NAFSA Presents 2016 Simon Award Winners


Seven U.S. Universities and Colleges Recognized for Excellence in International Education


Rebecca Morgan, 202.737.3699 x4449,

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2016 – NAFSA is pleased to present the 2016 Senator Paul Simon Awards for Campus Internationalization to seven exemplary U.S. universities and colleges. Named for the late Senator Paul Simon of Illinois, NAFSA’s Simon Awards recognize outstanding and innovative achievements in campus internationalization. Reflecting a broad diversity of approaches to campus internationalization, both in terms of models and implementation, the awards are divided into two categories.

The “Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization” signifies excellence in integrating international education across all aspects of college and university campuses. This year’s winners successfully planned and executed strategies across several areas, including programs targeting student and faculty access to a global education experience. The 2016 Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization schools are:

  • College of William & Mary – Williamsburg, Va.
  • New York Institute of Technology – New York, N.Y.
  • University of Massachusetts Boston – Boston, Mass.
  • University of Tampa – Tampa, Fla.

The “Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award” honors a specific international program or initiative that contributes to comprehensive internationalization on campus. This year’s winners are broadening a sustainable approach to global student engagement by linking their campus outreach to others around the world. The 2016 Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award schools are:

  • East Carolina University – Greenville, N.C.
    Global Academic Initiatives (GAI) program
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Chapel Hill, N.C.
    Galápagos Science Center
  • Texas Tech University – Lubbock, Tex.
    K-12 Global Education Outreach (GEO)

“It is a pleasure to recognize these seven exceptional colleges and universities with NAFSA’s 2016 Simon Awards,” said NAFSA Executive Director and CEO Marlene M. Johnson. “This year’s winners exemplify a diversity of unique and shared approaches available to higher education institutions. The 2016 Simon Award institutions prepare our students for success in the thoroughly interconnected environment in which global learning is becoming a prerequisite to success, both in the classroom and beyond.”

Senator Simon was a strong supporter of international education and foreign language learning. His leadership in these areas was especially evident in his robust support for the creation of the National Security Education Program, which addresses critical national security deficiencies in language and cultural expertise, and for his vision of a national program to greatly expand U.S. citizens' knowledge of the world, which was the inspiration behind the proposed Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Foundation Act.

Institutions selected for the Simon Awards will be featured in NAFSA's report, Internationalizing the Campus: Profiles of Success at Colleges and Universities, to be published this fall, and honored at an event in Washington, D.C., during International Education Week in November. To learn more about NAFSA’s Senator Paul Simon Awards, visit


Sample Tweet: 2016 @NAFSA #SimonAward to @williamandmary @nyit @UMassBoston @UofTampa @EastCarolina @UNC @TexasTech. More at

With more than 10,000 members, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the world's largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education. Visit us at To learn more about our advocacy efforts on behalf of international education, visit and @ConnectOurWorld on Twitter.