Studying international affairs and teaching English as a foreign language in his home country of Brazil was never going to satisfy the international education appetite of Willys de Andrade Santos. For his ambitious vision for global education for university students in Nigeria, Santos (GSPIA 2006) is the recipient of the 4th annual Sheth International Young Alumni Award for International Achievement. He is the director of the Centre for Innovation and International Studies at the Kwara State University, Malete, Nigeria, where he promotes internationalization and multiculturalism among faculty and students. The Award, announced by the University Center for International Studies, honors a former Pitt international student for his/her contributions to the international community through professional achievement and societal impact.
“Willys Santos recognizes the great need for today’s university students to understand people and culture’s beyond their own national borders,” said Dr. Jagdish Sheth (Business ’62G, ’66G), University of Pittsburgh alumnus who, with his wife Madhuri, promotes global thinking and international endeavors through the Sheth Family Foundation. “He is an exceptional young man with a big-picture view of the world who uses his Brazilian heritage as a powerful message and real-life example of a global career.”
Recruited to the Kwara State University in 2012, Santos has led the process for the development of an ambitious five-year 2015-2020 strategic plan for internationalization that advances the international vision and mission of the university. He is in charge of all international academic activities including memoranda of understanding with foreign universities, programming for visiting international faculty, promoting human rights on campus through extracurricular activities, and management of all study abroad programs.
Santos, a Fulbright Scholar to the University of Pittsburgh from 2004 to 2006, earned a Master’s degree from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs as well as a graduate Certificate in Latin American Studies from the Center for Latin American Studies in 2006. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the Universidade Salvador in Brazil in 2002.