Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

U-M honored with Simon Award for campus internationalization

U-M is one of five U.S. colleges and universities honored with a 2012 Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization, NAFSA: Association of International Educators has announced.

 

• Learn more about the Senator Paul Simon Awards.
• Read more about the Simon bill.

The award recognizes institutions that "reflect the broad diversity of approaches present in campus internationalization today, both in terms of models and implementation. Comprehensive internationalization is the planned strategic integration of international, intercultural and global dimensions into the ethos and outcomes of higher education. To be fully successful, it must involve active and responsible engagement of the academic community in global networks and partnerships."

"In 1847, just 30 years after its founding, U-M enrolled its first international student. From its earliest days, Michigan has engaged with global partners and supported faculty and student international initiatives in all fields of study," says John Greisberger, director of the U-M International Center.

"The Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization recognizes the breadth and depth of the university’s global engagement that cuts across all schools and colleges, and is reflected in the curriculum and in co-curricular learning as well."

In addition to U-M, other winners include College of St. Benedict/Saint John's University, Juniata College, Northern Arizona University and San Francisco State University. Three other institutions received the Simon Spotlight Award for a specific international program or initiative that contributes toward comprehensive internationalization: Providence College, University of Arizona and Washington and Jefferson College.

Named for the late Sen. Paul Simon, D-Ill., these awards recognize outstanding and innovative achievements in campus internationalization. Simon was well known as a strong supporter of international education and foreign language learning. He supported the creation of the National Security Education Program, which addresses critical national security deficiencies in language and cultural expertise, and his vision of a national program to greatly expand U.S. citizens' knowledge of the world inspired the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Foundation Act.

The institutions selected for the awards will be featured this fall in NAFSA's report Internationalizing the Campus: Profiles of Success at Colleges and Universities and honored at an event in Washington, D.C., during International Education Week in November.

With nearly 10,000 members, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the world's largest nonprofit professional association dedicated to international education.

The Simon Act is a congressional initiative to significantly increase study abroad opportunities for U.S. undergraduates, with the goal of one million U.S. students studying abroad each year within 10 years. The bill has had strong bipartisan support in past sessions of Congress and carries the endorsement of nearly 50 higher education and international education organizations.