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Law professor receives International Educator Award

Thursday, November 14, 2019

LAWRENCE — Virginia Harper Ho is the 2019 recipient of the George and Eleanor Woodyard International Educator Award. The award presentation will take place at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, at the Burge Union, Forum B.

Harper Ho, University of Kansas professor of law, is being recognized for her work to internationalize the curriculum at the KU School of Law, develop cross-border programs with KU’s international partners, encourage and facilitate study abroad, and recruit and mentor international students and scholars.

“The committee was universally impressed by Professor Harper Ho’s sustained and consistent commitment to international education and research, the many ways in which she has striven to help internationalize her own unit and the extent of her engagement with many of KU’s internationally focused units. Her work as an international educator is making a difference for law students and the institution more broadly,” said Megan Greene, International Affairs’ director of faculty programs.

The award, coordinated by KU International Affairs, was endowed by the late George Woodyard, the first dean of international studies, and his wife, Eleanor. It recognizes faculty on the Lawrence campus who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in strengthening KU’s international reach in such areas as curriculum development, study abroad programs, relationship with international partner institutions and collaboration with international colleagues in significant research and publications. The award includes a $1,000 stipend.

In a letter to the nominating committee, KU Law Dean Stephen Mazza noted that Harper Ho “models outstanding leadership in international education through her incredible and truly meaningful contributions at the international, regional and university levels.”

Harper Ho developed a comparative law survey course on Chinese law, which she teaches biannually. As the associate dean for international and comparative programs, Harper Ho is responsible for all international programs at the law school, including study abroad, a visiting scholar program and two-year J.D., LL.M. and S.J.D. degree programs.

Working to increase the number of international students at KU Law, Harper Ho coordinates recruiting efforts in East Asia, South Asia and Latin America. In addition, she is developing new international collaborations with institutions in China, the United Kingdom and Mexico, while deepening collaborations with institutions in Italy, Scotland, Costa Rica and India.

Harper Ho has helped connect KU to critical international dialogues by participating in public policy conversations on the regional and international level, including being selected by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations to serve as the scholar escort for a congressional staff delegation that headed to China earlier this month.

In recent years, Harper Ho has been engaged in research initiatives with collaborators in China and Europe, and she has given nearly 20 international presentations in China, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Canada and Mexico. Much of her research has focused on Chinese law, with early work on labor law reform and more recent scholarship in sustainable finance and corporate governance.

“She has an energetic and ambitious vision for collaboration, scholarship and institutional partnership to enrich KU’s international contribution and reputation,” Mazza noted in his nomination letter. “We are exceedingly fortunate to have her doing this work at our university.”

The Nov. 21 award presentation will include a brief lecture by Harper Ho, followed by a reception.

The 2018 award recipient was Glenn Adams, professor of psychology. Additional recipients are listed online