ensuring as many students as possible are placed in on campus housing. Due to the increasing size of the freshman class at NC State, it is increasingly difficult for our international exchange students to secure on-campus student housing. Due to the many challenges of finding off campus housing, our exchange students prefer to live on campus. Although Suzanne was not able to accommodate as many exchange students in Global Village as she hoped, she welcomed our international exchange students to attend the events hosted at Global Village and feel connected to campus.

The Jackson Rigney International Service Award

The Jackson Rigney International Service Award recognizes the distinguished contributions of a faculty or staff member at North Carolina State University for the promotion of international understanding and service to the university and/or to the international community over the course of their career. This year, 3 nominations were received and 1 award recipient was selected.

2023 Jackson Rigney International Service Award Recipient

  • Dr. Ann Ross
    • Professor, Biological Sciences
    • College of Sciences
Dr. Ann Ross
Dr. Ann Ross

Dr. Ross has developed novel methodologies and analytical approaches that have been implemented worldwide to improve identification of the dead who were victims of violent crime, natural disasters, war, or other circumstances. Dr. Ross’ educational and professional career has followed a trajectory that has been consistently informed by a commitment to humanity and social justice. Her accomplishments are a source of relief to communities across the globe and for loved ones of the deceased, and support the most basic civil right of individuals to their identities. The greatest impact of her work extends beyond her scholarly pursuits. Without question, she has gone above and beyond her normal and extensive job responsibilities to achieve excellence in the international sphere. This award acknowledges not only the work that Dr. Ross has done so fearlessly and selflessly for many years, but it recognizes the importance of her work for the most marginalized in our society.

The Distinguished Global Alumni Award

The Distinguished Global Alumni Award honors alumni who were international students while here at NC State and have used their education to distinguish themselves through outstanding achievements. Distinguished accomplishments may include helping to solve a global problem, contributing important new knowledge to their field, supporting the professional development of young people, achieving success in industry or innovation, or in other ways bringing distinction to themselves and to NC State. This year we had one finalist and recipient.

2023 Distinguished Global Alumni Recipient

  • Daoud Ghaznawi
    • Chief of Party, Camp Management at Al Hol and Roj Refugee Camps
    • Blumont, Inc.
    • Master of International Studies
    • Class of 2004
Daoud Ghaznawi
Daoud Ghaznawi

Since his time as a student at NC State, Ghaznawi worked in conflict zones and crises around the world, including the Philippines, Afghanistan, Laos, Jordan, Iraq, Myanmar, Syria, and Libya. He managed projects focused on education, child protection, gender-based violence, and WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) and worked with international donors to craft longer-term strategies for countries. In May 2021, he became the Chief of Party responsible for managing the Al Hol and Roj refugee camps, which primarily hold family members of former ISIS fighters who fled the war. Ghaznawi is committed to helping the world’s most vulnerable populations by living and working at the edge of violence and under difficult conditions. He credits the MIS program and NC State for helping him learn to systematically assess a problem and structure a solution: in other words, helping him learn to Think and Do.

This post was originally published in Office of Global Engagement.