The Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars is honoring Ismael Montana, an associate professor in the Department of History, for his many contributions to international education. Montana has been very active in the Zeta Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Delta at NIU, having served in the presidential stream. He was also last year’s recipient of the Outstanding International Educator award given annually by the Division of International Affairs.
Montana has been selected as the sole recipient of the 2017 Yvonne Captain Faculty Award for Outstanding Contributions to International Education. Sarah Lindell, chapter coordinator for Zeta Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Delta at NIU, accepted the award on his behalf.
Montana is the sixth NIU faculty member to win the annual national award in recent years. Kurt Thurmaier, chair of the Department of Public Administration, won the award last year and LaVerne Gyant, professor of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education, won the award in 2014. Former political science professor Christopher Jones won the award in 2013, former history professor J.D. Bowers in 2012, and anthropology professor emeritus Susan Russell in 2009.
An associate professor in the Department of History, Montana has led study abroad programs to Ghana. He has done an excellent job building a program in African history for both the undergraduate and graduate students in the Department of History.
Eric Zeemering, president-elect of Zeta Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Delta at NIU, nominated Montana for the award and said, “Dr. Montana exhibits a commitment to international scholarship and education that is consistent with the goals of the Yvonne Captain Outstanding Faculty Award. He is an asset to Northern Illinois University and an enthusiastic promoter of Phi Beta Delta.”
The Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars is also honoring Lexie Williams, an undergraduate student who recently graduated from NIU with a B.S. degree in Public Health and minors in Business Administration and Deafness Rehabilitation. She served as a student vice-president for NIU’s Zeta Gamma Chapter.
Williams was selected as the recipient of the 2017 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.
Williams excelled at her study abroad program in the Netherlands. She has been very active in the University Honors Program, including recruiting and advising new students. She has been both a Research Rookie and a McKearn Fellow.
“She is far and above one of the strongest promoters of global studies, of international engagement and the value of gaining a unique perspective as a result of being present. And now, more than ever, we need such young people spreading the word, supporting the cause,” said former NIU History Professor J.D. Bowers, who nominated Williams for the award.