Hobart and William Smith Colleges was one of five colleges in the nation recently recognized with a prestigious national award for successfully incorporating international understanding across the campus community.
NAFSA: Association of International Educators recognized Hobart and William Smith as one of five colleges and universities in the country with the Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization. The Simon Award has named 40 colleges in its eight year history, including this year’s fellow recipients: Carnegie Mellon University, Loyola University, Northeastern University, and the University of San Francisco.
“This award is a reflection of the commitment that Hobart and William Smith place on global citizenship,” says Hobart and William Smith President Mark D. Gearan. “We are proud that our efforts to expand the opportunities for our students to study abroad while we welcome more international students to Geneva are recognized. Combined with our community service projects and internship experiences while studying abroad, Hobart and William Smith truly sees a 21st century education in the global context.”
A hallmark of the 2010 Simon Award winners is the support and participation of their campus leadership, faculty, visiting scholars, staff, students, and communities in creating an integrated global approach to the curriculum, campus programs, and outreach on their campuses. The award is given to institutions where international education is infused into the learning environment. The award recognizes the Colleges’ commitment to intercultural understanding in providing a rigorous, interdisciplinary, liberal arts education that produces globally engaged graduates.
The report notes that the value the Colleges place on internationalism is evidenced by the selection of then-Peace Corps Director Mark D. Gearan as president in 1999 as well as the efforts that went into successfully protecting HWS study abroad programs from budget cuts during the recent recession. “Gearan’s approach includes encouraging students to study in Vietnam, Senegal, South Africa, Peru, China, Brazil, and other very 21st century places,” says the report. Each year, the Colleges send hundreds of students to 32 countries, of which nearly two-thirds are outside of Western Europe. The report indicates that another critical component of the students’ experience is the emphasis on pre-departure and return programming by HWS’ Center for Global Education.
Named for the late Senator Paul Simon, (D-Ill.), these awards acknowledge outstanding and innovative efforts in campus internationalization. Simon was well known as a strong supporter of international education and foreign language learning. His leadership in these areas was especially evident in his support for the creation of the National Security Education Program, which addresses critical national security deficiencies in language and cultural expertise, and in his vision of a national program to expand Americans’ knowledge of the world.
Hobart and William Smith Colleges offer a multitude of internationally-focused courses across all divisions and departments. In fact, more than half of the First-Year Seminars this year include significant international content. In leveraging resources from numerous grants, as well as the generosity of alums and other donors, the Center for Global Education at Hobart and William Smith has developed wide-ranging, off-campus study opportunities and an innovative approach to pre-departure and reentry programming that contributes much to campus internationalization. Currently more than half of the Colleges’ students participate in off-campus study, choosing from among 41 semester-long programs. Many of these include internship and service-learning opportunities.
NAFSA’s original name was National Association of Foreign Student Advisers.