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Ho honored for contributions to international education

Honoring John Ho at the awards luncheon hosted by the Council on International Studies and Programs are, from left, Stephen Dunnett, Ho, Mick Thompson and David Engel, who chairs the council. Photo: Nancy J. Parisi

By JOHN J. WOOD

Published May 21, 2015

John T. Ho, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor of Physics and vice provost for graduate education and dean of the Graduate School, was honored May 14 with the 2015 Award for Outstanding Contributions to International Education at UB.

The award was established by the Council on International Studies and Programs to honor UB faculty and staff who have made extensive and longstanding contributions to the international area.

During an awards luncheon hosted by the council, Ho was recognized for his extensive contributions across many areas during his long career at UB. An international student himself when he came from Hong Kong to pursue his PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ho has been keenly interested in issues affecting international students and scholars at UB.

“I have been privileged to work with John these past four decades and greatly appreciate his strong support for maintaining high academic standards in international programs both on campus and overseas,” said Stephen Dunnett, vice provost for international education. “His impeccable academic values, personal integrity and good judgment have benefited our international program and services in countless ways.”

Myron A. “Mick” Thompson, associate provost and executive director of the Graduate School, noted that Ho has “a sustained record of outstanding and extraordinarily effective service to international education throughout (the past) four decades.”

“His efforts have left an indelible influence on a wide range of institutional policies, procedures and activities in the international education arena that have brought distinction to UB and have greatly enhanced our pursuit of excellence,” Thompson said.

Both in his department and in various administrative roles, Ho helped codify standards for English language proficiency for international students admitted to UB and pushed for the establishment of a testing and training program for international teaching assistants so they could be more successful in the classroom. Ho served on many university, decanal and departmental committees concerned with international student and research issues.

Among the more recent have been the International Strategy Task Group convened in 2007 to develop a strategic internationalization plan for UB, the council’s committee developing recommendations on the “significant international experience” requirement in the UB curriculum, and a current task force developing recommendations for the enhanced inclusion and engagement of international students at UB.

Ho is stepping down as vice provost this summer to return to his faculty appointment in the Department of Physics.

He joined the UB physics faculty in 1975 and has distinguished himself as an exceptional scholar and administrator. Named a SUNY Distinguished Service Professor of Physics in 1995, he has served in departmental and university leadership positions, including as associate dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, interim dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, director of the Interdisciplinary Natural Sciences Program, chair of the Department of Statistics and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Prior to his association with UB, he held faculty positions at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Houston.

Ho, an experimental condensed matter physicist, received his BSc in physics and mathematics from the University of Hong Kong and PhD in physics from MIT.

He has served his professional field as a member of various committees and panels for the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Education, the Council of Graduate Schools and the American Physical Society.

His academic honors include the DuPont Young Faculty Award, and appointment as a fellow of the American Physical Society and a Guggenheim Fellowship.