APLU Honors Three Higher Education Leaders With International Service Award

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July 14, 2014--Amit Chakma of Western University; Krishnaswami Srihari of Binghamton University; and Robin Reid of Colorado State University are the 2014 recipients of the Michael P. Malone International Leadership Awards. Sponsored by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), the annual awards recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to international education at public and land-grant institutions. The recipients received their awards today during a ceremony at APLU’s 2014 Commission on International Initiatives (CII) summer meeting now underway in Berkeley, California. 

“This year’s Malone Award recipients exemplify the true spirit of Michael Malone’s legacy with their amazing efforts in international education and development,” said APLU President Peter McPherson. "Their focus on international problems speaks well of public university systems and the willingness of our scholars to promote higher education at home and across the globe.”

The award is named in honor of Michael P. Malone, president of Montana State University (MSU) from 1991 until his death in 1999. Malone made many contributions to MSU and U.S. public higher education through his work as chair of APLU Commission on International Initiatives (CII) where he focused the group’s efforts on issues critical to international programs and increased its stature within APLU and elsewhere.

Background on this year’s recipients follows:

Amit Chakma
Western University

Amit Chakma is the 10th president and vice-chancellor of Western University (the University of Western Ontario). He currently serves as chair of the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities, chair of the World University Service of Canada and as a member of the Science, Technology & Innovation Council of Canada. In 2012, Chakma served as chair of the Advisory Panel on Canada's International Education Strategy, which helped inform the development and launch of Canada's new international education strategy unveiled in January 2014 titled Harnessing our knowledge advantage to drive innovation and prosperity.  

"Expanding the impact of our teaching and research on the international stage is an institutional priority at Western University that's highlighted in our mission to develop global citizens whose education and leadership serves the public good,” said Chakma.  “I feel very proud to be the first Canadian university president honoured with the Malone Award because it reflects the collective effort of Western's entire campus community, which is renowned for providing the best student experience in the country." 

Chakma is a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and he received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 in recognition of his contributions to Canadian post-secondary education.

Krishnaswami (Hari) Srihari
Binghamton University

SUNY Distinguished Professor Krishnaswami Srihari is dean of the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science at Binghamton University and director of the Watson Institute for Systems Excellence. Srihari's research interests include electronics packaging and manufacturing, and health systems. He has published over 450 research papers, has graduated over 40 doctoral and 175 masters students, and has secured over $40 million in research funding. 

“Building global partnerships with select institutions while concurrently enhancing global competence among our faculty, staff and students at Binghamton University and in the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science is critically important to our university's strategic vision,” said Srihari. “To be recognized by a highly regarded body such as APLU and its Commission on International Initiatives is an honor that recognizes the hard work of many individuals throughout the Watson School and Binghamton University and strengthens our collective commitment to international engagement and education.”

Some of Srihari’s other achievements include increasing high quality international students, research collaborations, joint degrees, education abroad opportunities and strong international alumni relations.

Robin Reid
Colorado State University


Robin Reid is the director of the endowed Center for Collaborative Conservation, a professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, and a senior scientist at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University.  For the last 27 years, she has led education, research and outreach projects in the drylands of Africa, Asia and North America.  Her current work focuses on how to transform international higher education to be more inclusive of under-represented groups and more useful for local problem solving. 

“In receiving this award, I represent our talented teams at Colorado State University and our international university partners, as we build new ways to bring the highest quality education to all peoples of the world, especially under-represented students from the world’s remote drylands,” Reid said. “Our main goal is to build the next generation of transformative leaders who can better tackle the accelerating challenges of our world.  We will use the momentum of this award to ignite new and stronger opportunities to help student’s build the confidence and skills to build a stronger global society.”

Reid’s research focuses on how collaborative governance at the community level works around the world and its social and ecological outcomes. From 1992-2007, she lived and worked in east Africa, doing research with pastoral peoples, on the social and ecological sustainability of their ecosystems.  Her team of researchers and pastoralists won the 2012 Sustainability Science Award from the Ecological Society of America, for their paper describing their efforts to make science useful to local communities and policymakers.  

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