Oakton professor recognized by Community Colleges for International Development

The award recognizes outstanding achievement in international education at a community college or similar institutions worldwide.
Des Plaines, Ill. (Feb. 21, 2023) – Oakton College Distinguished Professor Katherine Schuster, Ph.D., received the 2023 Community Colleges for International Development (CCID) Werner Kubsch Award at the annual CCID conference in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes an international educator from a CCID member institution who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in international education.

“The award is especially meaningful to me because it is awarded by my colleagues in the global studies field at community colleges. I am humbled to be recognized for my leadership and program development at Oakton, at the state level as president of the Illinois Consortium of International Studies and Programs (ICISP) and at the national level as chair of the Senior International Officer (SIO) Council of CCID,” said Schuster.

Schuster is a co-chair of the Anthropology, College Studies, Education, Psychology, Sociology and Social Sciences (ACEPSS) department and Global Studies coordinator at Oakton. Werner Kubsch Award nominees must be leading advocates for international education through curriculum/culture development, study abroad, faculty exchanges or other international projects at their institution and should exemplify career dedication to the field.

“I could never have achieved my goals without collaboration with my colleagues in the Global Studies Advisory Committee at Oakton, as well as the members of ICISP and council members of CCID. Additionally, I have been fortunate to have the support of Dean Linda Korbel, a former recipient of this award,” said Schuster.

In selecting Schuster, CCID noted that Schuster has been a critical leader in providing study abroad opportunities for community colleges in the midwest and has pioneered faculty engagement at Oakton through multiple Fulbright-Hays programs. Most recently, 11 Oakton faculty members traveled to Ghana and Togo to immerse themselves in the history, arts and culture of West Africa, and incorporate what they learned into Oakton’s curriculum.

Founded in 1976, CCID engages and empowers an international association of community, technical and vocational institutions to create globally engaged learning environments. Oakton is one of 17 CCID board member colleges, each holding one seat on the board of directors and one seat on the SIO Council. Oakton President Joianne L. Smith, Ph.D., has a seat on the board. The CCID executive board voted to approve Oakton as a board member college in 2022.

Oakton offers global studies as a special program and a pre-major with an associate in arts (A.A.) degree. The College has offered an annual summer study abroad program in Hyderabad, India, and plans to relaunch the program for summer 2024. In addition, Oakton is offering a new annual summer study abroad program in Accra, Ghana, beginning in summer 2023.

The College has also partnered with the Illinois Consortium for International Studies and Programs (ICISP) to provide study-abroad offerings to other locations around the world. To learn more about why you should explore the global studies program at Oakton, please visit www.oakton.edu/academics/list-of-programs/global-studies.