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Archive for the ‘Internationalization’ Category

Internationalization is increasingly becoming a central tenet of university missions and successful institutions innovate unique solutions worthy of recognition. The NAFSA Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization is awarded each year to schools that set themselves apart with their efforts to increase international programming and offer global educational experiences to their students, faculty, and community. In 2014, NAFSA celebrated the 12th anniversary of the Simon Award, and in a panel held on Tuesday, November 18, in Washington, D.C., several presidents and chancellors discussed the ways in which their institutions rose above the rest to receive the award.


Ángel Cabrera is a former Fulbright scholar from Spain and the current president of George Mason University, a public university located in Fairfax, Virginia with more than 33,000 students. When asked about the internationalization successes that his university has seen, Cabrera said that his administration has placed emphasis on scaling up international education opportunities for a large number of students. “We had to make smart ways for students to study abroad,” he said. This has included many programs developed through the Global Problem Solving Consortium, an international partnership of eight universities that George Mason spearheaded.

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“Internationalization really is as much about our own backyard as it is across the oceans,” says Richard Carpenter, chancellor of Lone Star College System in Houston, Texas.

Lone Star was one of five institutions to win NAFSA’s 2013 Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization. The 2013 Spotlight Award was given to three other schools. All were recognized on November 12 in Washington, D.C., at NAFSA’s Presidential Panel Discussion and Awards Reception, the kickoff to NAFSA’s celebration of International Education Week.


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As institutions work to internationalize their campuses, gathering leaders from various offices to share ideas can be difficult. NAFSA webinars present a unique opportunity to bring multiple departments together to collaborate on university-wide issues related to international education.

“Your challenge on a big campus is how to get people involved and how to get them to take ownership of something that they don’t view as their responsibility,” said Joe Potts, associate dean of International Programs and director of International Students and Scholars at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

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This week we go to Cincinnati to continue our blog series documenting the reflections of the inaugural cohort of the Connecting Our World Grassroots Leadership Program (GLP). Over the past year, Frank Merendino developed a new intercultural communication training program for faculty and staff at the University of Cincinnati. In his post, he shares the fun and hard work that became his advocacy story.


Frank MerendinoBy Frank Merendino
Being a part of the inaugural cohort of Connecting Our World’s Grassroots Leadership Program (GLP) was a lot of fun. I also learned quite a bit about how to advocate effectively for international education on a number of different fronts.

Being an advocate for international education can take on many different meanings. You can be an advocate by attending NAFSA’s Advocacy Day or writing a letter to your state representatives on the necessities of immigration reform. You can be an advocate in your community by developing a program that integrates international students with locals or shares your hometown traditions with students from across the world. You can be an advocate on your campus through policy development that affects the experience international students have at your institution. There are any number of ways that you can be an advocate for international education—and I strongly encourage you to do so even if you think it’s something small—do it! Be an advocate!

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Leymah GboweeLiberian activist and Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee recalled being at a U.S. airport recently and being questioned about why she had a Liberian passport while her child had a U.S. passport.

She explained she’d had the child while visiting the United States and could not get home in time to give birth. The agent was not kind to her—until she saw something on her passport and realized Gbowee was a recent Nobel Laureate. Then the agent proceeded to apologize profusely. Gbowee reflected that this in no way excused the poor treatment she experienced, and that people should not treat others badly—no matter what nation they call home.

Gbowee shared a number of her experiences and impressions during a recent speech at NAFSA’s 2012 Annual Conference & Expo in Houston.

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College and university leaders from 10 countries met during NAFSA’s 5th annual Campus Presidents’ Day on Monday and Tuesday this week to explore the challenges of promoting comprehensive internationalization. The program opened on Monday evening with a dinner featuring David Wheeler, editor-at-large, global, for The Chronicle of Higher Education. His key lesson: if U.S. higher education doesn’t adapt to the international competition for talent–and rapidly–it will lose reputation and credibility around the world. According to Wheeler, institutions need to expand their capacities to recruit the best faculty and staff from around the world and strategically manage their international partnerships at the highest level.

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