Northeastern wins award for globalizing university

Northeastern wins award for globalizing university

By Bill Shaner, News Staff

Northeastern was one of five colleges and universities awarded the Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization by the Association of International Educators last month.

The award, released March 9, assessed 50 to 70 schools on both their accessibility to international students and the international programs they offer, according to members of the award’s selection jury. The schools submitted an application and essay for the jury to consider.

“It’s a great honor, and if you look at the universities that have gotten this award in past years, we are in good company,” Director of Communications Renata Nyul said. “I think it says a lot about the commitment the university has made toward global initiatives.”

She said the Dialogues of Civilization program, international co-op and the newly created Global Scholars Initiative – a scholarship designed to fund students’ international experiences – were among the programs Northeastern highlighted in its application.

Sophomore international affairs and anthropology dual major Janine Guarino touted the university’s Dialogues of Civilization program as a justification for Northeastern winning the award.

“I personally have only done the dialogue, but I think that’s a really neat program and it really puts us above other schools,” she said. “It’s a short time you go away and it’s faculty lead and it’s a little less nerve racking. I think students like that kind of atmosphere.”

Other students said they felt the amount of international students on campus was the reason for Northeastern’s achievement.

“There’s definitely an international presence here, a lot of cultural student groups that make themselves known in a good way,” said senior music industry major Erik Grosfeld. “I think that it’s cool that Northeastern is so appealing to international students.”

The four other recipients were Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York, Loyola University in Maryland and University of San Francisco in California. Northeastern and its four co-recipients were not ranked and were graded on the same criteria, according to the award’s official press release.

NAFSA will feature each institution in its report, “Internationalizing the Campus: Profiles of Success at Colleges and Universities,” this fall. The awardees will also be recognized at NAFSA’s 2010 Annual Conference and Expo in Kansas City, Mo., according to the press release.

The eight-year-old award was established after Illinois Senator Paul Simon died in 2003. Simon was an outspoken advocate for international education, according to the award’s website, and the award was established to continue his legacy.

Past awardees include Boston University and Connecticut College in 2009, Michigan State University in 2006, and Yale University in 2003.

Leave a Reply