For Immediate Release

Washington, March 10, 2020 – NAFSA is pleased to announce seven exemplary U.S. universities and colleges as recipients of the 2020 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, defined by NAFSA as a conscious effort to integrate and infuse international, intercultural and global dimensions into the ethos and outcomes of their students’ education. 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 2020 Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization recipients are:

  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach, Florida
  • Emerson College – Boston, Massachusetts
  • United States Naval Academy – Annapolis, Maryland
  • University of California, Davis – Davis, California

The “Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award” recognizes a specific international program or initiative that contributes to internationalization on campus. The 2020 Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award recipients are:

  • Agnes Scott College – Decatur, Georgia

Summit – Global Learning Program

  • DePaul University – Chicago, Illinois

Global Learning Experience

  • University of Maryland – College Park, Maryland

Year of Immigration

“At NAFSA we are guided by our belief that international education lies at the core of an interconnected world characterized by peace, security and well-being for all,” said Esther D. Brimmer, NAFSA Executive Director and CEO. “We are thrilled to honor the wonderful work of these seven higher education institutions to internationalize their campuses and prepare their students to be globally competent individuals. With their innovation and commitment to internationalization, these campuses are leading us to be a more welcoming, globally engaged United States.”

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 by Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) in the Senate (S.1198) on April 11, 2019 and by Representatives Cheri Bustos (D-IL) and John Katko (R-NY) in the House (H.R. 4555) on September 27, 2019.

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: Congratulations to the 2020 NAFSA #SimonAward winners. Thank you for your great work internationalizing U.S. campuses and strengthening global ties. @EmbryRiddle @EmersonCollege @NavalAcademy @UCDavis @AgnesScott @DePaulU @UofMaryland. More at

About NAFSA: Serving more than 10,000 members and international educators worldwide, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education and exchange. Visit us at To learn more about our advocacy efforts on behalf of international education, visit Resources to guide our members on these issues can be found at