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By George Lewis

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The award is given annually in honor of Kentucky native and UK graduate Frances J. Ockerman, who devoted much of her time to host and tutor international students.

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March 10, 2000 – (Lexington, Ky.) – This year’s Francis J. Ockerman Award for service to international students at the University of Kentucky has been presented to Lexington resident Maureen Sloan .

Sloan, wife of Dr. Paul A. Sloan of the Chandler Medical Center, was chosen as most representative of the spirit of the award, which was established eight years ago and is given annually in honor of Frances J. Ockerman, a Kentucky native and UK graduate who devoted much of her time to host and tutor international students.

“Mrs. Sloan's voluntary efforts to befriend and care for international students are characterized by selflessness, compassion, and a deep appreciation for the challenges international students face while studying away from their native cultures,” said Randy Gonzalez of UK, a member of the nomination committee.

Through her association with the international community, Sloan has helped international students through trying and emotional circumstances.

One instance of Sloan’s service involves her and her husband’s relationship with two students from Africa. Members of an affluent family whose father held government office, the students had learned that their 16-year-old brother had been kidnapped and murdered. Because of the political unrest in their country, the students were unable to return home for their bother’s funeral. Sloan and her husband took the students into their home and nurtured them through their grief.

But most of the experiences are happy ones. International students recall fondly how Mrs. Sloan allowed them in her kitchen to prepare food from their native countries, and how they would gather at the Sloan home and sing American songs, accompanied by Dr. Sloan on piano.

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