President and CEO of IES Abroad, Mary Dwyer, was presented with the PIEoneer Award for Outstanding Contribution to the international education industry for her leadership, collaboration, and research over more than 20 years.
Dywer is one of the first female CEOs of a global study abroad provider and has invested significant effort in supporting women in the study abroad field.
During her 22 years at IES, Dwyer has initiated a number of projects that have made IES Abroad a premier study abroad program provider.
She has also overseen the opening of 30 IES Abroad centres, as well as developing IES internships, which has organised full-time internships for more than 1,300 students since summer 2014.
In 2008, Dwyer helped launch IES Abroad’s Initiative to Diversity Education Abroad – the first in the field – to address the low participation of underrepresented students in study abroad. Since then, IES has increased enrolment of ‘non-traditional’ students by 96%.
“I am deeply honoured to accept this PIEoneer Award tonight,” Dwyer said in her acceptance speech.
“I appreciate the PIE News talking the time and effort to acknowledge leaders in the field. We need to be committed to the ‘long game’ of social change. Our hope resides in the next generation of young talented people. After all, we get to influence much of their experiences in many different countries and cultures”.
Dwyer said mobile students are future global leaders, and that it is important mobile study is accessible to all students – as they will be able to embrace a sense of curiosity and acceptance of the world, learn adaptability, tolerance, and the ability to view the world differently.
Dwyer explained that personally, she never studied abroad as she could not afford to.
However, she described herself as “privileged” to be in a role which provides financial aid and scholarships to allow many students the chance to study abroad.
“If we listen to our better voices we will see social improvements. I’m very privileged to be able to serve in a field that is committed to understanding cultures and building bridges, not walls,” she added.
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