Guinigundo Receives NAFSA Award

Karla Guinigundo

Karla Guinigundo, director of global partnerships at Global Initiatives, was named as the recipient of the Leo R. Dowling Award of Excellence at a recent virtual business meeting of NAFSA: Association of International Educators. 

The award honors a member of NAFSA Region VI, comprised of international educators living and working in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. Recipients demonstrate the outstanding qualities of compassion, integrity, and leadership that distinguished the late Leo R. Dowling of Indiana University, one of the founders of NAFSA, and an early president.

Guinigundo was nominated by multiple colleagues, including Dr. Cheryl Young, associate vice president of Global Initiatives. Young's nomination read in part:

"Karla Guinigundo is the Director of Global Partnerships at Miami University, but her efforts and accomplishments go beyond partnerships. She leads the Fulbright efforts at Miami, which leads to strong applications and recipients. Karla’s attention and consideration of details and compassionate counseling of students, faculty, and staff consistently goes above and beyond expectations. Integrity is the trademark of Karla’s work ethos, and she works hard to find solutions to difficult problems."

Another nominator, Dr. Ryan Dye, director of education abroad, agreed. "Karla is a tireless, extremely effective advocate for Global Initiatives at Miami," he said. "Whether it is developing international partnerships, advising students applying for scholarships, or writing federal grant applications, Karla is instrumental in Miami achieving its status as a NAFSA Simon Award winning institution."

The Dowling award came as a surprise to Guinigundo, with Young and the rest of her colleagues keeping the news secret until it was announced at the meeting. "This was an unexpected, but tremendous honor," Guinigundo said. "Like most who work in international education, I do this work because I believe in the intrinsic value of cultural exchange—whether that is sending Miami students abroad or welcoming international students and scholars to our campus. To be recognized by my Miami and NAFSA colleagues in this way is deeply appreciated."


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NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the largest and most comprehensive association of professionals committed to advancing international higher education. NAFSA realizes its values, vision, and mission by convening people to advance international education. Based in the United States, they provide high-quality programs, products, services, and physical and virtual meeting spaces for the worldwide community of international educators.