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2012: Community Highlights at IOUF

Our last blog looked at some of the institutional accomplishments the Intercultural Open University Foundation (IOUF) experienced last year and we’re proud of how 2012 unfolded. Equally impressive, if not more so, have been the accomplishments of our faculty, staff and graduates and we thought we’d take some space this week to share some of their successes as well.

We’re extremely pleased to have awarded the 2012 IOUF Peace Award to Dr. Muneo Yoshikawa, Professor of the University of Hawaii and member of the Board of Governors of the IOUF. Dr. Yoshikawa has had a long and respected career in communications research and development and is the inventor of the notable double swing model of intercultural communication. He also carried the distinction of being the keynote speaker at the SIETAR Forum 2012+38 with great grace and honor.


IOUF Graduate Dr. Gulab Kothari was honored in his home country of India by the development of a stamp commemorating the founder of the company Dr. Kothari now heads, Rajasthan Patrika. Rajasthan Patrika is one of the largest Hindi-language news organizations in India and has been singled out as a leader in ethics in the news business in that country. Dr. Kothari was also awarded the 25th Edition of the Bharatiya Jnanpith Moortidevi Award last year for his book, Mein Hi Radha, Mein Hi Krishna (I am Radha and Me Krishna Too).


IOUF Graduate Dr. Bremley Lyngdoh received a grant in 2012 for the Side Conference at the Rio +20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. Dr. Lyngdoh is a distinguished and tireless supporter of sustainable development. He is Founder and CEO of Worldview and Co-Founder of the Global Youth Action Network; the IOUF conferred the honor of Distinguished Graduate upon him last year as well.

Dr. Sandra Hurlong, President of IOUF, published a book entitled “The Mezgals,” in 2012. It documents the story of a group of women who developed an initiative to produce Mezcal in Mexico. Dr. Hurlong is a respected expert on distance education and continued her position on the advisory board of the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies Group last year; she also participated on behalf of IOUF in an environmental initiative focused on increasing bio-diversity in the tree population in Oaxaca, Mexico.

In other news:

·        Dr. Sohan Gandhi gave the keynote address at the International Peace Research Association (IPRA)

·        Dr. Christopher Thomas continued his human rights work with the Dalits in India

·        Dr. John M. Toothman, Board of Governors, and Roxanne K. Toothman represented IOUF as invited guests at the United Arab Emirates Cup, conducted Preakness Day in Baltimore, Md.

Our community was active in the world of books and other creative fields last year:

·        Susan Crossman, M.A., published her novel, “Shades of Teale,” a profound look at a young Canadian woman’s experience living with an abusive partner. The IOUF conferred upon Ms. Crossman the distinction of “Distinguished Graduate” in 2012

·        Dr. Lisa Shaffner, NCC, LPCMH, produced and screened her first short feature docudrama in 2012, a poignant story entitled “Unlived Dreams” that shadows the ebb and flow of a love between two adolescents living very different lives

·        Dr. Marvin Surkin, Core Faculty at IOUF re-released his book with Dan Georgakas, entitled “Detroit: I Do Mind Dying,” a book about the black labour movement in Detroit in the last century

Finally, IOUF expanded its faculty through the engagement of:

·        Michele Lansdowne, MA, MBA, PhD, (Union Institute) as a resource scholar in Economic Development

·        Sherry Penn-Crawford, MA, PhD, (Union Institute) as an external scholar in Behavioral Science

·        Lisa Shaffner, PhD, NCC, LPCMH, (Universidad Central de Nicaragua/Universidad Aztec) as a resource scholar in Psychology and Counseling

And those are just the highlights! IOUF is a unique organization that puts people at the heart of our service to the world and we’re enormously proud of the folks in our community. If you would like to join us on the important adventure of furthering your own education, we invite you to contact us today to get started.

And best wishes for a successful year ahead!