International Services Coordinator Honored with USF Apple Polishing Award
June 3, 2015
A USF Alumni Association tradition for more than 15 years, the Apple Polishing Award recognizes and honors members of USF faculty and staff who have made an impact at the university. Yet what makes this award so heartfelt is honorees can only be nominated by USF Ambassadors, student leaders who wish to distinguish key mentors during their academic careers.
Andy Dang, student program coordinator for International Services, was one of only 28 recipients this year out of the thousands of possible faculty and staff candidates across the university. In addition to his work within USF World, Dang is also the adviser to the International Student Association (ISA), which proudly holds a membership of nearly 200 students.
“I’m very flattered to have been nominated,” said Dang. “Making a difference in students’ lives is the best part of what I do. As part of my work with ISA, I wanted the organization’s leadership to be empowered to create and cultivate their own legacy. Together, the team wanted to make a big splash on campus and create an all-inclusive environment for all international students regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or political beliefs. ISA quickly became one of the largest student-run organizations on campus and continues to grow. I’m so proud of all their hard work.”
His involvement with ISA throughout the past year has provided a home away from home for international students and a chance for domestic students to learn about the more than 130 countries represented on campus. In addition, Dang collaborates with USF Career Services to develop an international student networking fair and he supports the iBuddy program, which matches international and domestic students on campus to build friendships and encourage shared cultural experiences.
“He is one of the people I met at USF who truly cares about student success and has had such an impact on international students in less than a year,” said Huzzatun Iqra, a recent Bangladeshi business alumna and president of ISA. “It was an easy decision to choose him for an Apple Polishing Award. You can see his passion for his work and his desire to make everyone around him enjoy their experience at USF as well.”
However, it wasn’t just his role as ISA’s adviser or his position at USF World that led to the nomination. To Iqra, the award symbolizes the mentorship Dang provides for numerous students, his flexibility and optimism to help others, and his encouragement among students to be their best.
“Andy brings such wonderful energy to our office,” added Marcia Taylor, director of International Services. “He is so passionate about assisting students to create cross-cultural opportunities at USF. I’m very proud of the work that he has accomplished in his first year at USF. He will be an asset to the university community for years to come.”