KU Associate Director of International Support Services Mike Ediger was recognized for “going the extra mile” this fall when he was honored with NAFSA: Association for International Educators’ Region II’s Bruce Tracy Award.
The Bruce Tracy Award, the second-highest honor given to NAFSA members in Region II, recognizes professional and personal contributions to the field of international education that go beyond the normal expectations of the job. Ediger accepted the award on October 16 during the NAFSA Region II Conference in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Murle Mordy, international student advisor for Ottawa University, nominated Ediger for the award, citing his willingness to assist him and other international educators. In his nomination letter, Mordy noted that Ediger imbues “dedication, professional service, leadership, willingness to go the extra mile to help others, willingness to volunteer, commitment to international education, friendly demeanor, patience, respect for others and intellectual achievement.”
In 1998, Ediger began working at KU in what was then known as International Student and Scholar Services. Over the years, Ediger has overseen advising, programs, orientation and retention of KU’s international students. In that role, he is the advisor for the International Student Association at KU, former liaison with the Lawrence Friendship Family Program and member and chapter officer of Phi Beta Delta, an honor society for international scholars.
For Ediger, his work at KU is divided into two areas: working with immigration regulations and establishing relationships with international students so they have meaningful and successful experiences at KU.
“Helping students learn about our culture, while we connect with their culture, that is the part of the job that I enjoy the most,” he said.
Prior to coming to KU, Ediger worked for 20 years in a variety of roles with Fort Hays State University’s housing department. During that time, he worked with international students, looking for ways to increase engagement between them and domestic students.
Ediger also was recognized for his leadership within NAFSA, including past roles as the state chair for Kansas International Educators, state conference coordinator, state representative for the NAFSA Region II Leadership Team, a member of the Region II Team Leadership Nomination Committee and as local arrangements co-chair for the 2006 regional conference in Kansas City.
Along with his leadership, Ediger has presented and helped other international advisors present at state and regional conferences. He has also made a number of presentations, such as “Practical Tips and Suggestions for Effectively Communicating and Interacting with International Students,” at KU in efforts to better internationalize the campus.
Ediger is the third KU International Affairs staff member who has been recognized with the Bruce Tracy award in the past ten years. Last year, Angela Perryman, director of Study Abroad and Global Engagement, received the award. In 2011, Chuck Olcese, director of International Support Services, was honored while employed with Pittsburg State University.
NAFSA is the world’s largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education and exchanges and works to advance policies and practices that build global citizens with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in an interconnected world. Region II consists of Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
Combining his time at KU and Fort Hays State, Ediger has worked for 40 years with the State of Kansas, and was among those recognized this fall at a ceremony at the Kansas State Capitol.