Recipients of Global Citizenship Award announced

Recipients of Global Citizenship Award announced

From the International Programs Matrix

The International Programs Matrix congratulates the recipients of the 2006 Global Citizenship Award. These members of the UST community are recognized for their commitment to international and intercultural awareness throughout the UST community.

Thanks go to everyone who nominated someone for this award and to every member of the St. Thomas community who works for global issues and understanding.

Here are the 2006 Global Citizenship Award recipients:

  • Dr. Kevin Sauter, Department of Communication Studies and interim chair, Modern and Classical Languages. Through his teaching and campus service to his scholarly interests and his personal passions, Sauter embodies the spirit of this Global Citizenship Award.

    His classroom is welcoming to international students because of his inclusive style, his multicultural sensitivity, his competence in communicating across and within cultures, and his ability to harness the advantages of diversity in his classroom.

    He has developed courses with strong intercultural learning at St. Thomas and abroad, including Multicultural Communication in an Organizational Setting (Hawaii) and Culture and Communication in Post-Apartheid South Africa. These courses have provided UST students with intensive intercultural immersion. He conducts seminars for K-12 teachers focused on media and infused with a fundamental assumption about intercultural understanding.

    Sauter also lives what he preaches: He and his entire family lived in South Africa for a year to gain deeper understanding of the intercultural experience. His interest in Africa has broadened through a grant project in which he has taken students to Mali and supported the work of graduate students from Mali on our campus.

    His passion for intercultural learning impacts our campus through the committees on which he serves and the presentations and articles he produces. He gives tremendous encouragement and inspiration to his department and other colleagues to study and teach abroad, despite the perceived challenges of doing so. Sauter’s work as a teacher, a scholar and a community-minded individual are all inspired by the global and cultural passions that drive him.

  • Dr. Charles Keffer, executive assistant to the executive vice president and chief administrative officer, has been deeply involved over many years and through numerous careers on campus in making St. Thomas a more international place.

    He has played a key role in the development of international educational exchange. These exchanges have been most important in bringing the world to St. Thomas as well as providing opportunities for UST students and faculty to gain in-depth experience abroad. Although much of his work has been behind the scenes, without his efforts, many of the international programs on which St. Thomas prides itself would not exist, and the institution itself would not be as international as it is today.

    He is responsible for many of our ongoing international relationships, including Osaka Gakuin University in Japan, American University in Cairo, and the Fachhochschule Trier in Germany – all of which have provided opportunities for UST students to study abroad and for international students from those institutions to enrich our classrooms. He negotiated the agreements and found the funding to support them, and he used sabbatical time to strengthen relationships by visiting colleagues in Germany, China and Japan.

    In recognizing the financial barriers that many international students face, he has been active in trying to raise monies to expand scholarships for students.

    Keffer has played an active role in a new effort of outreach to our international alumni, and is working to develop a series of alumni reunions – two abroad, and one to be held at St. Thomas next September.

    He also has been personally involved in international service as a volunteer to a church and community on the island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean, and is willing to commit his time and energy to helping others do the same. When a service-learning project scheduled to go to Haiti was on the verge of cancellation due to unrest on the island, Keffer used his contacts in St. Vincent to “reroute” the course to another Caribbean island and volunteered to accompany the group. Course instructor, Dr. Camille George, noted that “Dr. Keffer’s willingness to help – with little notice – was truly inspirational. He helped us without hesitation, traveled with our group at his own expense and spent many hours taking care of the details that made our experience a success.”

  • Matthew Kuehl, student, president of the Allies Club and student coordinator of the Middle Eastern studies minor, has been very active in promoting respect for different cultures and viewpoints on campus. Through the development of programming and events to raise awareness of GLBT issues, he has fostered campus discussions aimed at creating a more open and welcoming climate and a more inclusive environment at St. Thomas.

    Also a committed internationalist with an international studies and Arabic major, he shares his knowledge of the Arab world, both as a teaching assistant in Arabic and by helping to develop and coordinate programs on the cultures of the Middle East.

    He expanded his knowledge of the Arab world by participating for an academic year in the exchange program with America University in Cairo, and brought that experience and knowledge back into the classroom at St. Thomas.

    He has volunteered to share his knowledge at study abroad orientations, at freshman orientation, and has actively promoted the Middle East studies minor and the study of Arabic, both of which have shown substantial growth at St. Thomas.

    Kuehl continues to expand his intercultural experience locally through service as an intern at the Minnesota International Center and the Refugee Mentorship Program through the International Institute of Minnesota. As stated in his nomination, Kuehl has striven “to make the St. Thomas community more inclusive of all people, regardless of sexual orientation, race, religion or nationality.”