IIE Announces Winners of the 2015 Heiskell Awards

NEW YORK, January 26, 2015—The Institute of International Education (IIE) is pleased to announce the winners of the 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 IIE Network, IIE’s membership association of more than 1,400 higher education institutions. This year’s awards highlight a total of ten initiatives that are being conducted by thirteen campuses: five campuses will receive the Heiskell Award and eight more will be recognized with honorable mention. The winners this year are notable for their geographic diversity, with campuses in nine U.S. states across the country as well as universities in Ethiopia, South Korea and Russia.

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 study abroad and international teaching and learning on campus.

2015 IIE Andrew Heiskell Award Winners:

Study Abroad: State University of New York at New Paltz (NY)
Internationalizing the Campus: Texas Christian University (TX)
International Partnerships: Auburn University (AL) partnership with Keimyung University (South Korea)
Internationalizing the Community College: Madison Area Technical College (WI)

Honorable Mention:

Study Abroad: University of Minnesota (MN)
Internationalizing the Campus: Purdue University (IN); Higher School of Economics (Russia)
Internationalizing the Community College: Miami Dade College (FL); Spokane Falls Community College (WA)
International Partnerships: The Ohio State University (OH) partnership with Addis Ababa University and University of Gondar (Ethiopia)

IIE will present the awards at a ceremony in New York City on March 20, 2015 as part of its annual Best Practices in Internationalization Conference for campus professionals. Nearly 200 campus leaders and international education professionals in the United States and around the world attend this conference each year at IIE’s headquarters in New York.

During the fourteen years that it has presented the Heiskell Awards, IIE has recognized more than 100 programs that advance international education on IIE Network member campuses, and has made their profiles available as a Best Practices Resource online. Leaders from this year’s award winning campuses will make presentations at IIE’s Best Practices Conference so that international education practitioners can learn from their experience and adapt their innovative internationalization strategies and models for their own campuses.

“This year’s IIE Heiskell Awards winners have developed new approaches to extending more international opportunities to a broader segment of their student populations and integrating international programs into the campus experience,” said IIE President and CEO Dr. Allan E. Goodman. “These goals align with IIE’s Generation Study Abroad Initiative, launched last year to double the number of U.S. students studying abroad by the end of the decade. We are pleased to recommend these programs as models for other campuses.”

The members of the Selection Panel for the 2015 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); Daniel Obst, Deputy Vice President for International Partnerships, Institute of International Education;  Anne Waters, Senior Associate Dean, School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University; Janice Thomas, Director, International Education Center, Brookdale Community College; and Brian Whalen, President and CEO, The Forum on Education Abroad.

The IIE Heiskell Awards were named for the late 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 dedicated supporter of international education.

Brief descriptions of the 2015 winning initiatives follow. Visit IIE’s Best Practices Resource for in-depth profiles of the 2015 Heiskell Award winners and all of the initiatives that have been recognized since the first awards in 2002.

About the Institute of International Education

The Institute of International Education is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices worldwide and over 1,400 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations around the world. IIE also conducts policy research and program evaluations, and provides advising and counseling on international education and opportunities abroad.


2015 IIE Andrew Heiskell Awards for Innovation in International Education Winners and Honorable Mention Recipients by Award Category.

See in-depth profiles of these and 14 years of winning programs on IIE’s Best Practices Resource.

Study Abroad


State University of New York at New Paltz, Study Abroad for Educational Opportunity Students

State University of New York at New Paltz is shifting the study abroad paradigm by connecting underrepresented students with the resources needed to ensure that all students have access to study abroad opportunities. The Center for International Programs (CIP) has teamed up with the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), a SUNY wide program that serves academically and economically disadvantaged students, to reach out to and support students who may not have previously thought about studying abroad. Working together, the campus professionals who run these two programs introduce students to international opportunities early on, and provide the customized services they need to take advantage of them. Staff across campus advise students on financial matters, expectations, cross-cultural adjustment, and scholarship opportunities for study abroad, provide workshops and tutoring and connect them with financial resources. First-Year EOP student seminars devote class time to international education opportunities, with assignments such as developing a four-year academic plan to include a study abroad experience. Both New Paltz and the entire SUNY System have joined IIE’s Generation Study Abroad Initiative, pledging to increase the number and diversity of students who study abroad.

Honorable Mention:

University of Minnesota, Bridging Loan Program

The Bridging Loan Program created by University of Minnesota assists students who do not have the funds available up front to cover program deposits and flight booking costs. This enables students to pay for these pre-departure costs later using their financial aid package without added interest or fees and also receive guidance on budgeting for study abroad. The education abroad office delays billing and covers flight costs through a partner travel agency until the students’ financial aid is disbursed. To date, more than 100 students have participated and the Learning Abroad Center has “loaned” thousands of dollars to students by covering upfront study abroad costs. UMN offers financial advising to these students throughout the process, resulting in decreased defaults and increased financial literacy for students who go abroad.

Internationalizing the Campus


Texas Christian University, Discovering Global Citizenship

TCU developed a campus-wide program of resources and events called Discovering Global Citizenship to engage TCU with the world by providing international and comparative experiences for students. With 30 percent of students and faculty already engaged in global pursuits, the goal in launching the program was to build a grassroots network of learning to impact all levels of the university and build global awareness among the other 70 percent of the community. Discovering Global Citizenship has created six different initiatives to date, incorporating technology for overseas communication with foreign students, developing international projects and partnerships, bringing in guest speakers, and fostering research collaboration with visiting scholars. Several of the initiatives, such as the World Programming Grant and the Global International Alumni Project, include students teaming up with faculty or alumni to provide for research support on global issues and increased student participation in understanding these issues. The purpose of this international programming is to bring global opportunities to the TCU campus so that students and faculty can engage in sustained international experiences within their own university community.

Honorable Mention:

Purdue University, International Integration Initiative (P3i)

The P3i Program at Purdue University is a comprehensive strategy that seeks to integrate international students into all aspects of campus life and prepares them to engage in meaningful interaction with their American classmates, faculty and community. With pre-arrival, arrival, and post-arrival programs designed to connect international students, they have the opportunity to participate in American culture and adapt successfully to the university environment. Before arriving, students receive extensive campus and cultural information both in person and online, in addition, they can communicate in person with staff and academic advisors, as well as with American student mentors by email. During orientation, students join trained American student orientation leaders for integrative activities with domestic students and the community. Orientation leaders and mentors stay in touch after classes begin, regularly encouraging participation in extracurricular activities and social events in order to bring together international students and their American counterparts. Having these students involved in campus life benefits both the international students and the U.S. students and helps bring a global perspective to the campus.

Higher School of Economics (HSE), Internationalization Program

Russia’s Higher School of Economics (HSE) conducts an Internationalization Program to bring international students and faculty to campus, provide comprehensive international service centers, support international research laboratories and partnerships, and offer dual-degree programs. HSE’s Center for Academic Integration helps international students with course selection, internship opportunities, and other academic-related questions. The International Students Support Unit provides assistance with visas, accommodation, and health insurance, and also provides cultural and social activities. HSE offers English-language programs at different levels (Master’s, Bachelor’s, and non-degree) and Russian-language training programs where students can strengthen their language skills before studying in Russian.

International Partnerships


Auburn University, Auburn-Keimyung Korea Center

Auburn University is located directly between two South Korean automobile corporations in Alabama which bring a strong Korean influence to the surrounding community. Leveraging this local context, Auburn University has created a strategic partnership with Keimyung University to provide Korean language and cultural programming for students. This partnership has led to an on campus Auburn-Keimyung Korea Center and subsequently to a Korean government-sponsored Institute. The King Sejong Institute creates synergy among the university, corporate, and local communities, providing social and academic interactions through cultural events and classes. Visiting scholars are invited by the Institute to contribute to campus life, and often spouses of Korean executives add to programming and academic growth through working in different academic departments at AU. Off-campus, the partnership has led to internship opportunities with Korean companies for American students and with U.S. companies for Korean students.

Honorable Mention:

The Ohio State University, Ethiopia One Health Partnership

The Ohio State Ethiopia One Health Partnership connects Ohio State’s expertise in health sciences with disease and medical challenges in sub-Saharan Africa. Partnering with Addis Ababa University and the University of Gondar, Ohio State works with 19 Ethiopian and U.S. institutes to improve health, build capacity and provide mutually beneficial learning opportunities for Ethiopian and Ohio State students. More than 50 Ohio State students and 45 faculty members are involved in global health projects in Ethiopia such as advancing neonatology and food safety, screening and treating cervical cancer, and eliminating rabies. This partnership integrates academicians and practitioners from Ohio State and select East African countries to leverage their knowledge, skills and resources to contribute to improving biologic and economic health in developed and underdeveloped countries.

Internationalizing the Community College


Madison Area Technical College, Community College Sustainable Development Network

Madison Area Technical College’s Community College Sustainable Development Network (CCSDN) brings together faculty and programming from 24 U.S. community colleges to build a network of study abroad programs in the STEM disciplines. The CCSDN provides opportunities for community college faculty to shadow program leads on existing programs, conducts training in best practices for study abroad, provides a framework for shared program development, and coordinates jointly run programs abroad. To date, network members have developed nineteen new study abroad opportunities including programs in engineering, renewable energy, sustainable architecture, sustainable construction, sustainable agriculture, tropical ecology, statistics, education, nursing, and dental service. Twenty-four faculty members from 19 different U.S. states have participated in CCSDN training. The CCDSN Network provides a model through which colleges can collaborate with other schools to create faculty-led programs that are grounded in shared training and support, enabling more community colleges to offer study abroad programming for their students.

Honorable Mentions:

Miami Dade College, Diasporic Knowledge Remittance Study Abroad Program

The Diasporic Knowledge Remittance Study Abroad Program, created by Miami Dade College, allows non-traditional students to study abroad in the health sciences and reconnect with their countries of heritage in the Caribbean and Latin America, while enhancing their global health competency. The study abroad programs in the health sciences include physician assistant, nursing, dental hygiene, and vision care, located in Haiti, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. In addition to providing skills-based opportunities for students, the program has created relationships and knowledge exchange between college faculty and medical and nursing colleges overseas.

Spokane Falls Community College, 2020 Global Vision

Spokane Falls Community College’s 2020 Global Vision Program provides opportunities for U.S. students and faculty to participate in study abroad and international service learning, with a program of international activities on campus that furthers its mission to prepare students to live responsibly in an increasingly global civilization. SFCC has expanded study abroad and service learning options, with a special focus on including low-income and/or underrepresented community college students.  In 2014, the college launched a new service learning program in Brazil, with a pilot group of five underrepresented students traveling to Brazil for a four-week service learning experience. The campus held a series of International Guest Speakers and Global Education-sponsored films and ran a Global Ambassadors program. SFCC has also redesigned its International Peer Mentors Program to help with recruitment and retention of international and domestic students, and it now includes 100 student participants each quarter.


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