Benjamin J. Lough, faculty director of International Service at the Center for Social Development (CSD), has received the Sheth Distinguished Faculty Award for International Achievement from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Illinois International Programs. The award is presented to an Illinois faculty member with profound international accomplishments in teaching, research and public service.
“Madhuri and Jagdish Sheth exemplify lives of public service and global philanthropy, and I am truly honored to be associated as a Sheth Scholar,” Lough said.
The Sheth Award aims to promote the ideals of global engagement, diverse and pluralistic global perspectives and the advancement of international human welfare, Lough noted. “I am thrilled that the university community acknowledges the importance of applied scholarship on international volunteering and service.”
In addition to Lough’s affiliation with CSD, he is an associate professor at the School of Social Work, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, senior researcher for the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) program in Bonn, Germany, and senior research associate for the Center for Social Development in Africa (CSDA), University of Johannesburg. CSDA is a “sister” of CSD in St. Louis.
In addition, Lough co-leads the Global Research Agenda on Volunteering for Peace and Development in partnership with UNV, CSD and the International Forum for Volunteering in Development. This initiative will define a strategic “global research agenda on volunteering for peace and sustainable development”—a framework to support the new UN Sustainable Development Goals 2015-2030.
Lough has been awarded more than a dozen research grants from foundations, research centers, international network bodies and intergovernmental organizations to study the impacts of voluntary action in low-income communities, as well as the impacts of global service learning in institutions of higher education. He is currently engaged in research funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada SSHRC of Canada to understand effective practices of international volunteering.
Lough and other International Achievement Awards recipients will be celebrated at a banquet on April 4 at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center in Urbana.