IIE Announces Winners of 2020 Andrew Heiskell Awards for Innovation

NEW YORK, January 27, 2020—The Institute of International Education (IIE) is recognizing the winners of the annual IIE Andrew Heiskell Awards for Innovation in International Education today at the January meeting of the IIE Board of Trustees. The programs that are receiving these prestigious awards are at the frontier of developing new models to build international partnerships, internationalize campuses, and promote study abroad. The awards recognize the most outstanding initiatives among the member campuses of the IIE Network, IIE’s membership association of more than 1,300 higher education institutions.

The four winning campuses will receive a cash award of $1,000 and a certificate from IIE’s President. Representatives from those institutions will make presentations to the board that highlight their programs and promote best practices, and participate in a conversation about the future of international education.

The four winners and three honorable mentions represent the broad diversity of higher education institutions in the IIE Network. They include a community college and major research universities and institutions from Pennsylvania to the South Island of New Zealand. The programs these institutions run take their students all over the world and bring international issues to campus. They demonstrate the important work being done to prepare students for a competitive labor market that prizes the ability to work across cultures and encourage them to develop a better sense of their own roles as global citizens. IIE’s core mission is to advance scholarship, build economies, and promote access to opportunities; we are aided in this by our close partnerships with like-minded institutions like this year’s Andrew Heiskell Award honorees.

IIE’s President and CEO, Dr. Allan E. Goodman said, “The innovative thinking in the international education community is what will prepare students for working in a complex, international world. These programs are building cultural and leadership skills that are essential to addressing global challenges, both for students who are encouraged to study abroad and for those who benefit from campuses more connected to the world. We are very proud to recognize these programs with the IIE Andrew Heiskell Awards for their innovative work and hope that their successes spark new ideas in the years to come.”

The winners are:  Internationalizing the Campus

Rice University: Since its founding in 2012, Brasil@Rice has served as a hub for meaningful connections between Brazil and the university. Brasil@Rice builds bridges in its communities by focusing on social activities as much as academic and professional partnerships. Many of its projects also draw upon multiple departments on Rice’s campus, giving Brasil@Rice the opportunity to promote interdisciplinary approaches and internationalization simultaneously. Aided by its close relationship with the Brazilian consulate in Houston, Brasil@Rice has served as a model at Rice for advancing research and creating enduring, productive relationships.

Honorable Mention, Texas A&M International University: Reading the Globe, Texas A&M International University’s signature Freshman Common Read program, creates student awareness of the importance of global learning, cultural tolerance, and development of social and personal responsibility through an international memoir that is read and discussed in their University seminar. Students develop research questions, conduct research, and present their findings through an oral and written presentation. 15 freshmen are also selected to travel to the country related to the memoir, based on an essay competition.

Internationalizing the Community College Campus

Harper College: The Global Region of Focus Initiative is the engine that drives Harper College’s internationalization efforts. A three-year cycle of interdisciplinary programs and area studies centered around a region of the world, GRF embodies an integrated, intentional, and strategic approach to the internationalization of the students, faculty, curricula, and programs of the college.  While building faculty capacity to teach from a global perspective, these programs provide students with the cultural, economic, political, and historical foundations for understanding global issues. GRF shapes tomorrow’s leaders with values-centered global perspectives through its curricular and programmatic innovations.


Lehigh University: Fifteen years ago, Lehigh University launched the Lehigh University / United Nations Partnership, becoming the sixth university in the world to be accredited by the UN as a non-governmental organization and the partnership with the UN continues to grow. Through distinct access, Lehigh faculty, staff, and students have regular opportunities to engage with global decision-makers who shape policy on the world’s most significant challenges, enhance project-based curricula, contribute to UN Sustainability goals, co-host conferences and workshops, serve on UN-affiliated committees, represent UN-NGOs, and more. In the words of Lehigh President John Simon, the UN Partnership program has become “part of Lehigh’s DNA.”

Honorable Mention, Kansas State University: The Australian Initiative and Oz-to-Oz Program makes Kansas State University the first U.S. educational institutional partner of the Australian-American Fulbright Commission. This partnership promotes collaborations between Australian institutions and scholars and Kansas State University through a Fulbright Distinguished Chair in the College of Agriculture, a Fulbright Senior Scholar in another discipline, and bringing Australian Fulbright awardees to campus for short-term visits. This promotes cutting-edge research activities, agricultural and life science initiatives, and economic development efforts that are of critical importance to both countries and the world.

Study Abroad

University of Tulsa: JumpstartTU is a one-week experiential experience in the summer before students’ freshmen year that blends learning about another country and culture with field experience with local partners in Panama to discover global issues in an international context. Students who have attended JumpstartTU report having a cohort of friends before beginning TU, stronger confidence that they will succeed, and an enhanced view of the world in which we live. Faculty and staff team leaders are inspired by the program, interact with the students at a deeper level, and return to campus with energy to look at their work differently and with enhanced global perspectives.

Honorable Mention, University of Otago: Tūrangawaewae, Pōkai Whenua (A Place to Stand, A World to Explore) is a culturally-driven study experience introducing tomorrow’s indigenous leaders to a global academic community. The program is designed to build partnerships between Māori students and the indigenous populations of the regions near partner universities and brings indigenous students from other communities to Otago. More than bilateral exchanges between universities, Tūrangawaewae, Pōkai Whenua is a collective partnership between groups of students, universities, and indigenous communities. Students return to their home universities with a better understanding of themselves and an opportunity to reflect on cultural practices and beliefs of another indigenous community.

About the Institute of International Education

The Institute of International Education (IIE) is the leader in providing international education strategies and program services. We work with policymakers, educators and employers across the globe to prepare students and professionals for the global workforce and equip them to solve the increasingly complex challenges facing our interconnected world. With support from donors, we also create initiatives that protect students and scholars in danger, expand teaching and learning across cultures, and provide opportunities to underserved populations. A not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 18 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,300 member institutions.

For more information, contact the IIE Press Office at press@iie.org.


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