by TaLeiza Calloway
The College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University are among recent winners of the 2012 Sen. Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization. The honor is awarded by NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
Joe Rogers, director of the Center for Global Education at CSB/SJU, said every year institutions are invited to apply and this is the second time CSB/SJU has applied. While he was confident about their application, he was a little surprised to learn the news of their winning. The announcement came kind of late so he admits to having been a little anxious.
“It is the biggest award we can get in the field of international education,” Rogers said. “It’s a great honor.”
CSB/SJU have about 250 international students seeking four-year degrees. Between 350 and 380 students study abroad whether it is midterm or for a semester, Rogers said.
One-third of the CSB/SJU faculty have led a school-sponsored international trip and in the last five years, more than 75 faculty members have participated in 14 school-sponsored faculty development trips to 11 countries.
But the award is not just for the two schools’ strong study-abroad programs but also includes efforts to look at how to broaden connections with partner institutions abroad and support research development for both faculty and students.
Internationalization initiatives are focused in developing a globally competent faculty, a curriculum which is embedded with intercultural and global content and students who graduate prepared for life in an interconnected and globally competitive world.
The larger community also has a part in CSB/SJU’s dedication to international mindfulness and global engagement.
“We don’t see this as just an award for (us),” Rogers said. “St. Ben’s/St. John’s is very committed to making sure community outreach has a big part of what we do with internationalization. We want to be a resource to connect with things and ideas (here) and around the world.”
Other recipients of the award include Juanita College in Huntingdon, Pa., Northern Arizona University, San Francisco State University and the University of Michigan.