Clara Louis, a doctoral candidate in the NIU College of Education’s Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education (CAHE), has been awarded the 2013 David Merchant International Student Award of Achievement by Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars.
The award honors one international student who demonstrates exceptional accomplishments in the areas of scholarship and service. She will receive the award in April at the organization’s international conference in Charlotte, N.C.
Louis, a native of St. Lucia, is writing her dissertation on The Mother’s Group, a grassroots organization in her home country, in which she examines the group’s quest to empower and develop leadership skills among the island’s women.
Before coming to the United States for her graduate education, she was a secondary and middle grades teacher in the city of Castries and was recognized by three different organizations for her teaching excellence.
Louis also holds degrees from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and South Carolina State University. She has been very active in Phi Beta Delta and the International Training Office during her time at NIU, including participating in the annual International Week festivities and assisting other international students as they transition into their studies and daily life in DeKalb. She has also served as a graduate research assistant and has begun to present her work at conferences.
“Her commitment to international education is significant,” said LaVerne Gyant, her dissertation director. “She is on her way to becoming one of our up-and-coming scholar-activists” and has shown both “academic success and leadership.”