Yuezhi Zhao (left) and the late Ian Andrews (right)

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Chris Dagg Award winners: Yuezhi Zhao and the late Ian Andrews

September 30, 2016
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By Wan Yee Lok

The Chris Dagg Award for International Impact seeks to recognize and celebrate the achievements of a Simon Fraser University staff or faculty member who has made a significant contribution to the internationalization of the University. This year, the award names both communication professor Yuezhi Zhao and former director of international education for the Faculty of Education the late Ian Andrews, as inaugural winners.

“It is a pleasure to celebrate and acknowledge the profound impact of the work of both Dr. Andrews and Dr. Zhao,” says Joy Johnson, SFU’s vice president of research and international.

“The Chris Dagg Award recognizes their significant achievements in international partnerships. By shaping and advancing international issues and activities, they are continuing Dagg’s legacy and delivering on SFU’s vision as a globally engaged university.”

Zhao, an SFU alumna, has worked at SFU for more than 10 years engaging communities in Canada and internationally. Her work on globalization has impacted the research and delivery of education, including advancing opportunities for marginalized scholars and communities. She has published numerous international papers and led the development of a dual global communication master's degree program for SFU and the Communication University of China.

"It is really a great privilege and honour to receive this prestigious award. Chris had been a source of inspiration for me," says Zhao. "This award not only keeps his memories alive, but also showcases SFU's serious commitment to international engagement and cooperation." 

Andrews, also an SFU alumnus, spent 16 years championing international education at the University before his retirement in 2011. He had a passionate commitment to internationalizing education, not only within the Faculty of Education but also around the world. Together with other faculty members, he traveled to more than 15 countries to consult with educators on curriculum improvements, and to connect with the major funding agencies supporting many of these projects. His innovative approach encouraged educators to move beyond traditional lectures and tests and instead embrace active learning. Andrews passed away on June 10, 2016.

The award is named after the late Chris Dagg, who contributed to SFU’s commitment to internationalization, particularly his pioneering work to build science faculties in five universities in eastern Indonesia. Up until his retirement in 2015, Dagg was central to SFU's international engagement, including most recently the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development project. Dagg passed away on July 16, 2016.

The award’s inaugural year is made all the more poignant by the fact that it recognizes two of SFU’s pioneers and visionaries in international excellence at the University. The organizers are grateful that Dagg was able to participate in the selection of this year’s awardees, and that Andrews was informed of the award prior to his passing.

Related links:

To read more about Ian Andrews, see: Obituary: Ian Andrews December 31, 1944 – June 10, 2016

To read about Chris Dagg, see: Obituary: Chris Dagg, July 12, 1940 – July 16, 2016