Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mohammedia University president receives first Indiana State University International Service Medal

Rahma Bourqia, president of Hassan II University-Mohammedia, is the inaugural recipient of the Indiana State University Presidential Medal for International Service.

ISU President Lloyd W. Benjamin III presented the medal to Bourqia on Oct. 26 in Rabat, Morocco in recognition of her role in a five-year-old partnership between the two universities and for dedicating her career to advancing international understanding. The presentation coincided with a meeting of the ISU Board of Trustees meeting and was shown live via Web conferencing at the start of the meeting.

“I can think of no one who would honor Indiana State University more by receiving this award than Dr. Bourqia. She has been recognized globally for her work in higher education, for promoting women’s rights, for protecting disadvantaged families — not only in her country but also in other countries — and for promoting understanding between countries. She believes that through research and exchange, students and faculty can ultimately make for a better world,” Benjamin said.

“We appreciate your tireless and selfless efforts and congratulate you on this well-deserved honor,” said Michael Alley, president of the ISU Board of Trustees.

A five-year-old partnership between ISU and Hassan II University-Mohammedia has involved several initiatives, including a program in higher education leadership, social work education, sport management, Arabic instruction at ISU and two international economic summits in Morocco in conjunction with ISU’s Networks Financial Institute.

A new program to jointly develop an accreditation system for public and private higher education in Morocco will be the ongoing partnership’s largest project to date, Benjamin noted.

“I express my deepest thanks for giving me this honor and for the esteem you show toward me. This is beyond what one could expect when engaging in a university partnership,” Bourqia said. “What I do for my university and for my country is just what needs to be done, yet more has to come.”

There is more to come, Benjamin noted, pointing to a new program to jointly develop an accreditation system for public and private higher education in Morocco. The project will be the largest yet involving ISU and Hassan II University-Mohammedia.

“President Benjamin has given substance and energy to our partnership and has put it on the track to sustainability,” Bourqia said. “His commitment, leadership and ideas are inspiring.”


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