Emory’s Global Engagement Recognizes Outstanding Contributions
Emory University is committed to collaboration and global partnerships, fostering diverse perspectives and experiences to broaden its impact and promote deeper understanding of the world. This commitment extends to research, innovation, service, and the success of its international alumni, both on campus and internationally.
The Office of Global Strategy and Initiatives (GSI) at Emory University held the 2023 International Awards ceremony at Convocation Hall on March 30th, recognizing three exceptional members of the Emory community. These individuals have made significant contributions to the university’s global engagement: Jeffry Lesser, Woo Taek Kim, and Daphne Orr.
The International Awards
The International Awards are an annual recognition of outstanding achievements by a member of the Emory faculty, an international alumnus, and a staff member who have contributed significantly to Emory’s global work and reputation. The ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate their exceptional accomplishments and the positive impact they have on the university and the world.
“This awards ceremony was particularly special as it marked the first time since 2023 that we gathered in person to honor the outstanding global engagement contributions of members of the Emory community,” says Philip Wainwright, Vice Provost for Global Strategy and Initiatives. “It was fulfilling to celebrate and connect, especially after enduring the pandemic-related challenges of the last few years.”
The Award Recipients
The award recipients have demonstrated Emory’s dedication to making a global impact through their remarkable work both on campus and abroad. The recipients of the 2023 International Awards are:
- Jeffrey Lesser, Marion V. Creekmore Award for Internationalization (Emory College and Halle Institute for Global Research)
- Woo Taek Kim 90MBA, Sheth Distinguished International Alumni Award (Next Entertainment World media group)
- Daphne Orr, International Outreach Award (Oxford College)
Marion V. Creekmore Award for Internationalization
Jeffrey Lesser, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of History, is renowned for his research in Brazilian studies and modern Latin American history. A specialist in the construction of national identity in Brazil, his research focuses on questions of race, ethnicity, and immigration. Lesser is the author of several highly acclaimed books, including “Immigration, Ethnicity and National Identity in Brazil” and “Welcoming the Undesirables: Brazil and the Jewish Question.”
Lesser has held multiple leadership roles at Emory, including directorship of the Latin American studies and Jewish studies programs and chair of the Department of History. Most recently, as director of the Halle Institute for Global Research, he reorganized the institute to promote innovation and creativity through cross-disciplinary programs that connect Emory to researchers around the world.
Sheth Distinguished International Alumni Award
Woo Taek Kim 90MBA is the CEO and chairman of Next Entertainment World (NEW), a Seoul-based content media group he founded in 2008. Under his leadership, NEW has been an innovative force in the Korean entertainment industry, creating a new business model in the production and distribution of cultural content. NEW’s focus has expanded beyond film to cover a wide range of media, including music and television. Kim has also supported new artists and studios, contributing to greater diversity in the entertainment space.
Kim’s film production credits include “Pietà,” winner of the Golden Lion at the 69th Venice Film Festival and mega-hit “Train to Busan,” which premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. He and his wife, Mimi Han, an alumna of Oxford and Emory colleges, are highly engaged supporters of the university.
International Outreach Award
Daphne Orr is the director of International Student Programs at Oxford College of Emory University, where she has worked since 2016. With nearly 30 years of experience in international education, Orr started her career as an ESL instructor. Her current role includes immigration advising for students on F-1 visas.
Orr designs and implements programs to assist international students in their transition to life in the U.S. and at Oxford College. She also advises multiple student groups on leadership development and creates programs to help faculty and staff develop greater intercultural competency and understanding.
Orr has been actively involved with NAFSA (the Association of International Educators) for many years, presenting at regional and national conferences. She also served on NAFSA’s Crisis Management Task Force, chaired the NAFSA Subcommittee on Crisis Management, and held the role of region VII coach for the NAFSA Academy. In 2014, Orr was selected as a Fulbright: International Educator’s Seminar grantee to Germany.