Inaugural Global Educator Awards to be given Sept. 26

September 25, 2014 | Events, UToday
By Cathy Zimmer

The University of Toledo Center for International Studies and Programs will present the inaugural Global Educator Award Friday, Sept. 26, at the Faculty Club in the Radisson Hotel on Health Science Campus.

The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a dinner, and the program will follow around 7:15 p.m.

The Global Educator Award is presented by the UT Center for International Studies and Programs to recognize individuals, institutions and organizations that promote intercultural understanding and a respect for cultural diversity through education and educational exchanges.

The goal of the award is to encourage awardees to continue their efforts to help community stakeholders to explore the world through promoting interactions with individuals representing different cultures and traditions in an atmosphere of candid communication, an honest search for knowledge, and mutual respect for the traditions of each culture.

A committee of UT faculty and staff selected two recipients for the inaugural award: Gayle Morgan Schaber and Toledo Sister Cities International.

Schaber has spent her career in service to others. Although she could be recognized for many achievements as a global educator, the Confucius Institute nominated her for her work in bringing Chinese language and culture classes to Toledo Public Schools (TPS).

Through Schaber’s efforts, the Confucius Institute was able to expand Chinese language and cultural programming to 14 elementary schools. The agreement provides for Chinese language teachers to come from China to teach in TPS elementary schools. Through this program, Toledo elementary school students will be exposed to Chinese language and culture at the earliest stages of their formal education and will be inspired to explore the world as they mature.

A native Toledoan and a graduate of Woodward High School, Schaber earned a nursing degree from the UT Community and Technical College, where she received the Lubarsky Memorial Award as the Outstanding Nursing Student in her graduating class. She worked in several health-care agencies, including St. Vincent Medical Center, Mercy Hospital, Flower Hospital and Arbors at Toledo.

In 1995, Schaber joined Toledo Public Schools to teach the Medical Assistant Program at Libbey High School. Her positions with TPS included assistant principal at Woodward High School, principal at Libbey High School and director of special projects and compensatory programs for the district.

She earned a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Mercy College of Detroit, a master’s degree in vocational education and education specialist degree from UT, and was a member of the first TPS Urban Leadership Development Program. She was inducted into the Woodward High School Hall of Fame in 2004.

She became acquainted with The University of Toledo Confucius Institute through her position with TPS and is eager to see the expansion of the Confucius Classroom Initiative from two to 14 elementary schools take effect this school year. Schaber traveled to Beijing and Hefei, People’s Republic of China, as a member of the Hanban 2012 Chinese Bridge Delegation. She retired this week after almost 20 years of service to TPS.

Toledo Sister Cities International is recognized for its efforts to foster international activity working for world peace and on issues of global concerns in education, culture and business in an atmosphere of understanding and mutual respect. Toledo Sister Cities International also provides opportunities to experience unique social, economic, humanitarian and cultural exchanges through programs such as its annual International Festival and the International Youth Academy.

The nonprofit organization could be honored for many achievements. Toledo was the first U.S. city to establish a sister city relationship. That agreement, made with Toledo, Spain, in 1931, paved the way for not only the 10 additional sister city relationships that the organization has developed, but additional sister city agreements all throughout the world.

Over the years, Toledo Sister Cities International has demonstrated a sustained commitment to fostering global relations. The selection committee debated on which of the organization’s many achievements to honor before deciding on its International Youth Academy.

The International Youth Academy brings students from around the world to Toledo where they study English, experience the reality of U.S. culture, live with local families, and develop lifelong friendships. This program also enriches Toledo, as students serve as ambassadors for their countries.

Toledo Sister Cities International acts as a bridge to foster international activity for world peace and global concerns in education, culture and business in an atmosphere of understanding and mutual respect. The organization also provides opportunities to experience unique social, economic, humanitarian and cultural exchanges through programs such as International Festival and International Youth Academy.

The organization is a member of Sister Cities International and dedicated to enriching our community through the spirit of international cooperation. Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama have served as honorary chair of Sister Cities International.

The Global Educator Award was initiated by Dr. Minhua Wu, interim director of the UT Office of Global Initiatives and interim director of the UT Confucius Institute as part of the Global Confucius Institute Day to honor the individuals who have assisted the institute to promote the study and appreciation of Chinese language and culture over the past five years.

The idea was adopted by Dr. Sammy Spann, UT assistant provost for student engagement, and expanded to an award to recognize all community stakeholders involved in global education. Although still sponsored by the Confucius Institute, the award is presented by the Center for International Studies and Programs to represent UT’s strong commitment to global education and its desire to honor and encourage global educators.

For more information, contact Llewellyn Gibbons, UT professor of law and chair of the UT Confucius Institute Board of Directors, at 419.530.4175 or

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