As colleges and universities around the US come to increasingly recognize the value and importance of pursuing internationalization as a distinct and intentional project, the need grows for models regarding various aspects of this work. Many SIOs work tirelessly, with little institutional support, but with passion, vision and commitment to pursue internationalization in ways to best meet institutional needs.  Some of this work is not only effective, but outstanding, and worthy of emulation by other SIOs who are either new to the field or value new approaches to the work they do.  

In 2015, AIEA selected the inaugural Innovation Award in Internationalization that highlights exceptional programs, projects, or initiatives aimed at advancing internationalization and directed by SIOs on their respective campuses.  The categories that can be used for these programs are based on the American Council on Education’s six elements of comprehensive internationalization (Articulated Institutional Commitment; Administrative Structure and Staffing; Curriculum; Faculty Policies and Practices; Student Mobility; Collaboration and Partnerships).

Pictured (L-R): 2023 Innovation Award Recipient Hilary Kahn (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis), AIEA President -Elect Amir Reza. 

Criteria and Nomination Process

Submissions for this award must meet the following criteria:

  • The project must be widely and easily replicable at other institutions.
  • The project must be viable with an infusion of less than $10,000.
  • The project must address at least one of the six elements of comprehensive internationalization.
  • The project must be able to demonstrate assessment results that confirms its effectiveness.
  • The project must be supported or led by a Senior International Officer.
  • The narrative describing this project must not exceed 5 double-spaced pages in 12-point font.
  • The narrative must address the following elements of the project: history, funding, implementation, operational details, targeted audience, intended outcomes, actual outcomes, five-year projection.

Nominations should provide a detailed sketch of the project’s origins, reach, and composition.  Projects that are unique innovations within the overall field of international education will be favored over those that have precedents in other institutions, although overlapping goals and structures will be common.  Nominators need not be AIEA members or from AIEA member institutions.  Self-nominations are welcome.

Past Recipients

University of Richmond
2022 Innovation Award in Internationalization Recipient: University of Richmond
Press Release (.pdf)

Durban University of Technology
2021 Innovation Award in Internationalization Recipient: Durban University of Technology
Press Release (.pdf)

University of Calgary International 
“International Partnerships Assessment Rating Index (IPARI)”
Press Release (.pdf)

Pima Community College 
“Connecting Bi- National Communities beyond the Borders of Opportunity for All”
Press Release (.pdf)

University of Sherbrooke
An Interdisciplinary and Integrated Approach to Enriching Health 
Professional Programs in Global Health.”
Press Release (.pdf)

Kennesaw State University
“Around the World in 80 Days” (AW80) Initiative
Press Release (.pdf)

Westminster College 
"Take a Friend Home" Initiative 
Press Release (.pdf) 

St. Louis University 
St. Louis University Association for International Debate; 
Center for Global Citizenship
Press Release (.pdf)