Louise Baldwin honored for service in international education


For more than two decades, Louise Baldwin has been behind some of the most innovative orientation programs for international students, staff and faculty at the University of Michigan.

She was instrumental in designing a program for incoming international students that includes sessions on cultural awareness, legal issues and practical concerns.

Louise Baldwin

She was there to support international students and faculty after the 9/11 attacks prompted a revision of immigration rules and regulations, and most recently was key in coordinating efforts to provide timely, relevant and trustworthy information to international students, faculty and staff as the Trump administration announced new travel restrictions.

Now, Baldwin, senior associate director of the International Center and director of immigration services and compliance, is being recognized for her efforts with the inaugural President’s Award for Distinguished Service in International Education.

“The University of Michigan is known throughout the world as a leading international community of scholars,” President Mark Schlissel said. “When our students and faculty go abroad, and when international scholars come here, they gain new perspectives and higher levels of understanding that make our world better and safer. I deeply appreciate Louise Baldwin’s work to advance U-M’s mission and the highest values of international education.”

Those who have worked with Baldwin say the extent of her expertise in all things international — federal regulation compliance, health care and health insurance — and her passion have made her a leader in international education in the country.

“Louise has influenced the success of the International Center, its immigration and compliance work, and its directors for decades,” said Judith Pennywell, director of the International Center. “She exemplifies distinguished service in international education.”

Linda Kentes, who worked with Baldwin for 11 years before moving to academic affairs at LSA, said the name of the award sums up Baldwin’s long career at the university and “her unwavering, loyal service to our campus’ international populations.”

Baldwin said her love for international education stems in part from her time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Afghanistan in the 1970s, before the Soviet-Afghan war that started in 1979.

“I really loved it there,” she said. “I really enjoyed being in the schools and seeing what it was like to live in a place that was different from mine.”

Baldwin first came to the International Center as the Peace Corps coordinator, then became the center’s program coordinator in 1991. Since then, she’s worked in all areas of the organization. She currently serves as the senior associate director and director of immigration services and compliance.

“I had the experience that our students and scholars have had coming to a new place, having to adjust, dealing with all the differences,” she said.

U-M has a long history of sending and receiving students from abroad. The first two international students, one from Mexico, one from Wales, enrolled in 1847. This fall, there were 2,061 undergraduate and 4,703 graduate and professional international students on the Ann Arbor campus, about 15 percent of the student body.

In 2015-16, U-M was recognized for having the 14th-largest international student enrollment in the United States in the annual Open Doors report by the Institute of International Education, a New York-based nonprofit.

Recently, the Peace Corps announced that U-M ranked fourth among large schools on the list of colleges and universities that produce the most Peace Corps volunteers. There are 60 Wolverines currently volunteering worldwide.



  1. Victoria Green
    on April 14, 2017 at 8:44 am

    Many congratulations, Louise. So well-deserved!

  2. Karen Liska
    on April 14, 2017 at 10:15 am

    I have had the pleasure of working with Louise on many different committees and work groups over the last 20 years. Her dedication to the international community and her efforts to welcome, acclimate and educate them is, indeed, admirable! Congratulations, Louise, on an award that recognizes what those of us who work with you already knew. Thank you for demonstrating what make us leaders and best!!

  3. Mars de Ritis
    on April 14, 2017 at 10:22 am

    Congratulations Louise! As a student, I attended and organized events at the International Center. Louise headed the Peace Corps office and must have worked late most days, because she always seemed to be around the corner with a smile and the right keys when we needed help to open a room or borrow a film projector (!) Thank you for your friendship and dedication.

  4. Bill Nolting
    on April 14, 2017 at 11:04 am

    Louise, please accept my heartfelt congratulations for this major (if long overdue) recognition of your many contributions to international education at U-M and nationally. This inaugural award has truly gone to THE most-deserving individual at U-M in international education, speaking as a colleague of Louise’s at the International Center for 27 years until my recent retirement.
    Bill Nolting, U-M International Center, Assistant Director for Education Abroad (retired)

  5. Liz Salley
    on April 14, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    Indeed, so well deserved. Congratulations, Louise.

  6. Linda Lillemoen
    on April 18, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Congratulations Louise! Thank you for your commitment to the students.

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