Office of Global Engagement

Telephone: 706-542-2900

The world’s largest association serving international educators has named Yana Cornish, director of global education in the University of Georgia Office of Global Engagement, the recipient of its 2021 Education Abroad Leadership Award.

The award is given to members of NAFSA: Association of International Educators whose records of distinguished service to the education abroad profession exceed 15 years. One recipient is selected each year for the highly competitive award.

“Dr. Cornish has dedicated her career to expanding access to academically engaging, life-changing study abroad experiences,” said Marisa Pagnattaro, vice provost for academic affairs. “The Education Abroad Leadership Award underscores her impact on students at the University of Georgia, but also her commitment to advancing international education throughout higher education.”

NAFSA noted that Cornish has a successful track record in increasing student participation in education abroad. In addition to expanding education abroad program offerings and increasing student participation, she focuses her efforts on working with the campus community on risk management in study abroad; curricular integration of study abroad; assessment of student learning; securing financial support for international opportunities; maintaining financially sound operations, utilization of information technologies; and attracting diverse students to take part in global experiences.

“This award is a great professional and personal achievement for Dr. Cornish and a wonderful recognition of all that she has done to advance, innovate and advocate for global education at UGA,” said Noel Fallows, associate provost for global engagement.

Cornish emphasized that a former exchange student, she knows firsthand the transformative impact of a global academic experience.

“I feel privileged to be a part of the University of Georgia with its 50-year long history of study abroad. Humbly receiving this award, I am mindful that I am standing on the shoulders of many at UGA who are committed to international education and support our work every step of the way.” 

UGA is one of the nation’s top institutions for the number of students who study abroad, ranking sixth in the nation in the latest Open Doors ranking. For more information on study away opportunities, visit


Writer: Sam Fahmy, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.