Syracuse University

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Jon V.C. Booth honored with prestigious international education award

April 03, 2012

Carol Kim Masiclat
(315) 443-8382

BoothOn Friday, March 23, Jon V.C. Booth, former executive director of SU Abroad, was recognized for his career contributions to the field of international education by the Forum on Education Abroad (The Forum). The Peter A. Wollitzer Advocacy Award honors a Forum member who has influenced higher education institutions to understand and support education abroad. The award was presented by Michael J. Calo, associate director of SU Abroad. 

Booth, who retires from Syracuse University this spring, served SU Abroad for 17 years; 11 as deputy director and six as executive director. He is concluding more than 40 years of work in study abroad, including 15 as the director of the International Study and Travel Center at the University of Minnesota, before coming to Syracuse. In addition to leading study abroad operations, he has served in leadership positions with the field's most respected organizations, including The Forum, NAFSA: the Association of International Educators, and the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE). 

One of the founders of the Forum, Booth served on its board of directors and was the first chair of its Committee on the Standards of Good Practice in Education Abroad. His leadership in this area enabled the Forum to clearly articulate “best practices” in the field and implement a self-assessment process that has helped many organizations in addition to Syracuse University. Through a self-study pilot and peer-review process, SU Abroad developed and articulated institutional learning outcomes and implemented an appropriate assessment plan. 

Throughout his career, Booth made significant contributions to the study abroad field, including efforts to standardize emergency response protocols, enabling students in crisis to benefit from sensitive, organized, reliable crisis assistance while abroad. He also worked tirelessly to increase accessibility of study abroad to underrepresented groups. From 1988-92, he chaired CIEE's committee on underrepresented groups in overseas programs. Working with colleagues at CIEE and NAFSA, he co-authored a publication titled "Black Students and Overseas Programs: Broadening the Base of Participation." This had a profound impact on awareness of this issue and how institutions could increase the diversity of students studying abroad. 

In addition to his efforts to advance the field of international education and SU Abroad, Booth prioritized mentoring emerging study abroad professionals. "In my own professional career, I find myself asking,‘What would Jon do?’ when I'm in tough situations," says Gail Woodruff, former colleague and now director of the University of Minnesota's Internationalization and Global Programs. "His grace and diplomacy, coupled with hard work and vision, have been an inspiration for me over the years.”

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