News & Press: Press Release

Innovation Competition Winners Announced

Monday, April 3, 2017  
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BERKELEY, CA—April 3, 2017 Diversity Abroad is pleased to announce the recipients of the inaugural Innovation Competition, sponsored by CAPA The Global Education Network. The Competition occurred at the 5th annual Diversity Abroad Conference on March 22, 2017 in Minneapolis, Minnesota before a panel of judges and the conference attendees, as nine teams presented their innovative ideas and programs that support internationalization efforts on campus and abroad. The top prize, a check for $3000, was awarded to Miami Dade College to provide homeless and foster students with the opportunity to participate in education abroad programming. A check for $1000 was awarded to Syracuse University for their proposal to expand access to students of color with disabilities in education abroad. And, due to an unexpected onsite contribution from CAPA, a check for $500 was awarded to DePauw University to encourage underrepresented students to participate in multiple abroad experiences. Other competitors included: New York University, University of California at Riverside, University of South Florida, Washington State University, Macalester College & Xavier University of Louisiana.


Building Skills, Empathy and a Vision for the Future: At-risk Youth and Study Abroad 
(Carol Reyes, Miami Dade College)

Educate Tomorrow Abroad is a groundbreaking initiative focused on reducing barriers to global education for one the most marginalized groups of college students, homeless and foster students. The initiative will send three homeless students abroad in summer 2017 with plans for annual scholarships for future generations. The program's holistic model focuses on academic support, professional development, mentorship, relationship building and leadership skills and is the result of a partnership between Miami Dade College’s Office of International Education and Educate Tomorrow, a non-profit focused on helping homeless and foster students. Miami Dade College is proud to initiate a national conversation to reduce barriers for homeless and foster students so that they may also access international education opportunities. The funds from the Competition will be used to launch the initiative.


Diversifying the Disability Perspective: Exploring Inclusive Practices in Japan and the U.S.
(Drs. Michael Schwartz & Louis Berends, Syracuse University)

Syracuse University Abroad is interested in creating a credit-bearing, faculty-led program in Japan for students of color and for students with disabilities, two core populations that are underrepresented in U.S. education abroad. Syracuse University would coordinate a national drive to recruit students of color, some with disabilities such as deaf students and some without disabilities by leveraging existing relationships with Gallaudet University, Rochester Institute of Technology and the California State University, Northridge. Students would be accompanied by a team of sign language interpreters experienced in international travel and customs. This comparative international education abroad program seeks to examine two nations' approach to disability law, policy and practice, and an opportunity for U.S. students to meet Japanese people with disabilities. In doing so, it provides greater access and inclusion of students from across the U.S. to make study abroad a reality in Japan.  


Global Access Initiative Challenge 
(Neal McKinney, DePauw University)

DePauw University proposes to create a scholarship/year-long mentorship program for first-generation students of color, called the Global Access Initiative Challenge (GAIC). The GAIC will offer five DePauw students of color with a $2,000 donor-funded scholarship to subsidize a short-term, faculty-led course through DePauw University – if these students also commit to a full semester abroad. Students will receive structured mentoring opportunities from a faculty member of the student's choosing, and be paired with a returned alumni peer mentor of color, as well as expected to participate in monthly workshops to prepare them for their study abroad experience. The workshops will be run through DePauw's Hubbard Center for Student Engagement and cover topics such as: budgeting and finance, grant writing, navigating race and ethnicity abroad, career integration, and strategies for gaining family support. The initiative will a) create access to a cohort of first-generation students of color who otherwise would not pursue study abroad, b) reduce the barriers of finances, fear, and family concerns, c) provide specific mentorship to help the students realize their growth potential, and d) impact overall retention and persistence of these students towards degree completion.