The Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award, one of two different awards commissioned by NAFSA and highlighting a specific internationalisation program, was awarded to Albany State University for its Curriculum Internationalisation Initiative.
Also honoured was Hispanic Serving Institution Arizona State University – designated a HSI by the department for education in 2022 – for its Afghan Women’s Education Project.
“Through faculty partnerships that bridge languages, cultures, and continents; a commitment to serving Afghan refugee students; and dedication to equity and affordability in study abroad participation, these awardees demonstrate how relevant international education is to a rapidly changing world,” said NAFSA interim executive director and CEO Daniel C. Stoll.
Also receiving the Spotlight Award was liberal arts institution Cedar Crest College, Pennsylvania, for its Carmen Twillie Ambar Sophomore Expedition.
As well as the Spotlight Award, NAFSA honours a number of select colleges for their overall excellence in “integrating international education throughout all facets of university and college campuses” with the Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalisation.
“These awardees demonstrate how relevant international education is to a rapidly changing world”
The recipients this year were the University of Kentucky, East Carolina University, Georgia State University and Northwestern University.
“As NAFSA marks its 75th anniversary, we salute this year’s recipients for their creative approaches to making a globally enriched education accessible to all students,” Stoll said.
East Carolina University posted about their win, calling the award “not just any other to add to the list”.
The award is named after the late senator Paul Simon, who served as senator of Illinois from 1985 to 1997, and had long been an advocate for international education in the US, even calling for initiatives to help create scholarships for study abroad in later years.
As such, NAFSA coins the awards a celebration of “outstanding innovation and accomplishment in campus internationalisation”.
The criteria to receive one of the awards, NAFSA states, is a “conscious effort to integrate” international dimensions and intercultural aspects into the “ethos and outcomes of universities’ student education”.
“For more than 20 years, the Senator Paul Simon Award has recognised the true standard-bearers in campus internationalisation, and this year’s cohort is no exception,” Stoll added.