This past October, Ochmaa Escue—director of the OVPDEMA Overseas Studies & Scholarship Program (OSSP)—was awarded the inaugural NAFSA Region VI Champion of Diversity and Inclusion in International Education award. The award, presented by the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to international education and exchange, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, is given to an individual who works “to enhance greater access, to cultivate broader perspectives, and to celebrate the diversity of the international education community.” While NAFSA is a global organization, they often hosts specific regional conferences to honor and celebrate the many individuals around the country who have made an impact on international education. This particular award is given to an educator in the Region VI area, which is comprised of Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. Escue received her award in Indianapolis on October 30th during the conference luncheon where 250 international educator colleagues were present.
“It was a pleasant surprise,” Escue said. “I had no idea I was nominated until I was notified by my colleagues at the IU Office of Overseas Study. I’m thankful to Susan Carty and Amanda Roshan-Rawaan, staff in the IU Office of Overseas Study for supporting my office and nominating me for the award. Without the support of OVPDEMA, IU Office of Overseas Study, and other campus partners, my office could not do the work it does today”.
In a letter to congratulate Escue for her award, Kathleen Sideli, associate vice president for the IU Office of Overseas Study, stated “we all know how hard Ochmaa has worked over the years so having her recognized for achievements by her peers is very rewarding for all of us who work with her. Ochmaa has brought honor to all of us at IU and is a great example of one individual who makes a major difference in the lives of many.”