Arizona International's Van Wyk Receives NAFSA Region II Bruce Tracy Award

Nov. 27, 2023
International Admissions and Enrollment Director Katie Van Wyk

Arizona International is proud to announce that Director, International Admissions and Enrollment Katie Van Wyk, has been awarded the 2023 NAFSA Region II Bruce Tracy Award, recognizing her 10+ years of serving within the international education industry. 

The award is given to a NAFSA member in Region II—which encompasses Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming—whose professional and personal contributions to the fields of international education go beyond the normal expectation of the job.

"Katie has been dedicated not only to her work at the University of Arizona, but also to fostering collaboration across our industry and help improving the experience of international students coming to the U.S. This award is well deserved, and we are lucky to have her in our team,” said Vice President for Arizona International and Dean of International Education Dr. Jenny Lee.

As the Director of International Admissions and Enrollment, Van Wyk manages a team of 12, overseeing international outreach and recruitment across most of the world, except for China and India where she consults with the locally based teams. She is driven by the desire to help connect people across the globe and believes that an international education is a transformative experience.

International Admissions and Enrollment Director Katie Van Wyk with Senior Business Analyst for International Student Services Lara Pfaff.

International Admissions and Enrollment Director Katie Van Wyk with Senior Business Analyst for International Student Services Lara Pfaff.

“To be able to work in a space where I meet students from more than 100 different countries and bring them into the Wildcat community to share their experiences, thoughts and opinions is truly rewarding,” said Van Wyk. “Arizona is a stronger institution because of the diverse perspectives on campus, and I’m grateful for the small role I play in that.”

Under her leadership, the UArizona international student population continues to increase year over year. In fall 2023 new to main campus international enrollments reached 976, an 11% increase over fall 2022. This included an increase of 10% in new undergraduate enrollments and an increase of 13% in new graduate enrollments.

During the regular and necessary travel in Katie’s role, she continues to oversee operational matters to ensure her team are supported for success, that they are recognized for achievements and have opportunities for development to succeed in their jobs and industry.

It is common knowledge amongst her team that she goes above and beyond working hours to keep things running smoothly,” wrote International Enrollment Manager Lauren Humphrey in the nomination letter to the NAFSA committee. “Her dedication shines through in recruiter reports, communication plan emails, and endless resources she provides her team.”

Just as Van Wyk supports and mentors her own team, she also attributes a portion of her success to those individuals who gave their support and advice as she advanced professionally.

“There have been many people in this field who have shared with me their wisdom, expertise, trust, and support over the last 10+ years,” she said. “We all need mentors, colleagues and friends who stand by us, and I would be nowhere without their guidance.”

Van Wyk’s mentors, her love of international education, her aptitude and hard work have seen her succeed in achieving her goals and we think she has a long future ahead, both in her work and as an industry leader.

“I knew I wanted to work in International Education nearly 12 years ago and have made every effort to grow as a professional since then. To be appreciated in this way means the world to me, and I hope I can continue to live up to the award’s name in the years to come,” Van Wyk said.

About NAFSA: Association of International Educators
NAFSA is the world's largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education and exchange. NAFSA serves the needs of more than 10,000 members and international educators worldwide at more than 3,500 institutions, in over 150 countries. NAFSA believes that international education advances learning and scholarship, fosters understanding and respect among people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives, is essential for developing globally competent individuals.