News & Press: Press Release

Diversity Abroad Announces Winners of the Second Annual Innovation Competition

Friday, June 8, 2018  
Posted by: Ariana Pena
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BERKELEY, CA—April 8, 2018 Diversity Abroad is pleased to announce the recipients of the Second Annual Innovation Competition, sponsored by CAPA The Global Education Network. The competition occurred at the 6th annual Diversity Abroad Conference on April 8, 2018 in Miami, Florida before a panel of judges and conference attendees, as eight teams presented their innovative ideas and programs that support internationalization efforts on campus and abroad. The Amandla Project took home the top prize of $2,500 to increase participation of disabled students in the pursuit of educational opportunities abroad. The second place award of $1,500 was awarded to University of Louisville for their proposal to send 8-10 African American male students to the Dominican Republic during the spring semester of their freshman year. The University of Missouri took home the third place award of $1,000 to encourage cultural competency of students by piquing awareness of the intricacies of diversity, inclusion and equity as it relates to being a global engineering leader. Lastly, Macalester College was awarded $500 as an honorable mention for their proposal to connect people of color of different backgrounds, ages, and identities to share their experiences living abroad through a webinar series. Other competitors included: The Global Players, Rutgers University, American Council of International Education, and Children of Conversation.


The Amandla Project

(Alex Stone, The Amandla Project)

The Amandla Project is an internship/experiential learning and leadership development fellowship program that aims to increase participation of disabled students in the pursuit of educational opportunities abroad. The program is structured as a nonprofit, and costs are covered through philanthropy. All fellows spend eight weeks interning in Cape Town for organizations which in some way serve disabled South Africans, but the program relies on a vast network to find each fellow a placement that aligns with their professional goals (from architecture to teaching to film). Outside of their internships, fellows will have weekly, once-in-a-lifetime leadership development opportunities with South African icons, on topics ranging from art as a tool of resistance, to the face of comedy and theater in south African society, and even live-broadcast national interview opportunities on South Africa’s top morning program, to both bolster fellows’ communication skills and shine a light on overlooked issues in South African media. The funding from the Diversity Abroad Innovation competition will allow the Amandla Project to develop its first marketing materials aimed at potential fellows and donors alike.

Retention and Leadership Through Diversity Innovation

(Dom McShan, Dr. Virgina Hosono, and Kimber Guinn; University of Louisville)


The Retention and Leadership Through Diversity Innovation course includes an embedded international experience to the Dominican Republic. Ten to fifteen students from the African American Male Initiative (AAMI) cohort at the University of Louisville (UofL) will participate in a 3 credit hour course with a two week in-country service-learning component. The course facilitates students in the critical examination and articulation of their personal strengths, social identities, leadership capacity, and understanding of global citizenship. The curriculum aligns with the pillars of the AAMI: academic engagement, mentorship, peer connections, and leadership development. The goal is to build leadership skills and increase academic engagement through a shared international experience for students that will enhance a sense of purpose and belonging to the UofL campus community. The overall intent is to support the university’s 2020 goal of having a 63% graduation rate for minority students. Winning second place in the completion has created a buzz on campus regarding the planned initiative.

Finding your EDGEs: Engineering, Diversity, Global Experiences & Service
(Tojan Rahhal, PhD  and Miguel Ayllon, PhD, University of Missouri)


Finding your EDGEs is an academic program that combines a social science and engineering curricula to provide students with hands on leadership, diversity, and project management skills in a global context. This study abroad course was designed to be an affordable opportunity for students to participate in a hands-on, global experience while learning about the importance of diversity and inclusivity in the engineering field. Students gained project design skills through their participation in an Engineers Without Borders water pipeline service project in Panama, which was added as a technical, hands-on service component of the course.  Our students also learned about Panama’s engineering practices, culture, geography, history, and economics. Students assessed their cultural competency, worked on intercultural development, and gained competencies related to leadership and professional development throughout the course. This program is a unique offering created by the Office of Diversity and Outreach Initiatives, the International Engineering & STEM Programs office, and Engineers without Borders to spearhead collaborations that provide low cost opportunities for students to gain a global experience. Landing third place in the Diversity Abroad competition has recognized the relevance of such a unique program and allows it to be carried on into more study abroad and engineering curricula.

About Diversity Abroad

Diversity Abroad is the leading consortium of educational institutions, government agencies, businesses, and non-profit organizations who share its vision that the next generation of young people from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds are equipped with the skills, knowledge, and global acumen to thrive in the 21st century global marketplace. Together, Diversity Abroad and its partners achieve this vision by advancing diversity and inclusive policies and practices in the international education field and by connecting diverse students to resources and educational and career opportunities.