Lilli Jensen, assistant director of international student services, has received the James O’Driscoll Distinguished Service Award from NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
The award, named in honor of a former regional chair and national leader in international education, recognizes exceptional service in international educational exchange. It was presented on Nov. 7 at a conference in Bolton Landing, Warren County.
“Lilli is fully and equally devoted to the success of our team and our students, and she regularly goes the extra kilometer for both,” says Jeffrey Cox, director of international student services. “She cares deeply about our international students and has a particularly valuable set of skills and an excellent network and reputation among our deaf and hard-of-hearing international students.”
Nominated for the award by peers from across New York and New Jersey, Jensen began at RIT as an English and speech-and-language instructor at NTID in 1995. She joined the RIT International Student Services office in 1997 and was promoted to assistant director in 2005.
On campus, she has been active in the Center for Women and Gender, the Commission for Promoting Pluralism and the Emerging Leaders Program. She was a member of the Campus Advocacy Response and Support program of the RIT Women’s Center and the board of the Parents’ Association for Deaf and Hearing-Impaired Children, and she is currently a member of the steering committee for the United Way. For several years, she has advised the Chinese Student Scholar Association, the Deaf International Student Association, International House (a special-interest housing unit for students from around the world) and International Women of the World.
“Getting the award was entirely unexpected—and humbling,” Jensen says. “I have been doing what I love doing within a very supportive environment.”
Jensen has served as a trainer and coach and organized regional meetings for the international-educators association. She has been a member of the board of directors for the Rochester International Council and of the Rochester Oratorio Society.
Originally from Denmark, Jensen began her career as a K–12 teacher in her home country. She obtained certification as a speech and hearing therapist from the Royal Danish School of Higher Education, completed an M.S. in special education through a joint program of the University of Rochester and RIT, and earned a degree in sign-language interpreting.
For more on some of the organizations cited here, go to:
RIT International Student Services
Center for Women and Gender
Global Union: International House
Women’s Center: Campus Advocacy Response and Support