The Daily Item
SELINSGROVE — Susquehanna University President L. Jay Lemons accepted the 2013 Andrew Heiskell Award for Internationalizing the Campus, presented by the Institute of International Education (IIE) at a March 22 ceremony in recognition of Susquehanna’s Global Opportunities (GO) program and other related initiatives.
The Andrew Heiskell Awards for Innovation in International Education honor the most outstanding initiatives in international higher education, in five categories, among more than 1,100 IIE-member campuses. Susquehanna’s innovative programs help students achieve a high level of cultural competency that is critical for success in today’s diverse and interconnected world.
Lemons and Scott Manning, director of cross-cultural programs, attended the awards ceremony in New York City, part of IIE’s annual Best Practices in Internationalization conference for campus professionals. Award winners presented program information at the conference so that other interested colleges could learn from their experience and adapt innovative internationalization strategies and models to their own campuses.
The GO program guarantees that all Susquehanna students will spend at least two weeks off campus immersed in a culture different from their own. Their time away is followed by a credit-bearing, critical reflection course on the experience when they return to campus. Currently students can choose from among more than 100 GO options, including Travel Writing in South Africa, Sherpa Life and Culture in Nepal, Focus Australia, and a Central America Service Adventure at mission sites in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, to name a few.
Susquehanna is among only a handful of schools to guarantee a study-away experience for all students, and its post-travel reflection course requirement is unique. Students use class discussions, performances, presentations and creative writing to define how the experience changed them, with attention to cross-cultural learning goals such as understanding and recognizing ethnocentrism.
Susquehanna has also increased enrollment of international students by 35 percent in the past year. The Center for Diversity and Social Justice assists in that effort through its scholar-mentor program, which trains juniors and seniors to help international students adjust to their new home.
For more information about the award-winning programs, visit www.iie.org/internationalization.