Forum Announces Recipients of the 2017 Award for Academic Achievement Abroad

In celebration of International Education Week, The Forum on Education Abroad is proud to announce the recipients of its 2017 Award for Academic Achievement Abroad, which recognizes excellence in academic work completed by students as part of an education abroad program. This year’s winners highlight the broad spectrum of learning experiences offered through education abroad opportunities.

Nathanael Bartosch,, winner of the 2017 Award for Academic Achievement Abroad


Student: Nathanael Bartosch 
Nominating member:
Eastern Kentucky University
Program: EKU Anthropology Custom Program: Primates in Analabe Gallery Forest, Northern Madagascar
Project: “Lemurs Living Near Farmers (Year 2): Behavioral Study of Endangered Primates”



Cassandra Wanna, winner of the 2017 Award for Academic Achievement Abroad


Student: Cassandra Wanna
Nominating member: Middlebury College
Program: Middlebury-C.V. Starr School in Jordan
Project: “Life in Blue: Perspectives of Syrian Refugees in Azraq Camp”



Nathanael Bartosch, a student at Eastern Kentucky University, completed his work while participating in a faculty-led anthropology program in Analabe, Madagascar. Collaborating with his professor and other students, Bartosch documented the ecology and social behavior of two endangered and rare species of lemurs living near local farmers. Commenting on Bartosch’s work abroad, his mentor, Benjamin Z. Freed, Assistant Professor of Anthropology writes: “Every moment became etched in his mind (and in his journal). If rain fell, he talked with people. He took in every plant, animal, and geological formation he could. He took in every star in the night sky. No matter which direction Mr. Bartosch goes, I sense that he now appreciates humans, wildlife, and the world around him in ways that not many people experience.”

Cassandra Wanna, a student at Middlebury College, spent a year studying at the Middlebury-C.V. Starr School in Jordan, where she completed an internship in the Azraq refugee camp with CARE Jordan. While there, she conducted extensive interviews with Syrian refugees about their experiences in the camp and explored the topic of early marriage among daughters of families living in the camp. Wanna’s faculty advisor at the University of Jordan’s Center for Women’s Studies, Dr. Abeer Dababneh, writes “Cassandra’s original research truly added to current knowledge about the lives of refugees in Jordan, particularly those of refugee women.”

Both students will present their work at a plenary session at The Forum’s 14th Annual Conference in Boston on March 23, 2018.

The students’ projects were judged by faculty reviewers from Forum member institutions and organizations. Among the 56 nominated projects this year, a range of fields was represented that also included education, business and entrepreneurship, political science, and public health, exemplifying that education abroad programs can inform many academic disciplines.

Read more about the Award for Academic Achievement Abroad»