Division of Global Affairs receives international award

KENNESAW, Ga. | Jan 10, 2017

Cobb Chamber recognizes impact on community

Novelis Award
Kennesaw State President Sam Olens, from left, Chief International Officer Lance Askildson, and Novelis Vice President Todd Summe

Kennesaw State University’s Division of Global Affairs received the Novelis International Commerce Spotlight Award at the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce’s First Monday Breakfast event on Jan. 9 at the Cobb Galleria Centre.

The annual Novelis International Commerce Spotlight Award recognizes Cobb-based organizations that positively impact their communities while helping expand Cobb County’s international presence. The 2015 winner, Marietta-based Birla Carbon, has 17 manufacturing facilities in 15 countries and is one of the world’s largest suppliers of Carbon Black additives.

Chamber officials chose the Division of Global Affairs as the 2016 recipient because of the Division’s wide array of international activities, both educational and cultural.

“We recognize the significant role that education plays in economic growth and prosperity and want to give recognition to the DGA not only for its exceptional programs, but also for its involvement in the community and its continued commitment to the vitality of the county,” said Amanda Blanton, director of economic development for the Cobb Chamber.

Blanton mentioned several standout DGA initiatives that caught the Chamber’s attention, including:

  • Education Abroad – Kennesaw State’s Education Abroad Office sent more than 800 students abroad during the 2015-2016 academic year.
  • The “Year Of” Annual Country Study Program, which highlights a different country or world region each year with academic courses, weekly guest lecturers, and cultural events.
  • The Confucius Institute – More than 5,000 metro Atlanta K-12 students received Chinese-language education last year through the Confucius Institute’s efforts. The organization also produced a documentary for Georgia Public Broadcasting on Chinese tea practices.
  • The Center for African and African Diaspora Studies, which co-hosted the 2016 African Literature Association conference alongside Emory University.

“Every single one of the DGA’s initiatives made it worthy of the award,” Blanton said. “Each program in its own unique way has a significant impact on the community and provides tangible and measureable benefits that can be seen within the boundaries of our county and on the global scale.”

Dr. Lance Askildson, vice-provost and Kennesaw State’s chief international officer, accepted the award.

“We are particularly proud of the DGA's collaboration with our Cobb county community partners, so this award is an especially compelling recognition of our efforts and impact,” Askildson said. “We look forward to continuing to work with our friends in the Cobb Chamber and throughout Cobb County to make our community the very best it can be.”

Receiving the award is not the only way in which the Chamber highlighted Kennesaw State University at the First Monday Breakfast. The program also featured a panel discussion with three incoming county leaders who introduced themselves to the Chamber. Among them was Kennesaw State’s President Sam Olens.

Olens joined Mike Boyce, incoming chairman of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners, and Al Thurman, newly elected mayor of Powder Springs. The three discussed their visions for the upcoming year and participated in a question-and-answer session.

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.