Marco-Alexis Chaira, Arizona State University
March 12, 2019
UCalgary's Vice-Provost (International) acknowledged for exemplary leadership in global education and research
On March 1, Vice-Provost (International) Janaka Ruwanpura was inducted into the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment (SSEBE) Academy of Distinguished Construction Alumni at Arizona State University (ASU).
Ruwanpura earned his Master of Science in Construction Management from ASU in 1997.
“My time as a student at ASU was filled with many unforgettable memories; it was a new experience for me as a US Fulbright scholar and new graduate coming from Sri Lanka. The education system, culture and weather were so different,” says Ruwanpura. “I got the opportunity to teach part of a course and help with the new graduate student orientation. Dr. Bill Badger, PhD, who was a director at that time, encouraged me to review the course curriculum and make suggestions to enhance it.”
The awards committee noted his reputation as an exemplary educator and scholar, and leadership in global education partnerships as reasons for their selection.
Ruwanpura is ASU’s first international alumnus and academic to win this honour. “The Academy of Distinguished Alumni awards at ASU recognizes outstanding alumni that embody the spirit of the university and show excellence in their professional work, as well as compassion and support for their communities,” the award letter says.
“I was deeply touched to receive this honour, coming from the largest university (in terms of student number) in the U.S., and that was ranked as the most innovative school in the United States four years in a row by the American U.S. News and World Report magazine.”
Ruwanpura served as a visiting eminent scholar for SSEBE last week. He met with graduate students with whom he shared his experience mentoring and advising PhD students on their research projects, young faculty to help them enhance their educational and research plans, and various ASU leaders including the provost and deans of business and nursing to develop collaborative educational programs between UCalgary and ASU.
As one of our partners, ASU shares UCalgary’s passion for internationalization and the belief that welcoming students from all over the world enriches the dialogue in the classroom and provides different perspectives needed to solve societal challenges across the world.