NAFSA Recognizes Eight U.S. Higher Education Institutions for Excellence in Campus Internationalization in 2019




Rebecca Morgan, 202.737.3699 x4449,
Kasey Penfield, 202.737.3699 x4418,

Washington, March 12, 2019 – NAFSA is pleased to announce eight exemplary U.S. universities and colleges as recipients of the 2019 Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization. Named after the late Senator Paul Simon of Illinois, the NAFSA Simon Awards recognize outstanding innovation and accomplishment in campus internationalization. The awards are separated into two categories to reflect the broad array of approaches used to effectively internationalize campuses.

The “Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization” distinguishes excellence in integrating international education throughout all facets of university and college campuses. The 2019 Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization schools are:

  • Brown University – Providence, Rhode Island
  • Dickinson College – Carlisle, Pennsylvania
  • Kirkwood Community College – Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Miami University – Oxford, Ohio
  • West Virginia University – Morgantown, West Virginia

The “Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award” recognizes a specific international program or initiative that contributes to internationalization on campus. The 2019 Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award schools are:

  • SUNY Buffalo State – Buffalo, New York
    International Professional Development Schools Consortium
  • University of Evansville – Evansville, Indiana
    UE Builds: Local and Global
  • Virginia Tech – Blacksburg, Virginia
    Rising Sophomore Abroad Program

"As future leaders of our country, it is vital that our students have the tools and experiences necessary to thrive in an increasingly interconnected global community,” emphasized Esther D. Brimmer, NAFSA Executive Director and CEO. “These eight institutions stand as excellent examples of how U.S. universities and colleges can effectively provide opportunities for cross-cultural competency using a varied set of methods. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to internationalization. With institutions like these continuing to strive to incorporate creatively global perspectives onto their campuses, I am confident we can prepare our students to succeed and ultimately strengthen ties around the world.”

A strong advocate for international education and cross-cultural learning, the late Senator Paul Simon is also the namesake of the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Program Act. The Simon bill aims to incentivize U.S. institutions to make study abroad an integral part of higher education by creating a modest program of challenge grants. The bipartisan legislation was introduced in the Senate (S. 601) and in the House (H.R. 4379) last year.

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