The International Institute (II) introduced a new Staff Awards program in 2023, celebrating the accomplishments and achievements of members of the II professional team. All regular staff at the II were eligible to be nominated for awards in six categories, and the nominations could come from faculty or staff colleagues. The awards were presented on December 14, 2023 at the staff holiday appreciation luncheon. 

The award categories and this year's winners are listed below. 

Outstanding new staff: This award recognizes and celebrates a new staff member who has made significant contributions to the International Institute. This award is given to someone who has joined the team within the past three years and has demonstrated outstanding work ethic, a positive attitude, and a dedication to the II’s mission and core values in a very short time.

2023 Winner: Danielle Schmidt, Academic Program Specialist, Program in International and Comparative Studies (PICS).

Outstanding Advocate of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: This award honors an employee who consistently advances the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion within the International Institute. The awardee consistently demonstrates the ability to inspire and lead others towards a more inclusive environment in Weiser Hall. By embodying the notion that “there is no ‘I’ in team,” this staff member creates a space where all feel welcome and encouraged to do their best work.

2023 Winner: Teyei Pam, Project and Events Coordinator, African Studies Center (ASC).

Outstanding Innovator/Contributor: This award recognizes a staff member that has demonstrated exceptional creativity at the II. This individual will have contributed to the development and implementation of new ideas or processes that have resulted in significant improvements or advancements in the culture and operations of the II.

2023 Winner: Do-Hee Morsman, Manager, Asia Centers

Outstanding Public Engagement: This award recognizes an individual that embodies the pillar of engagement in the International Institute’s mission. This staff member has demonstrated exceptional initiative in public outreach. Their work truly “brings Michigan to the world and the world to Michigan.”

2023 Winner: Vicken Mouradian, Academic Program Specialist, Center for Armenian Studies (CAS).

II Team Award: This award honors a team within the II that has made contributions to the II from a team perspective. This award is given to a team that has worked together to collectively advance the goals and mission of the II.

2023 Winner: Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia Staff - Susan Barrera, Administrative Assistant; William Bryan, Manager; Arina Vlasova Bustillos, Research Project Coordinator; Derek Groom, Initiatives and External Relations Coordinator; Birgitta Kohler, International Education Coordinator; Małgorzata Kowalczyk, Academic Program Specialist; Mary Elizabeth Malinkin, Academic Program Manager.

“One II” Award: This award honors an individual who embodies the idea of “One II” and who exhibits actions that are emblematic of the idea that the II is greater than the sum of its parts. This individual actively engages and promotes with both internal and external stake-holders the stated mission of the II in the areas of education, engagement, and innovation.

2023 Winner: Marilynne Giguere, Executive Secretary, International Institute.

In addition, the International Institute Distinguished Leadership Award was presented to Imara Dawson, II Chief Administrator and Managing Director from 2017-2023. Imara's contributions to the II including support for professional development of staff, commitment to work-life balance, and leadership through difficult times including the campus-wide Covid shutdown were acknowledged as reasons for receiving this award.