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Press Release (September 20, 2017)

VIU’s Vice President of Academic Affairs
receives Michael Steuerman Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Ronald J. Kovach, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Virginia International University is receiving the Michael Steuerman Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his exceptional contributions to strategic planning and development of the National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE).

This award is named in memory of Michael Steuerman who served on the Board of NSEE and was honored with the Pioneer of the Year award in 2000. “The Steuerman Distinguished Service Award is given to educators for their lifetime of distinguished work in experiential education,” said Stephanie Thomason, the NSEE Board of Directors President. “Ron has been a tremendous addition to the NSEE team. His strategic visionary leadership, wealth of knowledge and experience, and pleasant and friendly demeanor fit well into a team of educators dedicated to educational advancements.”

For almost 20 years, Dr. Kovach has been providing continued support to NSEE and its committees, taking on a variety of key leadership positions including a Board of Directors member, Treasurer, and President. During that time, Dr. Kovach created the Distinguished Scholars program for the Society to honor those educators who are pioneers of the Society since the 1970’s, and expanded the scope of the Experiential Education Academy across the U.S. He also successfully developed and led the international collaboration with the largest higher education system in the United Arab Emirates, which brought an experiential learning team of experts to Dubai to present to faculty from the 17 campuses of the Higher Colleges of Technology.

Throughout his career in higher education, Dr. Kovach published multiple papers on student retention and experiential learning and has made over 60 presentations at both national and international conferences on topics involving experiential learning practices, international education, learning theories, as well as other higher education issues.

The award ceremony will take place at the 46th NSEE National Conference on September 26, 2017, in St. Pete Beach, Florida. To learn more about the conference, visit

Virginia International University (VIU) is a non-profit institution in Fairfax, Virginia that intends to make quality education affordable to students with diverse backgrounds. VIU offers over 20 innovative degree and certificate programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels on campus and online. VIU also offers non-degree programs, including English as a Second Language (ESL), continuing education, and test preparation. For more information about VIU, call (703) 591-7042 or (800) 514-6848 or visit the University website,

VIU Media Contact:
Jane Bondarenko, PR Specialist