The members of the 2005 selection jury for this project faced a very difficult task. NAFSA received many fine submissions from across the nation, and each had to be given careful consideration. We believe this report speaks to both the seriousness with which the jury ap-proached this task and the high caliber of the schools who submitted their programs for consideration.
- The panel sought institutions that could demonstrate some or all of these characteristics:
- The campus has been widely internationalized across schools, divisions, departments, and disciplines.
- There is evidence of genuine administrative or even board-level support for internationalization.
- The campus-wide internationalization has had demonstrable results for students.
- The institution’s mission or planning documents contain an explicit or implicit statement regarding international education.
- The institution’s commitment to internationalization is reflected in the curriculum.
- The campus-wide internationalization has had demonstrable results within the faculty.
- There is an international dimension in off-campus programs and outreach.
- There is internationalization in research and/or faculty exchange.
- The institution supports education abroad as well as its international faculty, scholars, and students.
The institutions selected for their overall excellence in internationalization were presented with NAFSA’s Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization at the NAFSA anual conference in Seattle in May 2005. The late Senator Simon of Illinois served his state and the nation as a strong voice for civil rights, peace initiatives, and international education. He was a strong advocate throughout his career for international education, using his positions on various committees in the Senate to advocate for exchange. His leadership in this area was especially evident in his robust support, along with Senator David Boren, for the creation of the National Security Education Program, which addresses critical national security deficiencies in language and cultural expertise.
Each of the five institutions chosen by our expert selection jury to receive the Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization has been profiled in-depth here. Together they illustrate amply one of the great strengths of U.S. higher education—they all demonstrate impressive levels of internationalization across their entire campus structure, have each has achieved this level of excellence in its own way.
Among the winners this year are schools of widely varying sizes and resources. Colby College, Waterville, Maine; Colgate University, Hamilton, New York; Howard Community College, Columbia Maryland; University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas; and the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) are all excellent examples of internationalization. But each school has come to this commitment to internationalization in their own way and based on their own circumstances and means.
In addition to the five schools that were chosen to receive the Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization, three other institutions are spotlighted here for their outstanding accomplishments in specific areas of internationalization. Columbus State Community College, Columbus, Ohio, is included because of its outstanding array of international education connections that have assisted the school in improving campus internationalization. The University of Denver, Denver, Colorado, is noted for its innovative Cherrington Global Scholars program. And finally, El Camino College in Torrence, California is recognized because of its tireless and very fruitful efforts to locate and take advantage of outside funding to back internationalization.
As the leading association for international educators in the world today, NAFSA is firmly committed to the notion that the world will be a more stable and more prosperous place when all the citizens of the globe are better able to understand each other through educational experiences that draw us all together. The future leaders of the United States must be women and men who have knowledge of the ways of other peoples, their customs, and their worldviews. Likewise, offering the opportunity to the next generation of leaders from other nations to come to the United States to study and enjoy a firsthand experience of our culture and values will undoubtedly pay dividends as we all work to share our ever shrinking globe.
NAFSA is hopeful that by recognizing the five Simon Award recipients and shining a spotlight upon the special achievements of three additional institutions, we will help to encourage at all institutions of higher learning the kinds of innovative thinking and holistic approaches that these schools have amply demonstrated in their attempts to look further beyond the horizon to a world ever more integrated, peaceful, and tolerant.
A project of this magnitude is the work of many people. The constraints of space prevent us from listing everyone who contributed, but we do want to single out several people for special acknowledgement.
First, NAFSA gratefully acknowledges the considerable work of five volunteers who constituted the selection jury that chose the institutions that are profiled in this report:
- Stephen Curtis, President, Community College of Philadelphia
- Stephen Dunnett, Vice Provost, University at Buffalo, State University of New York
- Connie Perdreau, Director, Office of Education Abroad, Ohio University
- Wendy Weiner, Interim Director of educational planning, Virginia Community College System
- Jim Williams, Director of International Education, George Washington University
Their thoughtful deliberations were truly invaluable.
This report was researched and written by Christopher Connell. He also contributed many of the fine photographs used in the profile articles on the Simon Award winners. Formerly the national education reporter for The Associated Press, and later assistant chief of the AP Washington Bureau, Mr. Connell is a freelance writer, editor and consultant who works with foundations, nonprofit organizations and government agencies. He is also a frequent contributor to International Educator magazine.
Many thanks to the representatives of the colleges and universities who participated in the project, including all who submitted nominations. We especially thank the institutions featured in this report for their assistance in helping us research and report their stories.
We also express our gratitude to the family of Paul Simon for lending the late senator’s name to the Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization, bestowed upon the five institutions to receive campus-wide profiles in the 2005 report.
Finally, our deepest gratitude to our partner on this project, the Educational Information and Resources Branch (ECA/A/S/A) of the United States Department of State’s Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau.
Thanks to these colleagues and many others, we are able to present here a report that captures the breadth and depth of accomplishment in international education at colleges and universities—information that will be of interest and, we trust, inspiration for many in the field.