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




Rebecca Morgan, 202.495.2553,
Kolbie Blume, 202.495.2528,

Washington, March 9, 2017 – NAFSA is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 Senator Paul Simon Awards for Campus Internationalization. True to the legacy of the late Senator Paul Simon of Illinois, for whom NAFSA’s Simon Awards are named, the seven U.S. colleges and universities that were selected have demonstrated remarkable innovation and achievement in campus internationalization.

The awards are divided into two categories to reflect and distinguish the diverse ways higher education institutions can design and implement campus internationalization.

The “Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization” recognizes excellence in integrating international education throughout all facets of university and college campuses. The 2017 Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization schools are:

• Florida State University – Tallahassee, FL

• Santa Monica College – Santa Monica, CA

• University of Iowa – Iowa City, IA

• University of Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh, PA

The “Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award” celebrates a specific international program or initiative that contributes to broad internationalization on campus. The 2017 Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award schools are:

• Spelman College – Atlanta, GA

  Spelman Going Global program

• Texas Christian University – Fort Worth, TX

  TCU Rhino Initiative

• University of North Texas – Denton, TX

  Heart of Mexico program

“We are thrilled to award NAFSA’s highest commendation to these seven colleges and universities for their remarkable efforts to implement internationalization on their campuses,” said Esther D. Brimmer, NAFSA Executive Director and CEO. “Through their hard work and dedication, each of these campuses has demonstrated how U.S. higher education institutions can succeed at fostering a globally connected and welcoming community using a variety of methods. It is through the continued commitment and innovation of institutions like these that we can ensure a future of greater collaboration and shared progress across the world.”

Senator Simon was a champion for international education and cultural exchange. His passionate advocacy for these issues inspired the bipartisan Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Program Act, which was introduced in the Senate today by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) and cosponsored by Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

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