A Nebraska Wesleyan University communication studies professor has been honored for her work in helping students explore study abroad experiences.
Rachel Pokora, professor of communication studies, was named this year’s winner of the White Award for Internationalization. The award recognizes individuals who have furthered the internationalization of NWU, its curriculum, students and faculty.
Pokora was celebrated for using her own international experiences in helping NWU students to become globally-minded.
“Drawing on her sabbatical experiences in Ireland and Italy to internationalize her teaching here on campus, Rachel inspires her students to consider global ideas and to study abroad,” said one nominator.
Pokora served as a faculty advisor for the first Network Globally, Act Locally (NGAL) entrepreneurship program that brought together students and faculty from NWU, the College of Charleston and the University of Tartu in Estonia through the support of the Harry and Reba Huge Foundation.
In May, Pokora led a group of NWU students to Italy for the “Exploring the Culture of Tuscany” course which grew out of her sabbatical experience there.
“Most of the students who choose to take her course have never traveled abroad,” said a student nominator.
“Dr. Pokora’s patience, organization, class structure and expertise gave me the opportunity to not only overcome my personal battle with anxiety, but also to immerse myself in a foreign culture for the first time in my life,” said another student nominator. “I am confident I would have never taken the opportunity to learn abroad had I never scheduled that first meeting with Dr. Pokora. I will forever be indebted to her for this experience.”
Four in 10 NWU students study abroad.
The White Award for Internationalization honors NWU President Emeritus John White and his wife, Marty, for their many years of service to NWU and White’s work on international opportunities.