IIE Announces Winners of the 2016 Andrew Heiskell Awards for Innovation in International Education

NEW YORK, NY, January 26, 2016—The Institute of International Education (IIE) has announced the winners of the annual IIE Andrew Heiskell Awards for Innovation in International Education. 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 promote international teaching and learning on campus.

IIE will present the awards at a ceremony in California on March 11, 2016 as part of its annual Best Practices in Internationalization Conference for campus professionals, which will be held this year at the University of California, Davis.

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 nine initiatives: five campuses will receive the Heiskell Award and four more will be recognized with honorable mention. The winning campuses are notable for their geographic diversity, with campuses in eight U.S. states across the country as well as partner universities in Sweden and France.

For the first year, IIE will present a special award in the category of Internationalizing the HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities), with the inaugural award going to Tennessee State University for its Diversity and International Affairs initiative.

For Study Abroad, the winner is The University of Iowa for its India Winterim International Development program linking students with social entrepreneurs in India; honorable mention goes to Sacred Heart University for the clinical and research opportunities offered by its College of Nursing, and to SUNY Oswego for the “I, Too, Am Study Abroad” campaign outreach to students who have been underrepresented in study abroad. These programs align with the IIE Generation Study Abroad goal of increasing and diversifying the population of students who study abroad.

In the category of Internationalizing the Campus, the selection panel chose two co-winners: Florida International University for its Global Learning for Global Citizenship initiative that engages all undergraduates in collaborative efforts to address complex global problems; and Case Western Reserve University for its comprehensive international plan. Honorable mention goes to Temple University for its International Educators Academy, a professional certificate program to engage faculty, staff and administrators throughout the campus in developing internationalization projects.

The winner for International Partnerships is University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for the Illinois-Sweden Program for Educational and Research Exchange (INSPIRE), a multidisciplinary alliance with three prominent public research universities in Sweden that encompasses education, research and service. Honorable mention goes to Northwestern University for its deep multisectoral partnership with Sciences Po in France, spanning student exchanges as well as dual PhD and faculty exchanges, research collaborations, joint conferences and developing joint programs.

During the fifteen 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.

“The campuses that IIE is recognizing this year have developed new approaches to extending more study abroad 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. “We recommend these programs as models, and hope they will offer inspiration as well as guidance to professionals on other campuses who share the goal of preparing their students to live and work in today’s global environment.”

The members of the Selection Panel for the 2016 IIE Heiskell Awards include international education leaders from a diverse range of organizations: Arlene Jackson, Associate Vice President for Global Initiatives, American Association of State Colleges & Universities (AASCU); Daniel Obst, Deputy Vice President for International Partnerships, Institute of International Education; Janice Thomas, Director, International Education Center, Brookdale Community College; Anne Waters, Senior Advisor, Special Projects at Columbia University; 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 2016 winning initiatives follow. Visit IIE’s Best Practices Resource for in-depth profiles of the 2016 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. 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. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices worldwide and over 1,400 member institutions.


2016 IIE Andrew Heiskell Awards for Innovation in International Education Winners and Honorable Mention Recipients by Award Category

See in-depth profiles of these and 15 years of winning programs on IIE’s Best Practices Resource.

Study Abroad

WINNER: The University of Iowa, India Winterim: International Development

India Winterim is a high quality three-week, field-based program which partners with Indian non-profits that address the most pressing contemporary societal issues. Students explore topics such as art and architecture, biodiversity and sustainability, education, entrepreneurship, housing, performing arts, healthcare, journalism, renewable energy, social work, and water resources. Over the last ten years the program has grown from one course with two faculty members and 17 students to one that encompasses numerous courses in different disciplines, enrolling an average of 135 students per year in multiple small sections and engaging dozens of UI faculty members. Using the winter term provides opportunities to study abroad not previously available to students in engineering and health science fields.

HONORABLE MENTION: Sacred Heart University, College of Nursing Study Abroad

Undergraduate, masters, and doctoral nursing students take part in clinical field experiences in Jamaica, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic to gain high-impact learning while delivering health care to developing countries. This allows them to fulfill required clinical hours and internship requirements and implement sustainable projects. The College of Nursing has invested in deep and substantive partnerships with nursing schools in Ireland and Australia to offer credit-bearing, short-term and semester-long study abroad opportunities that provide students with comparative health-care perspectives and connect them with their counterparts in both countries, while allowing for seamless integration into the four-year nursing plan of study. A series of collaborations with universities in target regions around the world also enables faculty members to conduct research and share expertise with colleagues in the Caribbean, northern Europe, and Africa, advancing the body of knowledge on global health issues and nursing education research.

HONORABLE MENTION: SUNY Oswego, “I, Too, Am Study Abroad”

SUNY Oswego has dedicated itself to ensuring that education abroad is attainable by all students. In 2010-11, underrepresented groups comprised 13% of students going abroad at SUNY Oswego. By 2014-15, more than 25% of study abroad participants were from underrepresented groups, mirroring campus demographic diversity. The “I, Too, Am Study Abroad” campaign has been a key element in this success. The centerpiece of the new campaign is a discussion series that engages panels of returning study abroad students representing SUNY Oswego’s diversity to speak candidly about their choices and experiences, addressing issues that students face while overseas related to topics such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, and other identity factors.

Internationalizing the Campus

CO-WINNER: Florida International University, Global Learning for Global Citizenship

At Florida International University, global learning is required education—not elective—for 21st century citizenship. Of FIU’s student population of more than 54,000, 87% are minority, 53% First Generation, and 55% financial aid dependent. FIU has made a long-term commitment to developing all students’ capacities for global citizenship—the skills and drive to solve global problems—by providing global learning to all. Global learning enables groups of students to determine relationships among their diverse perspectives and to develop equitable, sustainable solutions for the world’s interconnected human and natural communities. FIU has implemented a two-course global learning requirement for all undergraduates. The more than 160 global learning courses that fulfill this requirement are located in nearly every academic department. Students also participate in co-curricular activities to extend and enrich classroom global learning. The initiative engages the entire campus in collaborative efforts to analyze and address complex global problems, delivering on the University’s mission as an engaged, urban, public, minority-serving research institution.

CO-WINNER: Case Western Reserve University, Plan for Internationalization

Case Western Reserve University’s (CWRU) comprehensive Plan for Internationalization has created a sweeping, organic change in the university’s culture. CWRU initially focused on university-wide internationalization in its 2008 strategic plan. As a result, the university hired a senior international officer, created an International Planning Committee, and began a formal international strategic planning process. The process was inclusive — driven by faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members. As a result, internationalization is becoming embedded throughout the university’s thought and curriculum. The campus builds partnerships that extend the university’s reach and reputation; facilitates and engages individual and institutional connections between faculty, staff, students, and alumni with the larger world; assists students in enhancing their educational experience by going abroad; and provides comprehensive support to international students.

HONORABLE MENTION: Temple University, International Educator’s Academy

Temple University’s International Educators Academy (IEA) has created a robust network of faculty and staff members across the institution who are attuned to the university’s global agenda. This 4-day professional certificate program, created in partnership between the university’s Human Resources Department and the Office of International Affairs, is conducted over the course of a semester and engages faculty, staff and administrators whose jobs do not necessarily have an international component but who want to contribute to campus internationalization. The Academy gives participants the chance to be part of Global Temple, one of the university president’s six key commitments, provides a space for networking and peer learning, and enables individuals outside of the international programs area to add a global aspect to their careers.

Internationalizing the HBCU

WINNER: Tennessee State University, Diversity and International Affairs

In 2012, Tennessee State University had 79 International students, 36 students participating in study abroad, and one faculty member leading a study abroad experience. Campus leadership created the Office of Diversity and International Affairs (DIA) to provide cultural collaborative initiatives that support TSU’s strategic goals in producing global leaders. The results have shown the new initiative to be a rapid and astonishing success. In three years, TSU’s international efforts grew to hosting 900 International students, helping 121 students take part in study abroad experiences, enabling 12 faculty members leading study abroad experiences with support from four staff members, entering into MOU’s with 26 universities abroad, and signing a commitment with IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative.

International Partnerships

WINNER: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, ISIP/INSPIRE

The Illinois–Sweden Program for Educational and Research Exchange (INSPIRE) is a sustained, multi-faceted collaboration in research, education, and service among four world-class research institutions—the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University, and the Karolinska Institutet. As the pilot project of the Illinois Strategic International Partnerships initiative, this successful alliance provides a model for global leadership in higher education, research collaboration, and public engagement. The INSPIRE partnership measures success through its positive impact on students and faculty at each institution, and on the state, commercial, and civic societies of the state of Illinois and the country of Sweden. INSPIRE has created a stable infrastructure and lowered administrative barriers for ongoing exchange of students, faculty, and staff. It has served as a “knowledge bridge” connecting the broader societies of the state of Illinois and the Stockholm region and has led to sustained collaborative research projects across many scholarly disciplines.

HONORABLE MENTION: Northwestern University, International Program Development

Northwestern’s partnership with Sciences Po is a model and pillar of the university’s globalization strategy: multidimensional partnerships with foreign institutions that it can expand and deepen over time. The partnership began with student exchanges and a joint study abroad program on European Union Studies, followed by Public Health, and Critical Theory programs that admit students from both partner campuses. As a next step, the universities developed a dual PhD and faculty exchanges in several disciplines, resulting in research collaborations, joint conferences, and efforts to develop joint programs in Law and Communication. The creation of specially-designed, thematic Northwestern study abroad programs at Sciences Po created an international infrastructure for programs abroad, which allowed for the development of similar programs in Mexico, South Africa, and China. This led other departments to explore possibilities in their own disciplines, resulting in expanded opportunities (exchanges and specially-designed programs) in engineering, global health, medicine, economic and political development, and environmental studies.


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