UF President W. Kent Fuchs, Jason Ward and his wife, Michelle, and Warrington Dean John Kraft
Jason Ward and his wife, Michelle, celebrate Jason's 2015 Staff International Educator of the Year Award with UF President W. Kent Fuchs (far left) and Warrington Dean John Kraft (far right).

International Center honors Warrington again for global education excellence

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Jason Ward, the Associate Director of International Programs at the Heavener School of Business, received the University of Florida’s 2015 Staff International Educator of the Year Award on Monday at the Keene Faculty Center in Dauer Hall.

The Staff International Educator of the Year Award, presented by UF’s International Center, recognizes outstanding contributions of staff to the internationalization of the University of Florida. Ward is the third Warrington representative to win this award in the past five years joining Heavener’s Director of International Programs Joe Rojo (2012) and Public Utility Research Center Director of Leadership Studies and Business Development Araceli Castaneda (2011).

Ward oversees the Heavener School’s international exchange partnerships with more than 30 universities in Europe, Asia, South America and Australia, coordinates the incoming exchange program, and facilitates the administration of the five UF-sponsored programs to Dublin, London, Madrid, Paris and Rome. He also serves as the faculty advisor for the Global Business Society, which organizes over 20 internationally-themed events each year; and the Global Gator Guides, who welcome and integrate international exchange students on campus through a variety of service and community events.

Ward’s commitment to providing Heavener students thoughtful and personalized guidance is impressive. His achievements during the 2014-15 academic year include:

• Conducted 30-minute advising sessions with a department-record 634 students.
• Created several advising tools, including intake forms and budgeting/program comparison worksheets, to help students develop skills for international planning.
• In collaboration with International Programs staff, led the newly created “Study Abroad Rewind,” a four-hour reflection activity where students returning from study abroad are asked to evaluate personal insights, knowledge gained and career applications from their experience.
• Created “Global Gathering,” a bi-annual event bringing UF students and exchange students together for an evening of connection and discovery.
• Implemented a two-hour exchange orientation where previous exchange students offer strategies and resources to prospective exchange students.

Thanks to Ward’s innovations, student participation in Heavener’s exchange programs increased 38 percent in 2014-15, and has doubled over the past three years.

“Jason brings a passion, vision and work ethic that is very special,” Rojo said. “I credit Jason for empowering Heavener undergraduates to understand that participation in an exchange is a valuable and incomparable experience.”

Awardees are selected by a university-wide committee appointed by the Dean of the International Center. The committee examines the international educational contributions of the faculty or staff member, and the impact of those contributions on students, international partners, university stakeholders, and/or the nominee’s discipline.

Learn more about Heavener’s international program offerings.