International Achievement

Kathleen Ridolfo accepts award for Oman's Ambassador Al Mughairy from Lance Askildson

Kennesaw State presents third annual international awards KENNESAW, Ga.  (March 23, 2016…

Georgia (Mar 24, 2016)

Kennesaw State presents third annual international awards

KENNESAW, Ga.  (March 23, 2016) — The Sultanate of Oman’s ambassador to the United States was among the seven individuals honored at Kennesaw State University’s third annual International Achievement Awards ceremony Tuesday at the Marietta Country Club.

Hunaina S. Al Mughairy, the Arab world’s first female ambassador, received the 2016 Kennesaw State University Global Public Service Prize, an award that honors an international figure who has made important contributions to public service in the country/region featured during the University’s “Year of” annual country study (2014-2015 was the “Year of the Arabian Peninsula).

The award recognizes Ambassador Al Mughairy’s longstanding commitment and contributions to improving the image of Arab women. Prior to her diplomatic appointment in 2005, she served many roles in Oman’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Omani Center for Investment Promotion & Export Development. She also previously served in the permanent Mission of the Sultanate of Oman to the United Nations in Geneva; as director of Industrial Planning and Research for the Ministry of Commerce & Industry; and as a member of the planning committee for major gas projects in the Sultanate of Oman.

In accepting the award for Ambassador Al Mughairy, Kathleen Ridolfo, executive director of the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center in Washington D.C., said she was honored to speak on behalf of someone who has “done so much to advance the cause of women.”

“Her Excellency Al Mughairy was one of the many who answered Sultan Qaboos bin Said AlSaid’s call to help build and develop a modern Oman, said Ridolfo, who helped plan “Women of Oman: Changing Roles and Transnational Influence,”a conference at Kennesaw State in November 2014. “As ambassador, she was instrumental in negotiating a free trade agreement with the U.S. and has been a tireless advocate of the participation of women in the development of Oman and throughout  the Middle East.”

Kennesaw State’s Global Affairs Division, which hosts the ceremony, also presented three other awards recognizing outstanding global contributions by a distinguished, globally engaged Kennesaw State University faculty member and alumni, and a special award recognizing an important global community partner. Three students received scholarships to study abroad.

In addition to Al Mughairy, Kennesaw State’s 2016 International Awards recipients are:  

  • Stella Xu, director of China initiatives, Georgia Department of Economic Development                                                    Sheth Distinguished Alumni Award for Exceptional Humanitarian and Service Achievement

Xu earned an MBA from Kennesaw State in 2006, and subsequently joined the faculty of Coles College of Business where she taught Principles of Management, International Management and International Entrepreneurship. She has translated and taught more than 100 management training classes for Chinese government officials, special seminars for the Executive MBA pogram and served as the director of the China Business Study Abroad Programs. In addition, Xu served on the Advisory Board of Directors for the Coles College of Business for many years and has been a Sam Walton Free Enterprise Fellow. She was named one of the “25 most influential Asians in Georgia” in 2009 and 2010. In her current role, Xu manages foreign direct investment, tourism, education and cultural programs, as well as government relations between Georgia and China.

  • Ming Chen, professor and resident designer, College of the Arts, Kennesaw State University                                             Sheth Distinguished Faculty Award for International Achievement

Chen is a tenured professor and resident theatrical designer with 23 years of university teaching experience and three years of professional theatre experience. As a scenic designer, Chen’s table works have been displayed at the Prague Quadrennial (co-design), Czechoslovakia, the USITT Design Expo in Long Beach, California, and China’s National Stage Design Exhibition in Beijing and Tokyo. Her designs were seen at Atlanta Ballet, the national gala performances of the American College Dance Festivals at Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and Miller Theatre in New York City, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland, the Shanghai International Arts Festival and Shanghai Theatre Festival in China. Her works have been commissioned by many professional theatres in Atlanta, including the Alliance Theatre Company, the Horizon Theatre Company, 7 Stages and Theatre in the Square, as well as university theatres such as SUNY at Buffalo and Cornell University in New York. Among her many scholarly publications is “Visual Literacy for Theatre,” a 565-page textbook on design (published in 2011).

  • Angela Khoury, executive director, Alif Institute                                                                                                         Kennesaw State University Distinguished International Community Partner Award

In parallel to Khoury’s professional life, in which she worked internationally more than 25 years for software company Murex, she was involved in various volunteer positions with varied organizations, primarily the Alif Institute. In 2009, she was invited to become chair of the strategic planning committee of the Alif Institute. In 2010 and 2011, she co-chaired a major festival organized by the Institute, the Atlanta Arab Festival. In September 2010, after almost 20 years of working in the private sector, Khoury retired and decided to dedicate more time to the non-profit sector, particularly to the Alif Institute. In January 2011, she joined the Institute’s Board of Directors and currently serves as its interim executive director.

The following Kennesaw State students were awarded scholarships to study abroad:

  • Sydney Williams, human services major,  Emerson Scholarship for the Advancement of International Education
  • Hannah Wauchopebiology major, The Robin Schmidt Shore Endowed Scholarship
  • Matthew Williams, nursing major, The Barry and Sylvia Hyman Endowed International Education Scholarship

Lance Askildson, Kennesaw State’s vice provost and chief international officer, joined University President Daniel S. Papp in hosting more than 150 guests attending the ceremony and congratulating award recipients. 

“We are honored to recognize these outstanding individuals and proud that Kennesaw State continues to maintain a reputation as a leader in global education,” Askildson said. “The International Achievement Awards give us a chance to recognize the people, organizations and students that help the University meet its goal of promoting international awareness and cultural understanding. Each of these recipients has gone through remarkable lengths to encourage people to think and act globally.”

The International Achievement Awards are organized by Kennesaw State’s Division of Global Affairs with financial support from Madhuri and Jagdish N. Sheth, 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.

— Sabbaye McGriff

Photos by David Caselli






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