IRIS NRC Honored with Prestigious Anthony J. Gradisnik Award for Exceptional Contributions to Language Education and Global Learning

Essie Lenchner receiving the award at the WAFLT conference.

Appleton, Wisconsin – November 8, 2023 – The Institute for Regional and International Studies National Resource Center (IRIS NRC) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded the highly esteemed Anthony J. Gradisnik Award by the Wisconsin Association for Language Teachers (WAFLT). The prestigious award was presented to Essie Lenchner, IRIS NRC’s Assistant Director, at the WAFLT Fall Conference Awards Ceremony held on November 3rd, 2023, at the Hilton Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton, Wisconsin. 

The Anthony J. Gradisnik Award, one of WAFLT’s most distinguished honors, is presented annually to an individual or group outside the language teaching profession that demonstrates remarkable dedication and advocacy for language education in areas such as international education, early language learning, and creative initiatives in language education. This year, the award was given to IRIS NRC in recognition of its exceptional contributions to language education, intercultural awareness, and global learning in schools across Wisconsin.

WAFLT commended IRIS NRC’s outstanding commitment to fostering global competence, aligning seamlessly with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). IRIS NRC’s impact extends across diverse educational levels through programs such as the Madison Gateway Scholarship and the South Asia Book Award, enriching language learning opportunities and cultural understanding among underserved populations. Additionally, IRIS NRC provides valuable professional development for educators, offering initiatives such as book and film clubs, career events, and the Global Scholars Media Community program, fostering ongoing engagement with international themes and perspectives.

Pamela Delfosse, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction World Language and Global Education Consultant, praised IRIS NRC’s work, stating, “The Institute for Regional and International Studies National Resource Center makes language, culture, and context visible and approachable through their work, enhancing our profession.”

IRIS NRC extends its gratitude to WAFLT for this prestigious honor and remains committed to its mission of fostering global understanding, language proficiency, and cultural awareness in Wisconsin’s schools and communities.

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