Diversity and inclusion are not only incredibly important to IES Abroad’s mission, but also central to the work of our President and CEO, Mary M. Dwyer, Ph.D., who was recently honored with the Lifetime Advocate for Inclusivity Award at the Women in International Education (WIE) Awards in Berlin on November 2.
It certainly wasn’t surprising to IES Abroad staff that Dr. Dwyer would receive such an honor, after all, she is one of the first female CEOs of a study abroad provider, a highly effective leader, and has been committed to improving and diversifying the field during her tenure. The award, sponsored by Lead5050 and the Global Leadership League, recognizes women in leadership roles for their commitment to diversity and inclusion in international education. Sarah E. Spencer, Director of Global Strategy for The Global Leadership League said: "Mary has been an amazing leader within the study abroad field for many years. I am honored to recognize her leadership to make international education more inclusive—from the many things that expand access for students—to her support of women professionals in and outside of IES Abroad."
Dr. Dwyer’s unwavering commitment to IES Abroad’s mission to ensure as many students as possible have the opportunity to study abroad has led us to award over $5 million in 2019-20 in study abroad scholarships and aid. This solidifies IES Abroad’s placement as one of the most financially generous study abroad program provider throughout its almost 70-year history.
In 2011, IES Abroad launched the Initiative to Diversify Education Abroad (IDEA), which has significantly grown our underrepresented student enrollment. In her acceptance speech at the WIE award ceremony, Dr. Dwyer cites the importance of the IDEA initiative, but knows that there is always room to grow: “We know that the true benefits of diversification are not limited to increasing numbers. We are focusing on re-tooling our curriculum to take full advantage of the learning that diversification in classes can bring to all of our students.”