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USF Receives NAFSA’s Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization
February 28, 2013

The University of South Florida is a recipient of the 2013 Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization, an honor presented by NAFSA: The Association of International Educators.

The Paul Simon Award is a comprehensive recognition based on international engagement, student programming, faculty development, and partnerships. The award is presented to a limited number of institutions each year, usually no more than five, and typically of a range of institution type. Previous award winners to research universities include Duke University, University of Michigan, Northeastern University, and Purdue University.

In line with USF’s 2013-2018 Strategic Plan, USF World is working to build significant local and globally-integrated collaborations.  “USF World’s charge is to engage, support and inspire students, faculty, and staff to think and work globally,” says Dr. Karen Holbrook, USF System Senior Vice President for Global Affairs & International Research.

Integrated University Strategy

A global catalyst for the university, USF World, has identified three major areas of international activities and linkages, the first is services and activities, followed by academic programs and institutes and centers and the third encompasses international research, innovation and global engagement.

USF World has a comprehensive strategy for creating international opportunities and has seen unprecedented success over the last two years.

- In fall 2012, World reported a 20 percent increase in both international student enrollment and the number of students studying abroad.

- Last year USF World hosted over 180 international delegations.

- USF World won the 2013 Andrew Heiskell Award from the Institute of International Education for the profoundly successful Ghana Scholars Program.

- USF World is home to several international centers and institutes, including the Confucius Institute and newly established Center for Strategic and Diplomatic Studies.     

- In 2011-12 the Institute of International Education (IIE) recognized USF as a top producer of U.S. Fulbright Scholars. USF World internally recognizes its Fulbright scholars with a specially designed medal.

- USF World oversees the Global Academic Partners (GAP) program which provides faculty the opportunity to work with colleagues at partner universities in China, Ghana and the UK. These partnerships have led to collaborative teaching and research across the globe.

- World has identified the international engagement activities of over 1,000 faculty across the USF System who are working in more than 140 countries. Using current information on USF’s international activities, USF World is able to create Country Engagement Briefs that are customized for various audiences.

- USF is a member of the UCosmic® Consortium of universities working to develop an interactive, digital initiative that will allow each institution to comprehensively map its global activities. This will be the cornerstone to USF World’s Global Discovery Hub.

- USF World leadership is working on a variety of local, national and international projects with partners like the Ford Foundation International Fellows, the Brookings Metropolitan Export Exchange, and Tampa Bay Committee on Foreign Relations to name a few.

A Global Student Body

USF was selected for its innovative and creative approaches to internationalizing the campus.

University leadership wholeheartedly believes in creating global scholars and global citizens as evidenced by the one million dollar endowment given by USF President Dr. Judy Genshaft and her husband, Steven Greenbaum. Their gift has translated into 57 student scholarships for study and research abroad.   

USF works to identify and integrate international opportunities that align with campus resources and student success. One particularly innovative initiative is the Global Citizenship General Education Program which is designed for incoming first-year students, especially those interested in pursuing degrees and careers related to global issues. Students attend seminars on global issues; enroll in courses focused on cultural diversity, environmental sustainability, human rights, and social justice; complete a foreign language requirement; and study abroad.

Nearly every academic unit on campus has an international component. USF Health’s unique model offers exchange programs for medical students, an International Medicine Scholarly Concentration for students to engage in outreach programs, joint training programs with universities abroad, and on-line certificate programs. USF Health colleges are also deeply engaged in activities that provide humanitarian relief to victims of natural disasters around the world.

Read more about the 2013 Paul Simon Award winners>>