Lagoudas receives presidential award for serving international students

Dr. Dimitris C. Lagoudas receiving awardDr. Dimitris C. Lagoudas, the John and Bea Slattery Chair and head of the Department of Aerospace Engineering, has received the Texas A&M University Presidential Award of Excellence for Faculty Service to International Students.

The award recognizes a faculty member who has made extraordinary efforts to assist international students and includes a check in the amount of $2,000 for the recipient. In addition, the recipient has the opportunity to serve as "an agent for change" by having authority to designate a $1,000 cash award to a departmental, college or university effort or activity that facilitates international student integration into the fabric of the campus or local community.

The award was created by the executive committee of the Texas A&M International Board in 2005 in response to the university's challenge to create a more welcoming environment for international students by integrating them more fully on campus and by increasing the international awareness of Texas A&M students. The award was presented to Lagoudas by Chairman Herb Goodman of Houston as part of the board's spring meeting.

Since joining Texas A&M in 1992, Lagoudas has mentored 61 master's and doctoral degree students and 16 postdoctoral students, more than half of them international students. According to his nominator, Lagoudas strives to help each student to succeed both professionally and personally, provides them opportunities for leadership and makes them feel truly at home in a multicultural environment.

In addition to his nominator, eight students wrote letters and sent photos to attest to the kind of care Lagoudas gives his students, from thesis support to challenging proposal writing; from personal counseling to helping them attend workshops and conferences. One event they all mentioned is the annual tradition of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners hosted by Lagoudas in his home where students bring culinary contributions from three continental teams. Each team prepares an appetizer, main course and dessert from the home countries of their members, such as Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Eritrea, France, Germany, Greece, Korea, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Taiwan and the United States. All share the exchange of tastes as well as their music, movies, literature and personal experiences

Previous recipients of the award are David A. Bessler in 2006, Lloyd W. Rooney in 2007, Kirk O. Winemiller in 2008 and Bruce McCarl in 2009. The Texas A&M International Board provides insights to the president and university leadership on international opportunities and activities.

Contact: Linda Edwards, 979-862-6700