Global Launch

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Pictured, from left: Terry Powis, Nell Diallo; Madhuri Sheth, Dan Papp, Jagdish Sheth, Yusof Safi,…

Georgia (Apr 10, 2014)

Pictured, from left: Terry Powis, Nell Diallo; Madhuri Sheth, Dan Papp, Jagdish Sheth, Yusof Safi, Hannah Tetteh and Lance Askildson, Kennesaw State’s chief international officer and executive director of its Institute for Global Initiatives. Photo by David Caselli

Inaugural International Achievement Awards brings Kennesaw State’s global focus full circle

Everything about Kennesaw State’s first International Achievement Awards ceremony on April 8 exemplified the University’s evolution as an internationally focused institution: The four honorees’ life and career accomplishments have impacted multiple countries on three continents; one of the awards’ sponsors is a world-renowned business scholar, educator and geopolitical analyst; and the evening’s guests included academic partners and diplomatic representatives from more than a dozen nations.

“This evening is a very auspicious occasion that underscores the importance of internationalization and global education at Kennesaw State,” said President Daniel S. Papp.  “The presence of all of our esteemed guests from across the globe is indicative of how much we have moved forward in the international realm.  And we are even more excited about the tremendous opportunities in the global arena as we move forward with the consolidation of Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic in the coming months.”

In accepting the first Global Public Service Award on behalf of His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, president of the Republic of Ghana, Hannah Tetteh, Ghana’s minister of foreign affairs, also praised Kennesaw State for its leadership in the area of global education.

“It is remarkable to see what an institution of higher learning can do in providing a foundation for global understanding, peace and cooperation,” Tetteh said. “Young people need to have this type of training to understand their role in the process of creating a better world.”

President Mahama received the 2014 Global Public Service Award in recognition of his long life of government service in Ghana; ambassadorship for the Global Fund that supports worldwide vaccination and immunization efforts; participation and leadership in the Pan African Parliament; and his work with the nongovernmental anti-poverty organization, Plan International. In 2013, he received the Africa Award for Excellence in Food Security and Poverty Reduction from the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa. During Kennesaw State’s “Year of Ghana” annual country study in 2013, Mahama became the first sitting head of state to visit the University.

In addition, these awards were presented to the following recipients:

Madhuri and Jagdish N. Sheth Distinguished Faculty Award for International Achievement

Terry Powis, associate professor of anthropology, has led several excavations in Belize over 20 years −many of them with study abroad students. His scholarly work has yielded important findings about trade, social stratification, and the culture of pre-classical Mayan civilization, especially his research into the origins of cacao consumption, which has been widely published in both academic journals and mainstream press.  He serves on the University’s Global Engagement Committee and as global learning coordinator for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

·      Distinguished International Community Partner Award

Nell Diallo is vice president of international and corporate relations for MedShare, a nonprofit organization that collects surplus medical supplies and equipment from hospitals, distributors and manufacturers, and redistributes them to qualified healthcare facilities in the developing world. Through the partnership she has cultivated with Kennesaw State, nursing students and members of the KSU LINK leadership program have volunteered to help sort and assemble medical supply orders, and study abroad students have delivered medical supplies to clinics in Oaxaca, Mexico. She also worked in partnership with Kennesaw State and Ghana’s University of Cape Coast to ship $500,000 worth of medical supplies to the UCC Hospital.

Madhuri and Jagdish N. Sheth Distinguished International Alumni Award

Yusof Safi, cultural trainer and interpreter, works with multiple government contractors to help train U.S. soldiers on Afghani languages and customs. Since 2006, he has provided cultural training and interpreter services to troops at multiple bases, including Fort Polk, La., Fort Bragg, N.C. and Fort Irwin, Calif.Prior to graduating from Kennesaw State in 1993 with a B.A. in accounting, he helped create the Islamic Student Association and the Kennesaw International Student Association and continues to support the University’s Initiative to Educate Afghan Women Scholarship program.

The International Achievement Awards are organized by Kennesaw State’s Institute for Global Initiatives with financial support from Madhuri and Jagdish N. Sheth Family Foundation, for whom the awards to faculty and alumni have been named. Jagdish Sheth, a renowned scholar of marketing, consumer behavior and emerging global markets, is the Charles H. Kellstadt Professor of Marketing at Emory University and the author of more than 300 papers and books.

“Global engagement was a nice thing to do in the early 60s; now it is a necessity,” Jagdish Sheth said during the awards ceremony.

He noted substantial demographic shifts and the emergence of an increasingly multicultural society, the worldwide growth of a large, young urban middle class and the rise of global economies like China, India and increasingly, Africa, among trends driving the need for greater global engagement by universities and their students, faculty and staff. 

“Your students have grown up with enormous diversity in their schools and they will expect the same when they come to your campus,” Sheth said.  “You have to globally engage. We’re not talking about the old model of global engagement that is more like a salad mixed together.  The new model is more of a fusion.”

In closing the awards program, University Provost W. Ken Harmon acknowledged Sheth’s towering contributions to global business scholarship and to Kennesaw State’s launch of an annual recognition for those who have made important global contributions. 

“We are so grateful to Jagdish and Madhuri Sheth for their generosity in making this ceremony possible,” said Harmon, who said he considers Sheth as one of his mentors in business education.  “This ceremony is emblematic of what we are at Kennesaw State – an innovative and entrepreneurial university, and it reflects our sincere efforts to make it even more of an international university.”

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-- Sabbaye MGriff


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. 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 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit