Release Date: June 5, 2020
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Stephen C. Dunnett, former UB vice provost for international education, received the life membership award presented by NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
Dunnett, who served as UB’s chief university officer responsible for international programs and activities from 1989 until he retired in 2018, was one of five to receive the award honoring achievements in international education and exchange.
NAFSA is the world’s largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education and exchange.
A professor emeritus of foreign language education in the Graduate School of Education, Dunnett was active in the development of cooperative education training programs between UB and institutions of higher education in China, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Latvia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Singapore.
He serves as the senior advisor for UB Undergraduate Programs in Singapore. An active member of NAFSA, the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA), and the European Association for International Education (EAIE), Dunnett served three terms on the NAFSA board, and as president of AIEA.
Dunnett is also a former member and chair of the board of World Education Services (WES), and current chair of the UB Confucius Institute Board of Advisors. He also serves on the board of the Center for Higher Education Internationalization at the Catholic University in Milan, Italy, and is chair of the International Advisory Board of Stenden-NHL University in the Netherlands.
As vice provost for international education, Dunnett led the university’s international programs and services, impacting thousands of international and domestic students, as well as faculty and staff. He was responsible for significantly growing the international student population, building a centralized study abroad program to increase global learning opportunities for students, enhancing international alumni engagement and internationalizing UB’s curriculum.
Dunnett received foreign dignitaries and delegations at UB — he was instrumental in securing the visit to UB of the Dalai Lama in 2006 — and has served as a trusted adviser to the university’s senior leadership on international protocol and relations. He took a leading role in developing international plans for the State University New York, and has been a nationally sought-after consultant on international education.
In 1980, Dunnett was integral in establishing the first open educational exchanges of any U.S. university with Chinese universities, which opened the door for other universities to launch educational programs with China.
Later, in 1986, he played an important role in creating one of the first 2+2 cooperative education programs in Malaysia, a forerunner of the programs delivered in Singapore 20 years later.
In 2008, Dunnett oversaw work on “The Global Imperative: Making UB an International University,” UB’s comprehensive internationalization strategy and strategic plan that continues to guide the university’s internationalization efforts.
A UB alumnus — he earned a PhD in higher education from the university — Dunnett also is the recipient of the President’s Medal for outstanding service to the university in 2007.
Also receiving this year’s NAFSA life membership award was Mariam Assefa of the World Education Services. Assefa is an alumna of UB’s Graduate School of Education, former president of NAFSA, and a longtime colleague and friend of Dunnett.