Customer Support Award

Sara Dumont, Mark Hayes, Awilda Marquez, Brita Doyle, Ethan Merritt, Alison Nagy, Courtney Pollack, Kelly Jo Bahry, Matthew Stifter, Emma Bozek-Jarvis, Tania Lucero, Sarah Harlow, and Jerome Sheridan

AU Abroad

The AU Abroad team evacuated and returned approximately 500 AU study abroad students from over 30 countries at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, arranged student accommodations, ensured course continuity upon the students' return, and developed future study abroad plans.

At the onset of the uncertainty that COVID-19, the AU Abroad team created a framework where students could arrange their own transportation home, if possible, to be later reimbursed by AU Abroad. If not, the team made travel arrangements for the students. When it became apparent that all students needed to return from their programs immediately, the team proactively made travel arrangements and coordinated emergency housing, if required. They disseminated information to impacted students and their families before the university announced the program cancellations and evacuation plans to the greater community.

Abroad advisors worked around the clock during the approximately two weeks it took to get students home safely. As hundreds of students returned, the team worked with risk management to track each student traveler's progress. The team checked in with students and parents directly to ensure we had full accountability for all travelers. After the students returned, the AU Abroad finance team documented and processed travel reimbursements for hundreds of travelers. They also advocated for students with third parties regarding housing deposits and other costs associated with cancellations.

AU Abroad arranged course continuity for students upon their return. Students recalled from China and South Korea were integrated into courses offered on campus. When the Italy program was evacuated, students were able to return home and continue their coursework online. The team engaged with academic units to plan for academic continuity as students returned from their programs abroad.

Since last spring, the team has facilitated education options with our partners abroad so that our international students can take courses at their local universities, and US students can participate in remote internship opportunities.

Congratulations to the AU Abroad team for being selected as the 2021 Customer Support Award recipients, and thank you for all that you do for American University.

Customer Support Award Nominees

Congratulations to the 2021 Customer Support Award nominees!

Although the nominees were not selected for this year's award, their outstanding work did not go unnoticed. Thank you for all you do!

  • Vanessa Anthony
  • James Banks
  • Tara Barnett
  • Delis Benitez
  • Susana Birdsong
  • Rodney Blowe
  • Kelsey Boyd
  • Robert B. Briggs
  • Nicole Buonocore
  • Gerold Cameron
  • Sean A. Casey
  • Anna Castro
  • Jose Castro
  • Eileen Catte
  • Kit Crawford Jr.
  • Katelyn Deibler
  • Michelle Eller
  • Nina Enagonio
  • Shiketemash Erdachew
  • Arij Farran
  • Donna M. Femenella
  • Brandon Ferry
  • Alema Fissuh
  • Mimi Games
  • Lura Graham
  • Bria Granville
  • Kecia Hansard
  • Tavia Harper
  • James Helms
  • Shane Hickey
  • Timothy John Maggio
  • Alison Kaufmann
  • Akbar Khouzani
  • Kim Kokich
  • Danielle Koon
  • Martin Lacki
  • Matthew Lantry
  • Albert Luc
  • Alex MacKintosh
  • Lisa Mangiarelli
  • Alicia Marsh
  • Adi Mema
  • Fesseha Mengesha
  • Amy Newell
  • Erin Nixon
  • Brooke Olsen
  • Shannon Olson
  • Mireille Ouedraogo
  • Andrea Paredes-Herrera
  • India Pasiuk
  • Roger Perla
  • Monica Phillips
  • Michael Piller
  • Kristi Plahn-Gjersvold
  • Tyler Poling
  • Chandni Ramwani
  • H. Denise Richards
  • Cindy L. Robertson
  • Jean-Richard Rosemond
  • Ronit Rosen
  • Derek Ross
  • Tess Saffar
  • Jaylynn Saure
  • Matthew Smith
  • Rebekah Smith
  • Sergio Teran
  • Liam Toohey
  • J'shon Twine
  • Joseph Tyra
  • Jean Wogaman
  • Julia Zeigler