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January 25, 2016 Special IIE.Interactive
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IIE Announces Winners of the 2016 Andrew Heiskell Awards for Innovation in International Education

The Institute of International Education (IIE) is pleased to announce the winners of the annual IIE Andrew Heiskell Awards for Innovation in International Education. Since 2001 the awards honor the most outstanding initiatives in international higher education among the member campuses of the IIENetwork, IIE’s membership association of more than 1,400 higher education institutions. 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. Over 150 campus leaders and international education professionals in the United States and around the world attend the conference each year.

In 2016, IIE is presenting Heiskell Awards in the following categories: Study Abroad, Internationalizing the Campus, and International Partnerships. This year, IIE added a special award for Internationalizing the HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). The winners in each of the categories offer exceptional programs that are working to eliminate institutional barriers and broaden the base of participation in international teaching and learning.

The IIE Andrew Heiskell Awards were named for 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 learning.

The 2016 IIE Heiskell Award Winners

See profiles of this year’s winners, along with 15 years of winning programs on IIE’s Best Practices Resource. Read the full press release about the 2016 Heiskell Award winners.




Today, as never before, education must be globally oriented to prepare students from around the country and around the world to move confidently across borders, to interact effectively with people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and to take pleasure in a life filled with inquiry and discovery. A highlight of the university's Strategic Plan, "Renewing the Iowa Promise," is to create more opportunities for students to study abroad. A winter term program that brings students to India to work with leading social entrepreneurs to develop solutions to real world problems is doing just that.
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.


Sacred Heart believes in "preparing men and women to make their contributions to the human community by being responsive to social and civic obligations and able to respond to an ever-changing world." To support this goal and provide sought-after opportunities for nursing students to gain international experience despite rigorous state and professional accreditation standards, Sacred Heart’s College of Nursing developed a creative, three-pronged portfolio of nursing programs abroad that provides choice of location and duration, is sensitive to students’ financial needs and addresses the academic barriers of a highly regulated discipline.

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. These excellent programs benefit from partnerships with organizations such as Western Connecticut Health Network, PRN Relief International, Catholic Medical Mission Board and AmeriCares. They enable undergraduate, masters, and doctoral nursing students to fulfill required clinical hours and internship requirements and implement sustainable projects.


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.

As part of its strategic plan, Oswego has pursued an aggressive expansion of its study abroad portfolio and targeted institutional student grants, with a special emphasis on diverse locations and new academic disciplines. It created its first education abroad offering in Africa, new grant-funded STEM research programs in Brazil, and new programs to important destinations such as China, Cuba, India, and Turkey, to interest and accommodate a broader array of the student population.




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.

Since fall 2010, FIU has implemented a two-course global learning requirement for all undergraduates as part of its Global Learning for Global Citizenship initiative. 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. As the centerpiece of internationalized education at FIU, the global learning 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.


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. Implementation of Phase I began in 2012, with Phase II continuing the process in 2015.

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.


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.

Faculty and staff members who are experts in specific areas of internationalization lead the trainings, to promote international education, research, entrepreneurship, and cultural competence. Each participant is responsible for developing an internationalization project for Temple to help the university develop globally literate students ready for the international marketplace.




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.


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.

This flagship partnership contributes to internationalization in several ways. 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. Faculty exchanges and administrator visits increased understanding of study abroad programs and created a greater degree of confidence in international partners. 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.




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.

This new focus on internationalization reflects the changing nature of the society TSU was created to serve as a historically black college, and a commitment to prepare the students with a competitive edge required to excel in a global environment. With a very intentional institutional commitment, DIA promotes greater involvement of all students in significant international education experiences. 

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 of Global Initiatives, American Association of State Colleges & Universities (AASCU); Daniel Obst, Deputy Vice President of International Partnerships, Institute of International Education (IIE); 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.

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