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BW grad named 'Rising Star Young Leader' by NAFSA Association of International Educators

Kevin Sullivan draws on both undergraduate and graduate degrees from BW as he forges a rewarding career path in higher education that has earned national recognition.

International educator Kevin Sullivan ’10, MAEd ’20, at the Berlin Wall

As recipient of the NAFSA Rising Star Young Leader Award for 2023, Kevin Sullivan ’10, MAEd ’20, is standing out as a talented leader in his first five years of work in the field of international education.

Sullivan, who serves as assistant director of education abroad at Case Western Reserve University, was nominated for the prestigious national recognition by his peers in the NAFSA Region that includes Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.

Laying the groundwork

At BW, Sullivan put together an academic and experiential resume that uniquely prepared him for his career path from a bachelor’s degree in international studies and Spanish to a master’s degree in leadership in higher education, along with study abroad in Mexico.

"As an undergraduate at BW, I was encouraged by faculty and staff to take advantage of all types of international education experiences,” Sullivan recounts.

“Studying abroad for an academic year in Mexico and being a member of Model UN, Model African Union and Model NATO ignited my own passion in international education, which came full-circle upon my return to BW for my MAEd in Leadership in Higher Education. As a graduate student, I interned in the Center for Global Exploration, which led to my current position at Case Western Reserve, thanks to LHE's strong network of alumni."

Advocacy for access


Sullivan was applauded for his contributions to international education during the NAFSA 2023 Annual Conference and Expo this May.

“Through skill, talent and leadership … Kevin has demonstrated a commitment to advocacy, education and innovation that are the hallmarks of NAFSA’s Rising Star Young Leader Award,” said Fanta Aw, Ph.D., executive director and CEO of NAFSA.

Dr. Aw added that colleagues who nominated Sullivan noted that “he goes beyond expectations for initiatives both on and off campus. He advocates for inclusion of students with physical or mobility issues, non-apparent disabilities, ethnicity, gender concerns and more.”

NAFSA is the largest and most comprehensive association of professionals committed to advancing international higher education.

BW Leadership in Higher Education program

BW’s MAEd Leadership in Higher Education graduate program begins a new cohort of graduate students in fall 2023, and applications are still being accepted. For information on the program, email, call (440) 826-8012 or visit BW's graduate programs page.

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