Congratulations to the 2018-19 Chancellor’s Awards for International Engagement Honorees

The Chancellor's Awards for International Engagement recognize UC Davis faculty and staff members for outstanding international engagement in carrying out the university’s mission of teaching, research and outreach.

Chancellor's awardees with Chancellor May and Associate Chancellor Regulska
(L-R:): Chancellor's Awardee Stephen Vosti, Chancellor Gary S. May, Chancellor Awardee Jennifer Aten, and Vice Provost and Associate Chancellor of Global Affairs Joanna Regulska at the 2019 International Connections Reception.

2018-19 Chancellor's Award for International Engagement Honorees

Jennifer AtenJennifer Aten

An academic human resources analyst in the Department of Neurology in the UC Davis Health system, Jennifer Aten is described by a Chancellor’s Award for International Engagement nominator as “one of the best among the best” in bringing the brightest international scholars—and consequently new international knowledge, skills, and perspectives—to UC Davis.

Having successfully recruited more than 20 faculty members, an impressive feat, in her five years at UC Davis, Aten often navigates high pressure, complex, and ever-evolving visa and work authorization cases with composure and compassion as the first point of contact with her department’s prospective faculty, postdoctoral scholars, and other academic staff.

This is particularly critical work for the Department of Neurology, which competes for a very small number of world-class neurologists and neuroscientists—with a notable 40 percent of applicants considered international scholars.

Whether it is successfully recruiting top candidates, steering through the immigration process, or ensuring international scholars feel welcome, Aten balances administrative expertise with human kindness—traits that are much appreciated by her home department, by Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS) within Global Affairs, and by the scholars themselves who are often making their way to a new city, state, country, or even continent.

Another nominator touted Aten’s dedication to UC Davis’ global engagement and commitment to diversity, saying, “she serves as an excellent example in how to embrace and support a culture of openness and inclusivity, demonstrated through her work with international scholars and her care and compassion when arranging their arrival and onboarding.”

RachelJeanBaptisteRachel Jean-Baptiste

An associate professor in the Department of History in the College of Letters and Science, Rachel Jean-Baptiste is known for seeing the value in learning about the world, and, more importantly, sharing about that experience. Her research focuses on African and world history within global contexts such as race, marriage, family, and colonialism.

In her teaching, Jean-Baptiste emphasizes how world regions are interconnected. Her courses enable students to learn from and engage with materials from all over the world—and her versatile teaching style weaves in real-life challenges and solutions in global settings.

Jean-Baptiste’s international engagement is particularly evident in her dedicated service for the past two years as faculty director for the UC Education Abroad Program’s (UCEAP) Study Center in France. Responsible for the academics of 300 UC students across four French universities in this role, she is a tireless advocate for the academic and personal growth of students during such a momentous time in their lives.

As the campus continues towards the goal of Global Education for All, Jean-Baptiste is an important mentor for students, who are all on unique journeys. One student nominator explains how Jean-Baptiste’s approach resonated with her, saying, “She helped create a cross-cultural dialogue. She advocated for all to engage themselves internationally, but in particular those who would normally feel this opportunity was not as easily accessible to them: the transfer students, the economically disadvantaged, and the minority population.”

Michael SchickMichael Schick

An attending physician and assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine in the UC Davis Health system, Michael Schick is globally and meaningfully engaged across the realms of research, teaching, service, and even patient care.

He is known for bringing together students, residents, fellows, faculty, and partners in global learning by building connections around the world and crafting innovative programs. Most notably, Schick developed a novel curriculum and built diverse international partnerships to create a one-of-a-kind fellowship program on campus that combines global health and clinical care. Because of his efforts, there are now hands-on opportunities for UC Davis students and residents in Asia, Africa, and Central America.

Not only is Schick preparing students for the global health field through this novel fellowship and through the global health certificate program he developed, he is strengthening UC Davis relationships with valued institutional partners, and, most importantly, is improving patient care in sustainable ways in countries such as Belize, Laos, Uganda, and Vietnam.

According to one Chancellor’s Award for International Engagement nominator, Schick’s commitment and enthusiasm are, “inspiring many medical students and residents to pursue global health and work with institutions in other countries.” Another nominator added that Schick, “serves as both a resource for and inspiration to colleagues and the larger community on global engagement.”

Steve VostiStephen Vosti

An adjunct professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Stephen Vosti has been at UC Davis for an impressive two decades.

Armed with a collaborative and high-energy approach that generates insights not possible from discipline-specific research alone, Vosti is renowned for his work studying the economic links between poverty and the environment, health and the environment, and health and nutrition.

Vosti’s multidisciplinary work takes him to countries in Africa, Asia, and North and South America—and changes the ways researchers, policymakers, and donors think about poverty, malnutrition, and human interactions with the environment. His impact goes beyond research and policy. In describing Stephen’s generosity as a researcher and mentor, one nominator says, “he deeply affects the professional lives of scores of close collaborators and the many students he has trained.” Another adds that, “he is a cross-pollinator and a bridge.”

In being a bridge between disciplines, people, and countries, Stephen uses theory to implement real-world solutions, such as his cost-effective way to prevent infant deaths in Haiti, or his work in improving women’s health in Africa, or in providing expertise on the interactions between farmers and tropical forest systems.