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Paige Butler with Brian Whalen
Professor Paige Butler with Brian Whalen, president of the Forum on Education Abroad, after receiving the Ron Koehn Award on April 8.

Professional recognition is that much more meaningful when it comes from your peers. Last Friday in Atlanta, Georgia, Professor Dr. Paige Butler of the Middlebury Institute received the Ron Koehn Conference Grant Award at the 12th annual Forum on Education Abroad Conference. The Forum on Education Abroad is the Standards Development Organization for the Field of Education Abroad, and the Ron Koehn award covers all conference and travel expenses.

“I’m heavily engaged in the Forum,” says Dr. Butler, who is on multiple committees and is a QUIP reviewer, meaning she is qualified to assess how well universities or education abroad organizations adhere to the Forum’s Standards of Good Practice. She is also in the midst of completing a Professional Certification that would enable her to conduct Forum Trainings and Workshops. At the Institute, she serves on the faculty of the International Education Management program.

Butler led two sessions during the conference in Atlanta. The first was presenting the results of her data committee on the changing trends of funding models in education abroad since 2007, and the second was presenting the work that she’s done in conjunction with the directors of CEA Barcelona and Study Abroad at the University of San Diego. The presentation, entitled “At the Intersection of Selfies and Snowplows, Cultural Changes in Student Development Impacting Learning Abroad,” explored the relationship between students of the “selfie” generation and their parents. Their study, which surveyed 7000 parents and 100 students about study abroad, found that parents often clear the way for their children, and suggests how parent engagement can affect student learning and decision-making.

The presentation was well-received and well-attended, with about 80 participants. Butler has attended the Forum’s annual conference every year since 2008, saying it’s rewarding to both share her contributions to the field, and take in the bigger picture of changing trends in education abroad. This year was the largest conference yet, with 1375 participants from 41 countries and 45 states.

The Forum on Education Abroad is hosting two workshops at the Institute on June 16th, an Overview of the Standards of Good Practice, and a workshop on Health, Safety, Security and Risk Management.

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Jason Warburg

Eva Gudbergsdottir