Frisbey International Student Award winners announced

Penn State’s University Office of Global Programs (UOGP) is pleased to announce the recipients of this year’s Ardeth and Norman Frisbey International Student Awards. Established in the early 1990s by Ardeth Frisbey, who was at the time associate director of the (then-named) International Students Office, this award recognizes exemplary contributions to international understanding by full-time graduate and undergraduate international students. The award honors an undergraduate international student, a graduate international student, and an outstanding student leader. Each award recipient receives a scholarship.

The 2012 award winners include:

Graduate Student

Svitlana Iarmolenko, a doctoral student from Ukraine studying recreation, park, and tourism management (RPTM), has proven her commitment to internationalization through research and active community involvement. Iarmolenko is working closely with the Penn State Ukrainian Society to collect narrative stories depicting the experience of Ukrainian migrants to the U.S. and their children. Her research strives to articulate the issues with adapting to a new home culture and offer suggestions for creating better understanding between migrant communities and hosts. Iarmolenko has also been an active volunteer with Global Connections, a local nonprofit organization which fosters intercultural understanding in Centre County. She regularly participates in the Conversation Partners Program, travels to K-12 schools in the area to speak about her culture, and has prepared Ukrainian meals for various community functions. In addition, Iarmolenko assisted with her department’s study abroad program in Australia and has been chosen as one of three students who will spend the summer enhancing their research at the University of Jena in Germany.

Undergraduate Student

Yuxi Xie, a sophomore from China, is pursuing a bachelor of arts degree in business with a focus on marketing at Penn State’s Abington campus. In addition to excelling academically, Xie has been active in a variety of extracurricular activities that showcase her cross-cultural interests. As a Global Ambassador at Abington’s Office of International Affairs, she volunteers her time to assist incoming international students as well as U.S. students planning to study abroad. She is active in promoting communication between international and domestic students as public relations manager of the newly-formed student group, Chinese and Americans Talking (CHAT). Xie successfully assisted CHAT with planning a Chinese New Year Celebration at the Abington Campus which attracted more than 100 students. She has shown an interest in experiencing the highs and lows of American culture by volunteering to serve the homeless in Washington, D.C., as a part of Penn State Abington’s Alternative Spring Break.

Student Leader

Felix Weigel, a sophomore from Germany, is pursuing a bachelor of arts degree in political science. Before arriving at Penn State Weigel spent two years as a high school student exchange coordinator. This experience drew him to the University Office of Global Programs (UOGP) where he offered his time and talent to assist with a variety of programs aimed at helping new international students adjust to life at Penn State. Previously a volunteer, now a part-time employee, Weigel selects, trains, and leads more than 50 students who assist with the International Student Orientation each semester. He is also the coordinator of the Peer Partnership Program (3P) -- a mentorship program for new international students during their first year -- and assists with outreach efforts for education abroad. Outside of his work with UOGP, Weigel is a member of the Presidential Leadership Academy at Penn State, which aims to foster critical thinking and decision-making skills in its members.

Last Updated April 16, 2012