The Office for Global Engagement is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 Excellence in Global Engagement Awards—an annual recognition of faculty and staff who have made exceptional contributions to developing the global dimension of the University of Utah.
Dr. Debra Penney
Associate Clinical Professor and Certified Nurse-Midwife Dr. Debra Penney has dedicated her career to global healthcare of women. Specializing in International Health, Public Health and Refugee Health Service, she has been a valued member of our U community for nearly 20 years. Her reputation shows she has been “going global” long before it became a campus priority. Dr. Penney’s ongoing work with University Neighborhood Partners has fostered priceless learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduates alike. She stands out as a dedicated, compassionate mentor to students looking to expand their global perspective, whether through fostering supportive overseas experiences or initiating local projects with diverse groups. Her passion and dedication to our global community is evident in the way she serves her patients, our local refugee community, the U Nursing and School of Medicine community, and the field of global healthcare.
Dr. Steve Burian
Professor of Civil Engineering Dr. Steve Burian came to the University of Utah in 2003. In the 17 years since, he has made an indelible mark in many areas across campus. This year, Burian completed the five-year USAID project that created the U.S.-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Water—a joint-initiative between the U and Mehran University for Engineering & Technology in Jamshoro, Pakistan aimed at addressing water security in the region. The project launched 7 new degrees and 32 new courses at MUET, boasts 75 graduates and 220 active students (36% of which are female), and has raised an additional 2.5 million dollars in funding. Over 160 students and faculty from MUET have called the U home for a semester during technical and cultural exchanges over the duration of the project. Burian logged countless hours of travel between Utah and Pakistan and remained readily available to colleagues in Mountain Standard Time as well as colleagues 11 hours ahead in Jamshoro. Throughout, he never stopped innovating, constantly seeking new ways to enhance the capacity of program participants. His efforts were recognized in 2019 by the President of Pakistan when he was awarded the Sitara-i-Imtiaz—one of the nation’s highest civil decorations noting significant contribution to the country.
Mr. Onsoo Kim
From his first days on the job as Assistant Director of Marketing & PR at the University of Utah Asia Campus, Mr. Onsoo Kim demonstrated a championing attitude, genuine concern for students, and desire to shout University of Utah spirit to the rooftops. He is a regular feature at all UAC events and is prompt to promote campus activities. It is notable that two of the nominations for Kim came from students. His engagement with our student community at UAC has been truly outstanding–above and beyond the scope of his job title. Kim has taken it upon himself to create new opportunities for students to intern with Korean media, marketing and PR companies. He has spearheaded workshops and job fairs that have helped UAC students advance their careers and has even facilitated remote internships for UAC students struggling to find internships in the U.S. “Mr. Kim has not only enriched UAC students’ academic experiences by offering numerous volunteer and work opportunities, but has also significantly raised the reputation of the university through his participation in myriad outside programs,” notes one student nominator.