May 17, 2010

Professor Rado Pribic Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from Pa. Council for International Education

He will be presented with the honor at the annual conference in October

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to international education, Professor Rado Pribic will receive the W. LaMarr Kopp Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pennsylvania Council for International Education at its annual conference Oct. 1-2.

“Growing up in post-World War II Europe and seeing so much prejudice and distrust, I came early in my life to the conclusion that the best way to foster understanding among people is by education.  Coming from a mixed ethnic background (my father was Serbian and my mother was German), I experienced hate, violence, and prejudice first hand.  Of course, my parents, who were also both educators, had a great influence on my life.  It should not be surprising that I followed in their footsteps and became an educator,” says Pribic, Williams Professor of Foreign Languages and Literatures and chair of international affairs.

Named after a longtime professor at Penn State University, the W. LaMarr Kopp award is presented annually to one Pennsylvania educator who has demonstrated longstanding excellence, commitment, and leadership in the field of international education.

During his 39 years at Lafayette, Pribic has contributed significantly to the “internationalization” of the Lafayette community.

During the Cold War Era, he was an adviser to the “Citizen Exchange Council,” which arranged for educational exchanges between the United States and the USSR.  In the summer of 1973, he organized his first trip to the Soviet Union with Lafayette students. In the 1980s, through Pribic’s contacts, Lafayette was elected as one of the first 12 U.S. institutions for student exchange with a Soviet partnership university, and Lafayette developed “one for one” student exchanges with Soviet universities. Pribic was also on the selection committee for Pennsylvania high school student exchanges between the U.S. and Germany.

Since Lafayette formalized its interim study abroad programs in the late 1970s, Pribic has taught more than 30 interim-abroad courses in Germany, Russia, Italy, Africa, and the Middle East. He also helped initiate and served as resident adviser for Lafayette’s faculty-led semester abroad program based at Jacobs University Bremen in Germany.

“I am convinced that studying in an immersion program abroad, speaking the language of the people, and living their lifestyles, is the best way to gain an understanding of a particular culture for our students.  In the rapidly shrinking world our students need to learn the tools to become global citizens,” Pribic says.

He also served nearly a decade as Lafayette’s international student adviser.  Under his leadership, Lafayette increased the number of international students from 3 to 8 percent of the total student population. Since 1989, he has chaired the College’s international affairs program and previously chaired the college’s Russian and East European studies program.  He has also directed two semester programs abroad and three LVAIC Summer Language Programs.

Pribic has taught courses in German and Russian language, literature, and culture; comparative literature; international affairs; and interdisciplinary courses. He has received many grants for research and study abroad and has mentored numerous students in honors thesis and independent study research. He is also the recipient of Lafayette’s Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Lecture Award in recognition of excellence in teaching and scholarship, Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award for excellence in teaching and outstanding contributions to campus life, Marquis Teaching Award for distinctive and extraordinary teaching, and Delta Upsilon Distinguished Mentoring and Teaching Award.

He is the author or editor of five books including The Trouble with German Unification, Essays on Daniela Dahn (2008), which addresses the varying perceptions throughout Europe and the United States of Germany’s unification process during the past two decades.

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