2012 Andrew Heiskell Award Winners

Awards to be presented at IIE’s annual Best Practices Conference

NEW YORK, January 26, 2012—The Institute of International Education (IIE) is pleased to announce the winners of the eleventh annual IIE Andrew Heiskell Awards for Innovation in International Education. The awards honor the most outstanding initiatives in international higher education among the member campuses of the IIENetwork, IIE’s membership association of more than 1,100 higher education institutions. IIE will present the awards at a ceremony in New York City on March 9, 2012 as part of its seventh annual Best Practices in Internationalization Conference for campus professionals. More than 200 campus leaders and international education professionals in the United States and around the world attend the conference each year.

IIE’s Heiskell Awards showcase the most innovative and successful models for internationalizing the campus, study abroad, and international partnership programs in practice today, with a particular emphasis on initiatives that remove institutional barriers and broaden the base of participation in international teaching and learning on campus. This year’s awards will recognize seven initiatives that are being conducted by nine campuses, plus an additional 17 campus members of the Rwanda Presidential Scholars Program consortium, this year’s winner for International Partnerships.

The winning campuses for 2012 are: University of Kentucky (Winner – Internationalizing the Campus); Howard Community College and the Community College of Baltimore County (Winners – Internationalizing the Community College); Community College of Philadelphia (Honorable Mention – Internationalizing the Community College); Hendrix College (Winner – International Partnerships, leading a consortium of 18 campuses); Victoria University, Australia, and University of Texas at El Paso (Honorable Mention – International Partnerships); University of Rhode Island (Winner – Study Abroad); and University of Georgia (Honorable Mention – Study Abroad).

During the eleven years that it has presented the Heiskell Awards, IIE has recognized more than 85 programs that promote international education on IIENetwork member campuses. Leaders from this year’s award winning campuses will present at the Best Practices Conference in March so that international education practitioners can learn from their experience and adapt their innovative internationalization strategies and models to their own campuses.

“The 2012 IIE Heiskell Awards recognize some of the world’s best initiatives in internationalizing higher education,” says IIE President and CEO Dr. Allan E. Goodman. “We appreciate the winners’ commitment to excellence and applaud their serving as models for other campuses to learn from as they plot their own internationalization strategies. The IIE Heiskell Awards are designed to strengthen international education in the United States and around the world.”

The members of the Selection Panel for the 2012 IIE Heiskell Awards include international education leaders from a diverse range of organizations: Arlene Jackson, Director of International Education, American Association of State Colleges & Universities (AASCU); Cathey Maze, Dean, Academic & Student Services, Oakland Community College; Donna Scarboro, Associate Provost, International Programs, The George Washington University; Anne Waters, Associate Vice Provost for Global Programs, New York University; and Brian Whalen, President and CEO, The Forum on Education Abroad.

IIE Andrew Heiskell Awards were named for Andrew Heiskell, a former chairman of Time Inc. and a long-time member of the Executive Committee of IIE’s Board of Trustees. Mr. Heiskell was a renowned international and cultural philanthropist and a devoted supporter of international education.

Visit IIE’s Best Practices Resource for a full listing of winners from 2012 and all of the campuses that have been recognized since they were first awarded in 2002.

Brief descriptions of the 2012 winning initiatives follow. Photos related to each program are available upon request.

2012 Andrew Heiskell Awards for Innovation in International Education: Winners and Honorable Mention Recipients by Award Category

Internationalizing the Campus

Winner: University of Kentucky, Discover Germany – Discover USA

The Discover Germany – Discover USA program sends twenty University of Kentucky students of diverse backgrounds (minority, Appalachian, or first-generation college students) to study in Berlin each June, and brings twenty German students who are immigrants or first-generation citizens to study at the University of Kentucky each September. This initiative provides a fully-funded five-week academic experience for the students, who represent groups who are woefully under-represented in study abroad. It is an important component of the university’s strategy to further campus internationalization. University of Kentucky conducts the program in partnership with the German Fulbright Commission and receives additional support from the Hertie Foundation and Germany’s European Recovery Program.

Internationalizing the Community College

Winner: Howard Community College and Community College of Baltimore County, Global Distinction Program

Global Distinction is an academic enrichment program that strives to improve the global competency of students through a three pronged approach: the globalization of the General Education curriculum, cultural immersion and campus events. The product of a joint effort between Howard Community College and the Community College of Baltimore County, the mission of Global Distinction is to provide the framework to ensure that students become global citizens and are prepared for both academic and professional endeavors in the interconnected and interdependent world of the 21st century. Students must complete three major components to earn Global Distinction: globally intensive coursework, study abroad or domestic intercultural experience, and college community involvement. They summarize their experiences in e-portfolios evaluated by the program coordinator.

Honorable Mention: Community College of Philadelphia, Student-Faculty International Fellowship Program

The Student-Faculty International Fellowship Program makes study abroad experiences more accessible to the diverse student population at the Community College of Philadelphia. The majority of the college’s students have neither the time nor the financial resources necessary for participation in a traditional, semester-long program. In order to address these students’ needs, the college designed an innovative study abroad model that combines short-term programs with fully integrated coursework before and during the trip. Faculty members from a variety of academic departments participate, offering diverse perspectives and concentrations to the students, making each program unique. While students’ time abroad is short, the richness of the multiple academic disciplines that participate creates an intensive, wide-reaching learning experience.

International Partnerships

Winner: Hendrix College, Rwanda Presidential Scholars Program

Hendrix College leads a consortium of eighteen U.S. colleges and universities that work with the Rwandan government to provide four-year, undergraduate scholarships to a select group of Rwanda’s best and brightest students. Hendrix serves as project coordinator for the Rwanda Presidential Scholars Program consortium and is principally responsible for obtaining scholarship commitments, overseeing the student selection process, and administering the financial aspects of the program. The consortium is currently the largest provider of scholarships to the Rwanda Ministry of Education, with 129 students enrolled in undergraduate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies as of the fall semester 2011. A second phase of the program enables U.S. students from consortium campuses to study abroad and intern in Rwanda.

Honorable Mention: Victoria University, Australia and University of Texas at El Paso, VU/UTEP Global Engagement and Learning program

Victoria University, Australia (VU) and University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) share a commitment to providing an excellent and accessible educational experience for the new student populations of the 21st century. Their students are from culturally diverse and educationally disrupted backgrounds, who are often the first in their families to gain a degree. The Global Engagement and Learning partnership links students, faculty and staff in both institutions and has led to major innovations in the way both universities operate. Three programs serve cornerstones of the partnership: the Global Learning Community, Student Employment and Exchange, and Library Exchange.

Study Abroad

Winner: University of Rhode Island, International Engineering Program

The University of Rhode Island has developed a ground breaking International Engineering Program (IEP) that serves as a model for engineering and language educators across the country. IEP is a five year dual degree Bachelor’s program through which each student simultaneously earns a B.S. in an engineering discipline and a B.A. in a foreign language. In their fourth year, students study language, culture and engineering courses in the target language at top engineering partner schools in Germany, France, Spain and China. They spend their second semester interning for six months in a partner company abroad. This model gives students a very clear view of the career impact of their language study and their experience abroad.

Honorable Mention: University of Georgia, Global Programs in Sustainability

Since 2005/06, UGA’s Global Programs in Sustainability (GPS) has reached more than 250 students a year. Focusing on broad questions of human-environment sustainability, GPS uses a module template to deliver interdisciplinary, faculty-led, study abroad programs for students from virtually every major on campus. Recently, this approach has been adapted by over 20 U.S. colleges and universities, attracting more than 500 students annually. Since 2008, an ongoing large-scale empirical research effort has addressed student learning outcomes, resulting in several publications with leading education journals. GPS has improved student access to programs by bridging diverse academic units to consider their disciplinary perspectives and relations to sustainability, and explore how their disciplines could work with other subjects to form an interdisciplinary study abroad program in sustainable development.


Public Affairs