Close up of a table piece with artificial, slate colored branches and small, purple stars. On the top sits a card that remarks, "congrats GRAD!" underneath a clip art graduation cap.

Each year, we recognize the contribution of international student leaders by awarding the International Student Leadership Award to those who display leadership and contribute to the NYU international student community in the US. These students are recognized for having overcome cultural or academic hurdles to lead among their peers.

We also recognize NYU students, regardless of their citizenship, who are contributing their time and efforts to the international student community by awarding the International Student Ally Award. All recipients are nominated by NYU faculty and staff.

International Student Ally Award Winners

The International Student Ally Award is given to any NYU student who has worked to make any NYU campus a hospitable and productive place for students visiting or attending that site. These winners have been nominated by NYU administrators, faculty or staff which exhibits their leadership on-campus.

Jerry Morales Farfan, Bachelor - Gallatin, Individualized Major, Expected Class of 2023

Jerry Morales Farfan

  • Peer mentor in the Liberal Studies Mentorship Program
  • Nominated by Naomi DeJesus, Academic Advisor in Liberal Studies

Empathetic, engaging, and eager to learn about identities that differ from his own, Jerry is recognized for being involved in conversations regarding the international student, students of colors experience, affinity groups and LGBTQ+ experience.

Samantha Colon, Masters - Steinhardt, Major in International Education, Expected Summer 2021 graduate

  • Vice-President of the International Education Student Board
  • Nominated by Jamie Baldwin: Assistant Director of Advising and Student Services

Responsible, fun, and interested in learning, Samantha tirelessly advocated for the needs of international students who were attending remotely and in different time zones. She set up study groups in Zoom and chat groups for students to connect with each other. She also promoted community through events such as Coffee Hour, Spring Welcome Event for students, and the spring Book Talks series, which included topics such as Gender and International Education and Preschool in Three Cultures.

Kenny Mai, Masters - Steinhardt, Major - Applied Statistics for Social Science Research, Expected Spring 2022 graduate

Kenny Mai

  • Statistics Club
  • Nominated by Faculty members in his program and program director Professor Daphna Harel, Associate Professor of Applied Statistics

Collaborative, funny, and perceptive, Kenny is recognized for being a critical catalyst for community building within the program. He is the force behind many of the social gatherings and events both through his role in leadership of the Statistics Club and beyond.  He almost single-handedly planned a Halloween data science-themed event, and has helped plan or been the main driver behind learning events in Shiny, LaTeX, and Python programming. He has been an active ambassador for our program and has taken the time to talk to many prospective students all of whom have come away from those interactions with positive comments both about him and our program. As a part-time student who works full-time, Kenny sets a high standard for what students can do to be involved and contribute to their programs.


Luisa Milton, Bachelor - Global Liberal Studies, Spring 2021 Graduate

Luisa Milton

  • Liberal Studies Peer Mentor
  • Liberal Studies Student Council Events Committee Chair
  • Brazilian Students Association
  • Global Programs Experience Advisor
  • NYU Abu Dhabi Site Ambassador
  • CMEP Student of Color Leadership Retreat
  • Nominated by Jonathon White, Associate Dean of Students in Liberal Studies

A natural leader, Luisa is described as self-possessed, thoughtful and compassionate.Throughout her time as a Liberal Studies Peer Mentor, she mentored international and first-generation students in their first year at NYU, and developed social programming to help these populations feel a sense of belonging. As Global Liberal Studies Chair, she implemented the first annual "We Are GLS Week" to promote community, hosting 8 events in a single week that represented the many countries comprising our Liberal Studies experience. She has supported over 450 students by hosting  townhall discussions, workshops and panels and organizing over 20 events ranging from alumni networking, resume building and social mixers. At NYUAD, she was an Experience Advisor, creating media campaigns and strategies to promote study abroad.  Luisa developed and presented a unique Colloquial Arabic learning collaboration for Egyptian, Levantine, and Khaliji dialects between NYU and NYUAD. As a Site Ambassador for Abu Dhabi, creating more than 10 events to promote life skills, community building, safety abroad, mental health while abroad, cultural immersion, wellness and language learning resources. At the beginning of the pandemic, she was instrumental in supporting students, helping to arrange last-minute flight plans, packing up rooms as needed, coordinating pickups and dropoffs for students stranded, and helping track student departures.  

International Student Leadership Award Winners

The International Student Leadership Award recognizes international students in F, J, or any other non-immigrant status who has made a significant contribution to improving campus life for fellow international students attending NYU sites in the US. Often times, these student leaders are strongly involved in the NYU community through extracurricular activities and hold various leadership positions on campus. These winners have been nominated by NYU administrators, faculty or staff.


Christopher Hung, Bachelor - Steinhardt, Major in Global Public Health/Applied Psychology, Spring 2021 Graduate

Christopher Hung

  • Student Coordinator for Center for Student Life
  • Peer Mentor in the Applied Psychology Department
  • Nominated by Isabella Villacampa and Jamie Remmers- Center for Student Life

A remarkable, warm and loving person, Chris is someone who consistently goes above and beyond for others. He is recognized for his contributions in creating the curriculum for the First Year International Student Transition Program organized by Center for Student Life and OGS. As Student Coordinator for Center for Student Life, Chris has organized programming that focuses on developing understanding of social justice from an American context, community building, cultural representation, wellness, and many more. In building these programs, Chris bring his perspective as a “third culture kid” in the forefront of of these programs. During the beginning of the pandemic, he took the lead on pivoting the International Student Center events to go virtual, and in doing so we were able to interact with several international students who were feeling alone and isolated. Chris is also a Peer Mentor in the Applied Psychology Department, member of several student clubs and founder of a new student club dedicated to international students who want to be involved with global social justice. Chris will join the Higher Education and Student Affairs Master’s program at University of Michigan. 


Aditya Singhal, Bachelor - CAS, Major in Computer and Data Science/Psychology, Expected Graduation - Spring 2022

Aditya Singhal

  • Founding member of the student run Data Science Club (DSC)
  • Orientation Leader for OGS
  • Nominated by Timothy Baker, Program Administrator

Energetic, friendly and caring, Adi is a wonderful organizer and community builder who brings enthusiasm to all he does. As one of the founding members of the student run Data Science Club (DSC), he organized virtual events for international students to participate in to build a sense of community for students in the program. Two such events that Adi has organized were data-thons. These data-thons were weekend long events that encouraged participation from Data Science students all over the globe. The event had international liaisons in every time zone to be available 24 hours. This structure allowed students who may not be able to attend a zoom social to participate with their peers and find a community. As an Orientation Leader for OGS, Adi has been instrumental in helping our office organize orientation events for thousands of newly admitted students. Adi has participated in in countless of programs with NYU administration, speaking as a panelist sharing his experiences as an international student and advocating on behalf of international students.

Bincheng Mao, Bachelor - Global Liberal Studies, Expected graduation Spring 2023

Bincheng Mao

  • NYU Student Government Assembly Senator at-Large representing international students and low-income minority students
  • NYU Leadership Fellow
  • Founder of the organization East Coast Coalition for Tolerance and Non-Discrimination
  • Nominated by Emily Bauman, Clinical Associate Professor

Driven by his passionate commitment to positive social change and a truly global sense of solidarity, Bincheng is recognized for promoting equity and inclusion for marginalized minority groups through his organization, East Coast Coalition for Tolerance and Non-Discrimination. They aim “To raise awareness against xenophobia by letting more to more people know that we are more alike than different and that xenophobia is unjust." Bincheng is also working on a book titled “Anatomizing lessons from U.S. immigration policy:  an arduous quest for minority equality”


Baiyang Li, Masters - Silver School of Social Work, Spring 2021 Graduate

Baiyang Li

  • NYU Social Sector Leadership Diversity Fellow
  • Nominated by Angie Kim, Associate Director, Inclusive Engagement & Student Life 

Caring and fierce advocate who does not shy away, Baiyang is recognized for fostering community by leading mixers among various student groups. They lead  a community check-in for international students in March 2020 to identify the needs of the international students and worked with staff to address those needs while ensuring that communication between Silver and international student addressed those needs. In Summer 2020 when there were difficulties with the field placements for the MSW students and the announcement of ICE policies, Baiyang advocated for international students to meet with the Deans and Silver Field Learning Office. These discussions help shape Silver’s next steps during the pandemic. Baiyang participated in the redesign of the Silver Language Partners Program, which helps connect Silver international students with domestic students. As a NYU Social Sector Leadership Diversity Fellow,  they engaged in discussions, reflections, and coachings on leadership and social justice, to reimagine leadership, design and implement social impact projects.


Yuyian (Ethan) Bai, Masters- GSAS, Major in Information Systems, Spring 2021 Graduate

Yiyuan (Ethan) Bai

  • Wasserman Center Graduate Student Advisory (GSAB)
  • Selected by CAS Dean as the Student Speaker for incoming Class of 2022
  • Nominated by Kelly Graham, Associate Director, Graduate Student Career Services, Wasserman Center

Passionate, dedicated and driven student who always gives 100% to all that he does, Ethan is recognized for serving on the Wasserman Center Graduate Student Advisory (GSAB) where 10-12 students serve as ambassadors that promote Wasserman Center services, programs and resources, and evaluate and provide feedback on current and future services/resources and programs. Ethan helped review the Online Career Modules that helped shaped changes to the modules that would make the resource clear and accessible for all students. Ethan has helped create an industry guide for students majoring in Math to be able to find career information that would be added to Handshake. Ethan proposed and lead the research of a new resource that will soon be available for international students by the Wasserman Center. Through the work that Ethan has contributed, Wasserman will soon be able to provide a database of companies that are sponsoring students for the H-1B.

Edward Jung Soo Kim, Bachelor - Chemical and Biological Engineering, Spring 2021 Graduate

Edward Kim

  • NYU Bridges International Club
  • Korean and Engineering Clubs
  • Nominated by Michael Henderson, Affiliate Spiritual Life Advisor

Described as a natural leader who helps bring out the leadership of others, Edward is an active member in the NYU Bridges International Club and the Korean and Engineering on campus. As part of the NYU Bridges International Club, Edward leads their English Conversation hour, Virtual Game Night and Saturday Life Group for the club. Edward helps the Korean and Engineering clubs to recruit new members and organize events on campus that help foster community even though in the past year events have been held virtually

Smaran Dayal, Doctorate - GSAS, Comparative Literature, Expected Graduation - Spring 2022

Smaran Dayal

  • CompLit international student mentor
  • Founded the Queer Studies Forum which was the first graduate-level working group on Gender and Sexualtiy Studies at NYU
  • A member of the NYU Postcolonial, Race, and Diaspora Studies Colloquium (PRDS)
  • Nominated by Jay Garcia, Clinical Associate Professor

Described as full of life and energy with a commitment to inclusive university environments, Smaran participated very actively in graduate student organizing efforts in response to the pandemic. He wrote an op-ed as part of those organizing efforts by himself and other NYU students that is posted online. Smaran was an outspoken critic last year against the harmful effects of immigration policy by the previous administration and its negative impact on international students in the US.

Outstanding Professional: International Student Support Award Winners

The Outstanding Professional International Student Support Award recognizes any NYU staff, faculty or administrator who has worked tirelessly to support the interests of international students at NYU. These individuals have gone above and beyond their role and have continuously advocated on behalf the interests of international students.

Nicolas Voelker, Senior International Student Engagement Administrator 

Nick Voelker

  • Nominated by: Marni Passer Vassallo, Director of Advising and Student Success


Dedicated, passionate, and outstanding ally for our international student community, Nick serves as Steinhardt's primary liaison for all of our International Students. He is the club advisor for Steinhardt's IPAC group and provides emails, newsletters, meetings, and updates to all of our international students at Steinhardt. Over the past year, Nick has provided guidance, answered questions, and helped plan Steinhardt’s response to help make sure students were in compliance in their program. Nick advocated on behalf of the students to our entire Steinhardt Dean's Leadership Team around COVID accommodations and changing guidance and also helped ensured that Steinhardt leadership was aware of the most recent rules and regulations as immigration guidance was changing. Nick is currently pursuing his Doctorate degree with a focus on international students 

Allen McFarlane, Assistant Vice President for Outreach and Engagement

Allen McFarlane

  • Nominated by: Sharai Dottin, Graduate Assistant for International Student Engagement

Allen has a warm and loving personality that invites anyone into any space with open arms, and makes them feel heard. He encourages others to show up as their truest and most authentic selves. He is recognized for his leadership in organizing the English Conversation and Culture group sessions he holds with international students to facilitate a safe space to practice their english and learn about the American culture. Students that have participated in this group have reported incredible comfortable practicing their English, sharing their difficulties and experiences, and learning and growing together. These students have said that it is like a great little family amongst the group. Allen has also organized campus-wide interview of first year international students to learn about their experiences as the student transitioned to NYU and learn ways on how can NYU offer more resources to help facilitate the transition of the international students.

Beth Bernhardt, Assistant Director and Career Coach at the Wasserman Center

Beth Bernhardt

  • Nominated by: Fatim Lelenta Assistant Director of Graduate Student Development, Wasserman

Beth is a person who is passionate about creating a safe space for all students to explore their career goals and aspirations especially the international students. She is recognized for coordinating office-wide training for Wasserman staff in collaboration with OGS to discuss how to support international students as these students navigate their career paths. Wasserman staff has stated that these trainings are a great way to learn tangible tools, network with colleagues at OGS and reflect on tips that they provide to international students. Beth is the point of contact for international students and continuously stays up to date on trends, regulations and important information for career services professionals. As a member of the National Career Development Association (NCDA), Beth is part of the International Student Services committee where she collaborates with other higher education professionals to exchange ideas and best practices related to international student career development. 

James Paguyo, Program Administrator, Courant

James Paguyo


  • Nominated by Betty Tsang, Benjamin Goldberg, Jean-Claude Franchitti, Rosemary Amico

A genuine person who truly cares about and advocates for students, James is someone who brings patience and knowledge to help them navigate the U.S. education system. He was instrumental in helping to implement the Shanghai GoLocal program for the Courant Master's students for Fall 2020 semester by quickly pivoting courses and resources so students could take in-person courses at the NYU Shanghai campus during the pandemic. In two months, over 500 students were able to enroll and begin classes at Shanghai.James organization of the Go Local program occurred during the NYU hiring freeze period when the department was short staffed and James did not blink at the chance to jump in and help coordinate the logistics and working with administrators at NYU Shangai. He also oversaw the admission process for the MS programs in Courant during a time of record-breaking applications.

Mariana Villanueva Huerta, Assistant Director, Stern MBA Academic Affairs and Advising 

Marianna Huerta

  • Nominated by Sheena Herrmann, Senior Associate Director of MBA Academic Affairs and Advising

Humble but hard working, Mariana is someone who always strives to learn more especially in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion. She is recognized for her holistic approach in addressing student’s academic, interpersonal, career and wellness. She worked closely with international students during the pandemic to ensure that students complied with the changing immigration regulations with respect to enrollment requirements. Mariana is currently completing her MA in Higher Education and Student Affairs at NYU Steinhardt. She is thoughtful in how she brings her classroom experience into her role and responsibilities. 

Anne Blatz, Associate Director of CAS Advising

Anne Blatz

  • Nominated by Brendan Rose, Candace Sumner-Robinson, & James Huang

OGS received an overwhelming nomination for Anne Blatz where over ten individuals provided heartfelt testimony about Anne and how great of a person she is to work with.

Anne is described as a strong believer in international education and cultural exchange, who always inspires students to break barriers and has their best interests at heart. She loves to learn from her students and that fostering curiosity and enthusiasm about the world beyond the US will lead to a more accepting, peaceful and exciting campus. Anne is a leader of programming at CAS where she organizes the orientation sessions for thousands of students, her popular CAS International Student Coffee Hour, the International Student Mentorship Program which is in its sixth year and in the International University Exchange program. Anne’s experience has been influential to many other offices throughout the university where Anne works with the Wasserman center, Student Affairs, OGS and many other offices sharing her wisdom in working with international students on how these offices can work together. Within CAS, Anne mentors new hires at CAS on how to best support international students and has ushered numerous campus staff members into the profession of international education.

Anne will be retiring from NYU after 36 years of service where she started as a part time employee doing programming for OGS and has since helped thousands of international students navigate NYU and graduate with their degree.