Four honoured with York International Awards

There were four winners of this year’s York International Award for Outstanding Contribution to Internationalization, chosen for their contribution to and enhancement of the internationalization of the student experience.

The winners are Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Craig Scott, international education coordinator Tove Fynbo of the Faculty of Education’s Department of Research & Field Development, and York students Zalma Sahar and Ruth Kambali. Sahar is in the Sociology Department of York’s Faculty of Arts, while Kambali is completing her fourth year in York’s School of Nursing in the Faculty of Health.

Left: Craig Scott

For Scott, the award recognizes his work in the area of internationalized programming, the establishment of new initiatives and innovative approaches and his outstanding service to the international student community. Under Scott’s leadership over the eight years since he joined York, several highly innovative internationally focused programs have been successfully mounted, including the Association of Transnational Law Schools with its focus on doctoral legal education, as well as the Latin American Human Rights Education & Research Network that brings together York’s Centre for Research on Latin America & the Caribbean, Osgoode and a network of Latin American universities and civil society organizations to promote human rights education and conduct applied research in that region.

In addition, Scott, who served as Osgoode’s associate dean of research and graduate studies from 2001 to 2004, and is currently director of the Jack and Mae Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime & Security, has been instrumental in developing a vibrant cross-disciplinary program of research and project initiatives dealing with transnational matters.

Left: Zalma Sahar receiving her award from Associate Vice-President Graduate Douglas Peers, dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies

"One of the law school’s guiding principles is to establish itself as a global law school and Professor Scott is certainly at the forefront in helping us to achieve that goal," said Osgoode Dean Patrick Monahan. "This major award acknowledges the positive impact he is having on the international educational experience of our students."

Fynbo received the York International Award for recognition of her hard work after spending years building and promoting international exchange programs for York students and working toward having the international experience count as academic credit for participating students.

Usually, only one student receives the York International Award each year, but this year two students were chosen for their commitment and dedication to enhancing the international experience of their fellow students.

Sahar received the award for her ongoing and pervasive work at York and in the surrounding community. She has acted as a mentor for high-school students in York’s Emerging Global Leaders Retreat as well as in the Caribbean for students from 14 different countries and has worked extensively with York’s Afghan Student Association, the International Students Association at York, Habitat for Humanity and Youth Assisting Youth. Off campus, Sahar advocates for social justice and environmental issues, including planting trees in the Rouge Valley.

As for Kambali, she received the award for her work in planning the Rwandan genocide conference at York, a venture aimed at finding ways to prevent a similar travesty from happening in the future (see the Jan. 14, 2008 issue of YFile) and for helping to organize a conference to raise awareness of the dire state of affairs in the D.R. Congo.

The four recipients of the award received an individual plaque. In addition, their names will be added to a permanent plaque of all award recipients displayed in the York International office.

Right: Ruth Kambali receiving her award from  AVP Graduate Douglas Peers

The award is open to all individuals and groups that have made a positive contribution to the York community. An awards committee comprised of representatives from York International chooses up to four recipients each year. Usually, one award is presented to a York student or student group, a York faculty member or Faculty, a York staff member or department and an external community member or group.

This award is granted based on a demonstrated commitment to the internationalization of the student experience through one or more criteria – the creation of new initiatives that contribute towards or enhance the concept of internationalization; the establishment of innovative approaches to internationalizing the student experience; outstanding service to the international student community and/or service in internationalizing the student experience; and excellence in internationalized programming in either a formal academic or extracurricular setting.

For more information, visit the York International Web site.