Winners of Hoyt H. Purvis Award for Service in International Education Announced

From left: Amy Farmer, Mary Alice Serafini, DeDe Long
Photos Submitted

From left: Amy Farmer, Mary Alice Serafini, DeDe Long

Three members of the University of Arkansas community have been named winners of the 2016 Hoyt H. Purvis Award for Service in International Education.

The award recognizes a university faculty member, a university staff member and Graduate School and International Education staff member for their outstanding service to the field of international education.

Amy Farmer, a university professor of economics, is the university faculty award recipient. Farmer is the faculty coordinator for the global community development programs in Belize, Mozambique and Vietnam. These service learning programs allow students to apply their theoretical knowledge, while gaining practical experience through service in challenging global contexts.

The global community development program began in Belize exclusively in 2007. However, under Farmer's leadership, the program expanded to Mozambique in 2012 and to Vietnam in 2015.

"Students have told me how their experiences in Belize, Mozambique and Vietnam have changed their lives…thanks in a large part to the woman who made them possible [Farmer]," said Jennie Popp, interim associate dean for the Honors College.

Mary Alice Serafini, associate vice chancellor and executive director of the Pat Walker Health Center, is the university staff award recipient. Serafini cultivates an open and supportive atmosphere for all students at the Pat Walker Health Center.

From an international student's initial visit to the health center upon their arrival, to their visit for a routine check-up during their final year, Serafini ensures they are treated with care and respect. Additionally, she dedicates her time and that of her staff every semester to helping prepare students to study abroad.

"Mary Alice is respectful of all our fellow human beings and celebrates our diversity whenever she can and in everything she does," said Janet Parsch, special collections librarian.

DeDe Long, director of the Office of Study Abroad and International Exchange, is the Graduate School and International Education staff award recipient. Under her direction, the number of students studying abroad has grown to record levels. During the 2015-16 academic year, more than 1,000 University of Arkansas students studied abroad in nearly 50 countries.

Long's service in international education at the University of Arkansas spans 35 years. In addition to her role as the study abroad director, Long is the campus adviser to Fulbright Scholarship students, is the state president of the Fulbright Association and is an active member of NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

"DeDe has put the University of Arkansas on the world map with her tireless efforts and unwavering dedication," said Hoyt Purvis. "No one has done more to establish and nurture study abroad and international education at this university."

The award recipients were honored at the Chancellor's Reception for International Scholars on Nov. 15.

About the Hoyt H. Purvis Award for Service in International Education: The award was established to honor Purvis, now an Emeritus University of Arkansas professor of journalism and international relations, for his contributions to and advocacy for international education at the University of Arkansas. He was the first recipient of the award which was begun in spring 2016.


Amanda Cantu, director of communications
Graduate School and International Education


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