18:24 PM

Larisa Landry receives the Region III Rising Star Young Leader Award

Written by: Lauren Sawyer
Larisa Landry named Region III Rising Star Young Leader.

University of Houston-Clear Lake (UHCL) Global Scholar Advisor II, Larisa Landry, was recently awarded the Region III Rising Star Young Leader Award by the National Association of International Educators (NAFSA). NAFSA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to international education and exchange, advancing policies and practices that ensure a more interconnected, peaceful world today and for future generations.

UH-Clear Lake’s Executive Director of Education Abroad and Scholar Services Dr. Bianca Schonberg and Professor of Biology and Environmental Science Cynthia Howard both nominated Landry for the prestigious award for her significant contributions to the Education Abroad and Scholar Services program’s success and popularity at UHCL.

“Larisa took the time to understand the university’s demographic base and the impact of financial barriers on students,” Schonberg said. “After gathering necessary information, she was determined to make education abroad accessible and affordable to UHCL students who never thought they could have this experience.”

Schonberg also mentioned Landry’s collaboration with the Division of University Advancement to promote the university and highlight the impact of education abroad by making presentations and attending Clear Lake community meetings.

“Her dedication is truly inspiring, all of this was done on top of her everyday responsibilities,” said Schonberg.

Howard attested to Landry’s ability to provide inclusive and student-centered global learning experiences, while also supporting faculty with grant opportunities. She said for many public institutions, decreased enrollment, reduced budgets, and fewer resources are becoming a “harsh reality.” However, people like Larisa are determined to identify resources and seek financial opportunities to benefit students.

“Larisa has been a valuable collaborator for my annual Amazon, Brazil program since 2021,” said Howard. “As a faculty with over 20 years of experience in leading education abroad programs, I understand the importance of working closely with the education abroad office to ensure a well-facilitated program,” she explained. “Larisa has taken the time to understand the fundamentals of the program and has played an instrumental role in recruiting and raising awareness.”

Landry said she felt proud when she found out she won the Rising Star Young Leader award for the region. She mentioned being a little shocked, because the work she does isn’t for recognition. But she is grateful for the education abroad team.

“It takes a team,” she said. “Dr. Schonberg is a remarkable supervisor, and Brittany Hamilton is an amazing colleague. We are a small team, but productive and powerful.”

When Landry started at UHCL in 2021, she knew she wanted to support the university’s faculty led programs and scholar services to the best of her ability. She is continuing the same mission she embarked with, “How else can I support students?”

Landry hopes to continue to build relationships and connect students at UHCL, and would like them to feel empowered and interested in expanding their horizon and experiences.

Students can receive academic credit, make friends, and acquire experience for their resume. We understand financial restrictions, but we are working to get funding. We want students to academically improve and personally mature through education abroad.

Larisa Landry

Landry added that there are upcoming education abroad opportunities available, and to please reach out to the Education Abroad and Scholar Services office for more information.

For more information about education abroad opportunities and services at UHCL, visit www.uhcl.edu/academics/education-abroad/.