The Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars is honoring Kurt Thurmaier, chair of the Department of Public Administration, for his many contributions to international education. Thurmaier has been very active in the Zeta Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Delta at NIU, having served as past president.
Thurmaier has been selected as the sole recipient of the 2016 Yvonne Captain Faculty Award for Outstanding Contributions to International Education. Sarah Lindell, chapter coordinator for the Zeta Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Delta at NIU, accepted the award on his behalf.
Thurmaier is the fifth NIU faculty member to win the annual national award in recent years. Previous faculty winners include: LaVerne Gyant, professor of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education, 2014; former Political Science Professor Christopher Jones, 2013; former History Professor J.D. Bowers, 2012; and Anthropology Professor Emeritus Susan Russell, 2009.
A Presidential Engagement Professor for the Department of Public Administration, Thurmaier has led several study abroad programs to Tanzania. He is also the president and co-founder of Tanzania Development Support, an organization created to foster a relationship and support civic engagement in Tanzania through community development projects and educational programs.
Ismael Montana, president of the Zeta Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Delta at NIU, nominated Thurmaier for the award and said, “Dr. Thurmaier’s scholarly contributions, administrative and impressive service to Northern Illinois University community illuminates not only his strong belief in the value of international education but also shows his stellar record of civic engagement both in the U.S. and internationally.”
The Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars is also honoring Shanay Murdock, an undergraduate student who recently graduated from NIU with a B.A. in Anthropology and minors in History, Political Science and Global Studies. She has been accepted into the M.A. program in Genocide Studies at the University of Amsterdam and looks forward to starting the program this fall.
Murdock was selected as the recipient of the 2016 Marian Beane/Charles Gliozzo Domestic Student Award for International Achievement. This award honors one domestic student who demonstrates exceptional accomplishments in the areas of scholarship and service.
Murdock has studied abroad twice, speaks three languages and has been very active in the NIU Chapter of STAND. STAND is a student-led anti-genocide movement with a cultural/academic/advocacy focus on supporting human rights around the world.
“Shanay is one of those rare students who wants to constantly grow and explore new knowledge, to add to her understandings of the past and merge them with the issues in the present,” said former NIU History professor, J.D. Bowers, who nominated Murdock for the award.