Presidential Award of Excellence
Administrative Assistant - London and Cambridge Programs
Joy Winston chose to be photographed in Dimond Library, “because it is one of the most beautiful settings on campus,” and because she likes to “read a lot and read widely.”
For 16 years, Joy Winston has served as a quintessential “unsung hero” of international education through her support of two of the most successful study abroad programs at UNH: the London Program and Cambridge Summer Program.
Winston says that study abroad programs were “too expensive and too few” during her own college years, so she took a job at UNH that would enable her to give others this opportunity. Her work has allowed Winston to visit England half of dozen times, but that, of course, comes with the territory.
Winston is worldly enough to value study abroad for its life-changing impact on students; she is practical enough to know that in order to enjoy such experiences, students must first attend to a hundred details—from filling out complicated applications and lining up financing and travel plans, to registering for courses. “She does it superbly, dependably, and with unmatched attention to detail,” notes Douglas Lanier, an English professor and director of the London Program. “Because so much of Joy’s work takes place behind the scenes, her contribution is not always easily perceived,” he adds.
Sometimes Winston’s contributions are made upfront and center. In 2005, for example, when terrorist bombings on London subways and buses claimed 50 lives one week before the London Program was to begin, Winston personally handled phone calls from anxious students and parents. Although challenged in the extreme, Winston counts this occasion among her proudest accomplishments. “Not a single student withdrew from the program,” Winston recalls.
Study abroad may no longer be the carefree activity it once appeared to be, but it remains deeply transformative for the thousands of wide-eyed students whom Winston has helped to prepare for their experiences abroad, and whom she has welcomed home again as changed and matured adults.