The award recognises outstanding innovation and accomplishment in campus internationalisation in two categories: the “Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization” for integrating international education throughout all facets of university and college campuses, and the “Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award” for a specific program or initiative that contributes to internationalisation on campus.

The award is named for the late senator Paul Simon, whose name is also on the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Act which “aims to incentivise US higher education institutions through competitive grants to increase the number and diversity of students who complete a study abroad experience”.

“UNCW’s innovative faculty and staff have earned national recognition for the university’s commitment to offering globally focused programs”

“With the Senator Simon Spotlight Award, UNCW’s innovative faculty and staff have earned national recognition for the university’s commitment to offering globally focused programs that make international learning experiences more accessible for our students,” said chancellor Jose V Sartarelli of the University of North Carolina Wilmington, one of the award recipients.

“Many of the students who participate in our collaboration with Bangor University in Wales are first-generation college students, and this program introduces them to a whole new world of opportunities.”

The University of Texas at Austin, a winner in the comprehensive internationalisation category, added that even “during a time of significant global upheaval, UT Austin remains committed to transnational collaborations”.

“I am impressed by the creativity and innovation of our faculty and staff to ensure that engagement with our international partners is bolstered,” said Sonia Feigenbaum, senior vice provost for global engagement and chief international officer.

“I am grateful to NAFSA for recognising the diligent work of the UT community on campus and across the globe.”

The 2021 Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization recipients are:

  • Davidson-Davie Community College – Thomasville, North Carolina
  • Florida International University – Miami, Florida
  • Lehigh University – Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  • Santa Fe College – Gainesville, Florida
  • The University of Texas at Austin – Austin, Texas

The 2021 Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award recipients are:

  • Indiana University – Bloomington, Indiana
  • Global Gateway for Teachers program
  • Miami Dade College – Miami, Florida
  • Educate Tomorrow Abroad program
  • University of North Carolina Wilmington – Wilmington, North Carolina
  • First-Year Spring Admit (FYSA) in the UK program

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