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Susan Williams
University Communications

Last modified: Thursday, May 5, 2011

IU's Susan Pugh receives Forum on Education Abroad Wollitzer Award

May 5, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Susan L. Pugh, emeritus associate vice provost for enrollment management and director of student financial assistance at Indiana University, has been awarded the 2011 Peter A. Wollitzer Award by the Forum on Education Abroad. The award was presented in April at the organization's annual conference.

The award recognizes an organization member who has been effective in influencing educational institutions to understand and support education abroad through standards of good practice, data collection and research, curricular development and academic design.

Susan Pugh

Susan Pugh

Pugh became involved with study abroad 25 years ago when she was invited to join the Association of International Educators (NAFSA) Task Force on Financial Aid in 1986 and then to be a contributor to a NAFSA publication on financial aid in 1989. She quickly embraced the cause of widening the availability of financial aid to students going abroad by promoting the concept among organizations in her own field -- such as the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

Until that time, study abroad was not widely seen by either financial aid administrators or federal education officials as an integral part of an undergraduate degree program. Her advocacy efforts helped to change that perception.

For a dozen years Pugh participated as co-chair and presenter in study abroad financial aid workshops all around the country aimed at financial aid experts and study abroad administrators in order to change perceptions and open doors. She made the case that study abroad was a legitimate academic activity that should be supported by institutional resources. She quickly became a primary resource person for both study abroad and financial aid administrators, answering questions on a regular basis and serving as a consultant and conference participant up until her retirement this past December.

At Indiana University she facilitated the portability of financial aid, convincing campus administrators to let institutional aid be applied for any approved study abroad activity. She helped streamline systems to facilitate the use of financial aid to the point that today, more than 70 percent of IU students abroad take some sort of financial aid with them.

Just a few days before retiring last fall, she created a new financial aid opportunity for underrepresented students who would not normally have access to institutional or state aid for summer study abroad.

As one of her nominators stated "she is that extraordinary administrator who understands that the academic interests and the financial needs of students constitute a truly holistic enterprise. I doubt that there is anyone from "outside" the study abroad community who has contributed as much as she has to the benefit and the welfare of students studying abroad."