News & Press: Press Release

Univ of Texas at Austin & Gretchen Cook-Anderson Honored with Diversity Abroad’s EDIE Award

Friday, April 4, 2014  
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SAN DIEGO, CA, April 4, 2014 – During the Second Annual Diversity Abroad Conference, the University of Texas at Austin and Gretchen Cook-Anderson were awarded the Excellence in Diversifying International Education Award (EDIE) for their contributions to increase access and foster diversity and inclusion in international education and exchange.

The University of Texas at Austin (UT-Austin) was awarded the EDIE Institutional Award that highlights the outstanding achievements of institutions and organizations that have developed practices that either foster diversity and inclusion in international education and exchange or promote an inclusive environment for international students on campus. Over the course of the last six years, UT-Austin has developed innovative campus partnerships, programming, and outreach initiatives that have increased the participation of first-generation and racial/ethnic minority students attending the institution. Through efforts to increase awareness on campus and develop strategic partnerships with campus units working with diverse students, the Office of Study Abroad has increased participation of underrepresented groups.

Director of Study Abroad, Heather Barclay Hamir accepted the award for the institution saying, “We believe wholeheartedly in our mission of equitable access to international opportunities, and we've had the privilege of trying new and creative approaches to affect change in this area. Our successes are a reflection of the amazing commitment among staff and faculty to making study abroad truly accessible.”

Gretchen Cook-Anderson, Director of Diversity Recruiting and Advising at IES Abroad, received the EDIE Individual Award that recognizes the outstanding achievements and contributions of one individual to the field of international education. Ms. Cook-Anderson’s nomination reflected her contributions and thought leadership related to diversifying U.S. education abroad noting her work with students as well as her work with professionals. Ms. Cook-Anderson’s passion and dedication to developing more inclusive education abroad practices was evident in her comments following her award where she highlighted her personal connection to study abroad. Upon receiving her award, Ms. Cook-Anderson said, "I am passionate about the work I do because I understand, on a deeply personal level, the power of study abroad. Every student, no matter their background, has their own story that leads to a desire to explore the world.”

Andrew Gordon, founder of Diversity Abroad spoke on the honorees saying that, “Increasing access to international education and exchange programs for diverse students has been a challenge, yet there are many individuals and institutions that are meeting the challenge through innovative programs and dedication to their students.” 

This year’s awardees will serve on next year’s selection panel, and will be highlighted for their work on the Diversity Network website.