Global Education Gala
Each year, the World Affairs Council - Washington, DC hosts its annual Global Education Gala and on March 7, 2013 we will celebrate this tradition again at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, DC. The Gala is a high-profile forum to recognize the Council's achievements over the previous year. It is also a time for the Council to honor the work of citizens, teachers, government officials, diplomatic corps members, and council supporters for their commitment to educating the national capital area community about issues of international importance. Each year the Council honors individuals and organizations for their contributions to the promotion of global education and public awareness of global issues. The Global Education Gala is a crucial source of support for the Council's public and educational programs for area citizens, teachers, and students.
2013 Global Education Honorees
General Martin Dempsey, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff: International Affairs Keynote Address
H.E. Yousef al Otaiba, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the United States:Distinguished Diplomatic Service Award
Dr. Freeman Hrabowski III, President of University of Maryland Baltimore County: 2013 Educator of the Year
John Chambers, Chairman and CEO of CISCO: Global Education Award
Fred Thomas, Founder and CEO of MHz Networks: Global Communcations Award
2012 Global Education Gala
2011 Global Education Gala
2010 Global Education Gala
2008 Global Education Gala
Global Service Award
2008 Global Service Award Recipient –Senator Joe Biden (D-DE)
Senator Joe Biden is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and a long-standing member and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. His bi-partisan leadership was widely hailed for helping to bring stability and peace to the Balkans; he authored the Senate resolution endorsing the air war in Kosovo and was instrumental in convincing President Bill Clinton to act in the face of systemic human rights violations. Today, he is leading the Congressional effort to end genocide in Darfur.
Senator Biden is well known for his work to fight crime, and has been actively involved in developing federal crime legislation throughout his tenure in the Senate. In the capacity of chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he addressed issues related to drug policy, crime prevention, and civil liberties. Senator Biden has worked specifically to combat domestic violence and to ensure federal funding to aid the victims of gender-based violence. He is the author of the legislation that created the position of “Drug Czar” – the individual who overseas and coordinates national drug control policy.
One of Senator Biden’s continuing priorities is making university education more accessible and affordable for students and their families. He recently introduced the College Affordability and Creating Chances for Educational Success for Students Act to increase tax incentives, expand Pell grants, and institute college planning at an earlier stage. Senator Biden’s “Kids 2000” legislation established a public-private partnership to provide educational access to technology and technical training to low-income and at-risk youth.
The senator is also committed to the care and support of veterans, and tirelessly advocates for legislation that ensures that all of these men and women have state-of-the-art medical treatment in fully funded VA healthcare facilities. He also advocates for measures that guarantee healthcare for the children of Delaware.
The senator is a native of New Castle County in Delaware, and graduated from the University of Delaware in 1965 and the Syracuse University College of Law in 1968. Prior to his election to the Senate at the age of 29, Senator Biden practiced law in Wilmington, Delaware, and served on the New Castle County Council. His recent bid for the Democratic Party’s Presidential Candidate drew attention to key domestic issues such as healthcare, energy policy, and crime, as well as foreign policy issues – most notably, bringing a peaceful end to the war in Iraq.
Global Citizenship Award
2008 Global Citizenship Award Recipient – Dr. John G. Sperling
John G. Sperling is the founder of the University of Phoenix and serves as its Executive Chairman. One of the most innovative entrepreneurs of our time, Dr. Sperling foresaw a growing demand for adult learning in the early 1970s, and responded by leading the gradual shift in higher education demographics from a student population dominated by youth to one increasingly populated by adults. Anticipating the promise of the internet, Dr. Sperling catapulted his university into the digital age by offering courses online.
Founded in 1976, the University of Phoenix has grown to become the largest privately-owned university in North America. The university’s first students paid tuition out of their own pockets, yet after Dr. Sperling’s persistent advocacy, students now qualify for federal grants and loan assistance. The university offers more than 100 degree programs at the associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. With over a quarter of a million students and 200 campuses in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Netherlands—in addition to internet delivery to most countries—the university reaches students across the world. Plans are underway to begin operations in China and India soon. Dr. Sperling’s commitment to transform higher education and make it available to working adults has made a career difference for countless individuals.
Dr. Sperling also serves as Chairman of the Board of the Institute for Professional Development Inc., and is Chairman of One Touch Systems Inc. He was a professor of humanities at San Jose State University from 1961-1973, where he served as Director of the Right to Read Project and Director of the National Science Foundation’s Cooperative College-School Science Program in Economics. His professional interests extend far beyond education and into the field of biology, where Dr. Sperling is known for co-founding Genetic Savings & Clone, the company that created the first successful cat clone. Currently, he is working to advance the adoption of clean energy policies in the United States.
Born in a log cabin in rural Missouri, he spent several years with the merchant marines, and then moved on to pursue his BA at Reed College. He holds an MA from the University of California at Berkeley and a PhD in Economic History from Cambridge University. An enthusiastic liberal, Dr. Sperling is co-author of The Great Divide: Retro vs. Metro America, a sociological examination of the cultural political divisions of the United States, and has raised considerable funds for liberal causes.
2008 Teacher of the Year Award
2008 TEACHER OF THE YEAR: Isabel Vazquez-Gil
Isabel Vázquez-Gil was born in Spain and spent most of her childhood between Madrid and Santiago de Compostela. She graduated from Barcelona University with a master’s degree in classics and later pursued postgraduate studies in education and applied linguistics at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Later, she studied at Edinburgh and St. Andrews, Scotland, and taught at Heriot-Watt University, St. Leonard’s School, the American British College in Barcelona, and the Center of Modern Languages at Granada University.
Ms. Vázquez -Gil first exercised her passion for international education in the U.S. when she joined the Spanish Visiting Teachers Program in 1999 primarily working with underprivileged students in diverse school settings including the Bilingual Program in California and the Heritage Language Program for Walter Johnson High School in Montgomery County, Maryland. In addition, Ms. Vázquez-Gil has designed and worked in the middle-school level Spanish Immersion Program in Montgomery County Maryland and has been actively involved in numerous cross-cultural language programs.
Since 2006, Ms. Vázquez-Gil has been working in the District of Columbia Public Schools as Chairperson of World Languages at Luke C. Moore Academy Senior High School, an alternative public school that serves underprivileged and at-risk students who are seeking new opportunities and a second chance. She has made a vast contribution to the development of Standards and Curricula for World Languages, and conducted training sessions both locally and at the national level for Spanish language teachers. She was also part of a nationwide panel of experts that designed the NAEP Assessment for World Languages in 2001 for the US Department of Education. She has been twice awarded teacher of the year in DC Public Schools Ward 5.
Ms. Vázquez-Gil has used her position as a foreign language teacher to expose her students to contemporary issues around the world. Her students at Luke C. Moore have been awarded scholarships to learn Arabic in Egypt, participate in a summer language immersion program in Minnesota, and travel to Costa Rica for a Spanish immersion course. This summer, she is taking two students to China to study water scarcity through the Center for International Education. Her hope is to expand the program to other students next year so other groups can travel to Zambia and Paraguay to work with health and educational issues.
2008 Teacher of the Year Award Recipient – Melissa Schoeplein
Melissa Schoeplein has developed innovative courses that challenge her students to think critically about the connections between the United States and the world. She teaches AP US Government: Topics in Globalization, World Religions, and Science Policy at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia. Topics in Globalization, a team-taught course developed by Ms. Schoeplein and a group of colleagues, combines AP Government and AP Language and Composition. The course poses four core questions: What does it mean to be a global citizen? Is the U.S. a hero or an ogre in the world? Why is the gap so big between developing and developed countries? How will globalization affect your life beyond your graduation? The course encourages students to do real-world research on global issues, and to submit their ideas in policy papers and op-eds on these topics.
This past year, Ms. Schoeplein added a new course to the Thomas Jefferson curriculum: Science Policy. Building on her experience developing the Topics in Globalization course and integrating the mission of the science and technology magnet school, she is working with students at the crucial intersection of science and policy. In its inaugural year, her students are working two afternoons a week at internships at the National Academies, NASA, the Federal Communications Commission, and the U.S. Climate Change Science Program Office.
Ms. Schoelplein regularly participates in professional development programs to better bring international affairs into her classroom and closer to home for her students and most recently traveled to Saudi Arabia in the fall of 2007 to pursue her interest in U.S.-Middle East relations with a program sponsored by the Institute for International Education and Aramco Services Company.
In addition to her teaching assignments, Ms. Schoeplein sponsors the Student Government Association at Thomas Jefferson, and led a senior trip this past March to New Orleans, Louisiana to build homes with Habitat for Humanity in neighborhoods affected by Hurricane Katrina. She has also organized student trips to Australia and Central Europe for a comparative study of government and to learn about current global issues facing these regions.
Ms. Schoeplein serves as a Board Member on the National Association for Specialized Secondary Schools in Math, Science, and Technology (NCSSSMST). Prior to teaching, she earned a BA in History from the University of California at Berkeley and an MAT from Brown University. Ms. Schoeplein enjoys living in and exploring our nation’s capital.
2008 Honorable Mentions
2008 Certificate of Recognition
In the fall 2006, with support from the Embassy of China, DC Public Schools signed a formal agreement with Hanban (Office of Chinese Language Council International) to promote Chinese language learning within DCPS classrooms. The program was inaugurated in the 2007-08 school year with the placement of five full-time guest teachers from China in six schools across the city: Aiton Elementary School, Eaton Elementary School, Thomson Elementary School, Deal Middle School, Kelly Miller Middle School, and Wilson Senior High School. Students from these schools will share what they have learned about Chinese language and culture, and the contributions of those who have made this program possible will be recognized. The Council awarded Ma Qian, Shi Fei, Kong Rui, Lin Honghui, and Meng Fei certificates of recognition for their work in the pilot Chinese language program.
2007 Global Education Gala
Global Service Award
2007 Global Service Award Recipient –Honorable Carl Levin (D-MI)
Senator Levin is the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee where he has earned a reputation as a strong supporter of our national defense and an effective advocate for the elimination of fiscal waste. He is perhaps best known for his efforts to make our government both more efficient and more ethical. He authorized the Competition in Contracting Act, which has led to significant reductions in federal procurement costs. His Whistleblower Protection Act protects federal employees who expose wasteful practices. Levin also helped author the Taxpayer Bill of Rights which protects individuals and small business from IRS harassment. He was the principal author of the Ethics Reform Act of 1988, which simplified and strengthened ethics requirements for the legislative and executive branches of government and prohibited members of Congress from accepting honoraria from special interest groups. He has never accepted honoraria from special interest groups and in 1995 persuaded the Senate to adopt a strong ban on gifts to senators and paid trips. That same year he won passage of strict disclosure requirements for lobbyists in the Lobbying Disclosure Act, the first major overhaul of those laws in 50 years.
Long known as a strong advocate on behalf of our service men and women, Senator Levin is the recipient of the Harry S. Truman Award for distinguished service in support of national defense from the National Guard Association of the United States. In 2003, the Navy presented him with its Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest award given to a civilian, for exceptional service to the Navy and Marine Corps.
Senator Levin believes we must expand educational opportunities for all Americans if our nation is to remain strong and productive, He has fought for increased funding for the Head Start preschool program, Title I for educationally disadvantaged students, and Pell Grants and loans for college and vocational school students.
Senator Levin, a native of Detroit Michigan, graduated from Swarthmore College in 1956 and from Harvard Law School in 1959. In 1978 he won an upset victory in his first campaign for the US Senate, and has been re-elected in four subsequent elections. The Senator and his wife Barbara have three daughters and five grandchildren.
Global Citizenship Award
2007 Global Citizenship Award Recipient – Alma Johnson Powell
Alma Johnson Powell is Chair of the Board of Directors of America's Promise- The Alliance for Youth, a diverse and growing alliance of nearly 500 national organizations whose mission is to mobilize people from every sector of American life to build the character and competence of youth.
Mrs. Powell has served as the vice chair of the Board of Trustees of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and chairman of the National Council of the Best Friends Foundation, and chairs the advisory board for the Pew Center for Civic Change.
Mrs. Powell is the recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Human Letters from Emerson College and the Civic Change Award from the Pew Partnership for Civic Change. She was honored by Washingtonian Magazine as Washingtonian of the Year in 1999.
Alma Powell was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, graduated from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, and went on to study speech pathology and audiology at Emerson College in Boston. She married Colin Powell in 1962 and spent the next 33 years raising a family and accompanying her husband on his various military assignments in the United States and overseas. During the early 1980s she served as president of the Armed Forces Hostess Association. When her husband was stationed at the Pentagon, she served as the Army liaison to the National Red Cross as part of a team of volunteer consultants from the military services. During General Powell's tenure as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, she was the adviser to the Red Cross of the Military District of Washington. In addition to her many service-minded activities, Mrs. Powell is the author of two children's books. My Little Wagon and America's Promise.
Mrs. Powell resides in McLean, Virginia with her husband. They have three children and four grandchildren.
Teacher of the Year
Each year, the World Affairs Council of Washington, DC selects as its Teacher of the Year a DC area educator who has demonstrated outstanding dedication to teaching with a global perspective. The Teacher of the Year receives the Leonard H. Marks Award for Excellence in International Education – a $1000 grant designed to advance the study of international affairs in local schools.
The Council is now accepting nominations for the 2008 Teacher of the Year Award. Colleagues, students, parents and other community members can recommend a teacher for this award. To nominate a teacher, please send a letter detailing why he/she is a deserving candidate. The ideal candidate will be a teacher who uses school and community resources to present international topics in a unique and creative manner, and encourages his/her students to be active global citizens. Nominations must be submitted to the Council by December 31, 2007.
The Teacher of the Year award is presented at the Council’s Annual Dinner, which will be held in early Spring 2008. The Council’s Annual Dinner serves as a forum to honor the work of teachers, members of our government, the diplomatic corps, business leaders and others for their commitment to educating and engaging citizens in international affairs. For information on how to nominate a teacher, please contact Amanda Stamp at email@example.com.
2007 TEACHER OF THE YEAR: Julie Caccamise
Each year the World Affairs Council of Washington, DC honors a deserving teacher who has made a unique contribution to efforts expanding international learning opportunities for their students. This year we honor Ms. Julie Caccamise, a teacher at Woodrow Wilson Senior High School in Washington, DC.
Ms. Caccamise is a committed educator who has taught students in a variety of settings, in parochial, charter, and public schools. Through her work, Ms. Caccamise has instilled in her students a love for learning and an awareness of their roles and responsibilities as global citizens. Her passion for international understanding is evident in the stimulating and engaging environment she has created for her students, who will often stay after class to continue lively discussions of current events.
In her current position at Woodrow Wilson Senior High School, where she has taught since 2005, Ms. Caccamise has brought new energy to the Wilson International Studies Program (WISP). She has worked to integrate the WISP program with the activities of the United Nations Association’s Global Classrooms DC, and uses her position as lead teacher for Global Classrooms to share her experience and expertise with other area teachers. Global Classrooms DC also oversees the Model UN program in the Washington, DC area. As the sponsor for her school’s Model UN Club, Ms. Caccamise hosted a digital videoconference between her students and a school in Baku, Azerbaijan to discuss the AIDS epidemic in Botswana. The club is currently working to develop a project to exchange community service opportunities on a global level.
BBC Radio has visited Ms. Caccamise’s classroom on three occasions for the “World Have Your Say” radio program, transforming it into a broadcasting center where her students are connected with their peers around the world to discuss global issues and learn from each other’s experiences. Ever the advocate for global and cross-cultural understanding, Ms. Caccamise regularly takes part in the Embassy for a Day Program for elementary and middle school students, and hosts ambassadors and international business leaders to give her students a first-hand understanding of life in other parts of the world.
Ms. Caccamise’s commitment to meaningful global understanding does not end in her classroom. This summer she will take part in a Learn Serve project trip to Zambia, where she will work on a water system project and on a library project for street children. She hopes to share her experiences with her students when she returns, enriching her school community with a more polished and extensive international perspective, and by example encouraging active involvement with international affairs.