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University receives 2015 Senator Paul Simon Award for internationalization efforts

John Simon says faculty, students engage globally, uphold core values

<p>Senator Paul Simon, who the award is named for, served in public office from 1985 to 1997.</p>

Senator Paul Simon, who the award is named for, served in public office from 1985 to 1997.

The University was selected as one of the recipients of the 2015 Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization.

The award was presented by the National Association of Foreign Student Advisers’ Association of International Educators and recognizes institutions which excelled in expanding internationalization of education. Other recipients include Mount Holyoke College, North Central College, University of Delaware and University of San Diego.

Rebecca Morgan, senior director of media relations and advocacy at NAFSA, said the University shows a distinct focus on internationalization.

“The University of Virginia presented a clear, intentional focus and approach to internationalization across multiple colleges and departments in the application essay,” Morgan said in an email. “The institution has made a commitment to highlighting internationalization in its 2020 strategic plan, and made significant effort to internationalize the curriculum, paying specific attention to international student enrollment.”

NAFSA Simon Award Winners: 2011-2015

University Provost John Simon said the University understands the importance of internationalization and the role it plays in achieving the its core values.

“U.Va. students, faculty, and staff want to change the world,” Simon said. “Our global education on grounds and activities abroad help to sustain that passion and the core missions of The University — learning, research and service.”

Simon said the University must continue to reach out internationally and engage with the rest of the world.

“U.Va. needs to be engaged internationally to find the best opportunities for students to expand their knowledge, to facilitate research in and about critical subjects across and beyond U.S. borders, to recruit the best students and faculty, to identify job opportunities for U.Va. graduates and to draw on the wisdom, work, and wealth of U.Va. alumni and parents located around the world,” Simon said. “Our lives will be increasingly global and so must our university.”

The award coincides with the implementation of the Cornerstone Plan, which sets increasing global capacity as one of the strategic goals for the University over the next five years.

“To quote the aspiration ‘global perspectives should be integrated into every facet of the core-mission activities of teaching, research and service,’” Simon said. “This means having a culture among students, faculty and administrators that embraces global research, learning and outreach as central proponents of our mission.”

Simon said the award acknowledged the University's globally minded achievements over the past year.

“It recognizes progress by faculty, students and staff to develop a university with global perspective that engages the challenges and opportunities that transcend national borders in the modern world,” Simon said. “It gives us all the encouragement that we are on the right track.”

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