International Programs official receives Volunteer of the Year Award

UI International Programs Assistant Provost Doug Lee received the International Education of Students Abroad Volunteer of the Year Award earlier this fall. Lee was recognized for his work assisting students throughout their studies and internships abroad.


Megan Nagorzanski

Doug Lee, Assistant Provost of International Programs, poses for a portrait on Wednesday, October 23, 2019. Lee was presented with the IES Abroad Volunteer of the Year Award which recognizes an individual who has supported and strengthened the mission of the study abroad field through extraordinary volunteer efforts.

Eleanor Hildebrandt, News Reporter

University of Iowa Assistant Provost of International Programs Doug Lee recently received the Institute for the International Education of Students Abroad Volunteer of the Year Award for his work assisting students throughout their studies and internships around the world.

International Education of Students Abroad, a study-abroad and internship agency that partners with the UI, recognizes a faculty member from any of its partner universities. The award seeks to honor an individual who uses their volunteer efforts to strengthen the missions of study-abroad programs across the globe.

Lee began at the UI in 1991 and assumed his current role in 2012. He said receiving this award is a reflection of what International Programs has done to improve the education that students receive at the university.

“We’ve worked hard and [have] been successful in our partnership with [the institute], especially in the expansion of summer internship opportunities for Iowa students,” Lee said. “We can now accommodate students from any major and place them with appropriate internships in 14 different locations around the globe.”

Through these internships, he said, UI students get a leg up in the job market regardless of where they seek a position.

Lee works directly with the Institute for the International Education of Students to broaden opportunities and accommodate students at any point in their academic careers.

President and CEO of International Education of Students Abroad Mary M. Dwyer said in a news release that Lee’s leadership and dedication provides a positive example for others in his field.

“Doug often attributes his drive to send as many students as possible to study abroad to the fact that he did not have the opportunity to study abroad himself,” Dwyer said. “We’re grateful to have such a hardworking, selfless individual in our field.”

Lee’s position at the UI allows him to work with the study-abroad office on campus in conjunction with International Programs, UI study-abroad adviser Monica Ernberger said in an email to The Daily Iowan.

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“Our staff is tremendously proud of [Lee’s] award for the IES Volunteer of the Year,” she said. “IES is one of our most popular program providers, not only for more traditional study-abroad programs but also for internships abroad and as a support provider for several of our faculty-led programs. It is a large organization, and this is a prestigious award.”

Ernberger said this is not the first time Lee has received praise in the international community for his work supporting UI students and staff members.

“He has also helped the university win several other awards for excellence, such as the Simon Award, one of the highest accolades possible for a university to achieve in the field of international education,” Ernberger said.

Lee said he wants onlookers to recognize this award as proof of what is available to students in Iowa City and what the university has to offer.

“I want students in the community to see this [award] as an example of the university working to create more opportunities in education to broaden students’ experiences and bring the world to them,” Lee said.