USF Student Earns Top Prize at Dubai Conference

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (April 1, 2009) -- As the Education Without Borders 2009 conference wraps up in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, USF’s Aki Nakanishi, a master's student in anthropology, was awarded top prize for her paper, Facilitating Youth Participatory Action Research: Reflections, Strategies and Applications, in the section “The Role of Education in Meeting Global Challenges."

Only eight such prizes were awarded across the breadth of conference topics ranging from “Global Solutions to Economic Recovery,” to “Harnessing Technology for a Better World,” and “Cultural Exchange for Tolerance, Understanding and Peace”. Nakanishi received her award from Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan and Princess Astrid of Belgium.

“This has certainly been a transformative scholarly and cultural experience for our 16 undergraduate and graduate students,” said USF Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Ralph Wilcox. “We may have the largest student delegation from any one university outside of the UAE, certainly from the United States. Watching them interact with more than 1,000 others from 120 countries has been immensely rewarding. They’ve certainly done themselves and USF proud. Thanks to their faculty mentors who have been both understanding and supportive of the opportunities presented by this remarkable educational experience.”

For more information on the Education Without Borders Conference, visit:

The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engaged, four-year public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded more than $360 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2007/2008. The university offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The university has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 46,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.