The University of Central Missouri (UCM) received the President’s “E” award for export service in recognition of internationalization of higher education at the 63rd anniversary of the award ceremony at the U.S. Department of Commerce on May 14, where a total of 64 U.S. companies and organizations from 32 states were recognized.

“The University of Central Missouri has made tremendous strides towards the increase in internationalization of higher education in the state of Missouri. UCM’s efforts advance the National Export Strategy for international education, and we are pleased that they have received this highest honor in recognition of their success,” said Pinki Thakker, acting Global Education Team leader, U.S. Commercial Service in Kansas City.

Phil Hull, Ph.D., director of international student services, and Emily de Melo, assistant director & PDSO of international student services, represented UCM's Office International Student Services (ISS) at the ceremony.

In 1961, President Kennedy signed an executive order reviving the World War II “E” symbol of excellence to honor and recognize America’s exporters. The award is the highest recognition a person or U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.

“Trade impacts the lives of every American worker, business and community,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “I am proud to recognize this year’s President’s “E” and “E Star” award recipients for their efforts and contributions to increase economic prosperity across our country and further position the U.S. private sector as the partner of choice in markets around the globe.”

"This award is certainly a highlight for the Office of International Student Services staff, but more than that, it acknowledges UCM's longevity as an excellent, globally-recognized university,” said Dr. Hull. “The E Award shows that UCM faculty, staff and students are a community that cares because students from around the world want a UCM degree--an education that has currency when they return home to make a difference."

The ISS office at UCM supports international students with recruitment, application processes, admissions, enrollment and ongoing support throughout their studies and after program completion.


Dr. Hull added that the ISS office hosts various events and activities to benefit international students at UCM, including the Fall International Food Festival and Spring Culture Night. The program collaborates closely with the International Student Organization, African Student Association, Nigerian Student Association and Sanskriti Indian Student Association.


Hull emphasized the positive economic impact of UCM international students, noting that $97.4 million supports 459 jobs in Missouri's fourth congressional district. He also highlighted that the award reflects sustained growth over the years, a key criterion for the award. “This award is about longitudinal success, indicating a solid foundation of excellence, recognition and value for students and their families.”


Another vital aspect of the international student’s path to success at UCM is the English Language Institute (ELI), offering an academic Intensive English Program, professional language training and short-term cultural programming to equip English language learners with the skills necessary for success at the university, in their careers, or in specialized language programs.

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Recipients are entitled to multiple privileges, including the right to fly a designated banner, display a signed certificate from the Secretary of Commerce, wear and distribute special lapel pins and mention the award in advertising. Nominations are facilitated through the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service of the Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration.

For more information about UCM’s ISS, visit the website.

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