NAFSA’s eleventh annual report, Internationalizing the Campus: Profiles of Success at Colleges and Universities, reflects the growth in best practices, models of campus internationalization, and future trends related to international education in the decade that NAFSA has been recognizing excellence in internationalization with the Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization.
Each year the selection committee seeks institutions where international education has been broadly infused into all facets of the campus. The 2013 selection committee was particularly focused on identifying institutions and programs with the following 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.
NAFSA received many outstanding nominations from a diverse group of distinguished institutions across the United States. Each of the five institutions chosen by the selection committee—Colorado State University, Green River Community College in Washington, Lone Star College System in Texas, St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, and the University of South Florida—is profiled in this report. NAFSA will present the award to the presidents of these institutions at a special ceremony on November 13, 2013, in Washington, D.C., as part of this year’s International Education Week events.
Three other institutions received the Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award and are featured for their outstanding accomplishments in specific areas of internationalization. Fairfield University in Connecticut is recognized for its Cuidemos Nuestra Salud (Take Care of Our Health) Project for nursing students in Nicaragua; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is recognized for its International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) program that sends students to more than 20 countries for science and technology internships each year; and Northwestern University in Illinois is recognized for its global health studies program developed by Northwestern’s Office of International Program Development.
The late Senator Paul Simon of Illinois was a life-long advocate for international education and exchange as a powerful tool for promoting international understanding and a more just and peaceful world. Together with Senator David Boren of Oklahoma, Senator Paul Simon was a strong voice for the creation of the National Security Education Program, which addresses critical national security deficiencies in language and cultural expertise and an advocate for the Commission on the Abraham Lincoln Study Abroad Fellowship Program. His legacy lives on in the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Act, a legislative proposal, championed by Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, to increase access to study abroad for one million U.S. college students by 2020.
We hope that international educators will share this report with their institution’s top leadership and across all levels of their campus to underscore the value of well-planned, well-executed international education efforts and to broaden the reach of best practices in internationalization. Internationalizing the Campus is also of great value in communicating with communities beyond the campus. Legislatures and government agencies may find it a helpful tool in discussing and understanding international education and exchange. The 2013 Internationalizing the Campus report highlights the progress in internationalization achieved in the decade since the award was created. The institutions profiled represent innovative and creative approaches in international education to develop a globally competent workforce, advance learning and scholarship, and enhance understanding and goodwill in the global community.
NAFSA acknowledges and is very appreciative of the considerable work of six volunteers, from prior Senator Paul Simon Award campuses, who constituted the selection jury responsible for choosing the institutions profiled in Internationalizing the Campus 2013:
- Woody Pelton (Chair), Elon University
- James Buschman, New York University
- Harvey Charles, Northern Arizona University
- Jenifer Cushman, Juniata College
- Barry Morris, Kennesaw State University
- Joseph Rogers, College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University
Their careful review of the nominations and thorough deliberations were truly invaluable.
This report was researched and written by Christopher Connell, formerly the national education reporter for the Associated Press (AP), 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 also contributed many of the fine photographs accompanying the profile articles on the Senator Paul Simon Award winners.
Many thanks go 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 continue to be indebted to the family of Paul Simon for lending the late senator’s name to the Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization and the Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Awards, bestowed upon the five and three institutions, respectively, in the 2013 report.
Internationalizing the Campus reports from previous years and information about the competition can be viewed online at www.nafsa.org/itc.