Published: March 22, 2016
The University of Tampa’s substantial, innovative progress toward comprehensive internationalization throughout its campus has earned it being named as one of four institutions to be awarded the 2016 Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization by NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
Named for the late Illinois Senator Paul Simon, NAFSA’s Simon Awards recognize excellence in integrating international education across all aspects of campus. Through planned and executed strategies across several areas, including programs targeting student and faculty access to a global education experience, the 2016 Simon Award winners reflect a broad diversity of approaches to campus internationalization, both in terms of models and implementation.
College of William & Mary, New York Institute of Technology and University of Massachusetts Boston join UT as award winners in this category.
“We’re proud to be named among the nation’s finest institutions doing outstanding and innovative work in international education,” said Marca Bear, associate dean of international programs. “From enhancing faculty development through academic seminars across the globe to encouraging students to study abroad through one of the many flexible and innovative opportunities available, UT strives to educate a global citizenry and build international competence within the community.”
NAFSA executive director and CEO, Marlene M. Johnson, said that the 2016 Simon Award institutions prepare our students for success in the thoroughly interconnected environment in which global learning is becoming a prerequisite to success, both in the classroom and beyond.
In both 2013 and 2014 UT was honored as one of five finalists for the award.
“UT is a community deeply connected to the larger world community and consistently innovates to fulfill our globally inspired mission,” UT President Ronald Vaughn said. “Today, students must succeed as global citizens, and as such, we will continue to take advantage of all opportunities to increase their international knowledge.”
Internationalization has been a priority at UT for many years. Students in all majors are encouraged to build their credentials through an education abroad program, and students have access to more than 1,000 education abroad opportunities in 70 countries. UT is a member of the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad initiative, with the mission of increasing the number of American college students studying abroad. Any UT degree can be enhanced with the Certificate of International Studies, which is designed to prepare students with the knowledge and skills to travel, live and work outside the U.S.
Most recently UT announced its first year abroad programming that includes the Spartans Academy Abroad, in which select incoming UT freshmen spend two weeks in Costa Rica studying sustainability and environmental politics. Second semester first year students also have the opportunity to travel to Dublin, Ireland, and Seville, Spain.
These initiatives are in addition to the 15 Travel Courses Abroad in 13 countries, including four Honors Abroad courses, that UT offers. UT Travel Courses Abroad are taught on campus and feature a travel component at the end of the term. UT offers a major in international and cultural studies, as well as seven different international business programs.
UT's Office of International Programs sponsors more than 50 international events during each academic year, including the Global Scholar Speakers Series.
After graduation, UT assists alumni in applying for international opportunities. Placements in the Peace Corps, the U.S. Department of State and teaching English as a second language overseas are possible, as well as international graduate school funding through Boren Fellowship, the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, the Rhodes Scholar Program and the U.S. Fulbright commission. Of note, UT has hosted or successfully advanced 10 Fulbright awardees over the past five years.
Also, members of UT faculty are encouraged to pursue international learning opportunities by applying for UT’s international faculty development seminar grants. Upon their return, recipients are required to share their international experiences with the UT community by writing for World View magazine, speaking on campus and including international components in their classrooms.
As an award recipient, The University of Tampa will be profiled in-depth in the NAFSA report, Internationalizing the Campus 2016: Profiles of Success at Colleges and Universities, which will be published in Fall 2016. With more than 10,000 members, NAFSA is the world's largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education.