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News and information from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

PSU wins national honor for campus internationalization

NAFSA: Association of International Educators, announced today that Pittsburg State University is a recipient of the 2008 Sen. Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization. Four other universities also received the award. They are the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Valparaiso University, Nebraska Wesleyan University and Goucher College. The five will be featured in “Internationalizing the Campus 2008: Profiles of Success at Colleges and Universities,” which will be published this fall. The awardees will also be recognized at the NAFSA annual conference in Washington, D.C.

According to NAFSA, its annual report “recognizes institutions that are leaders in the growing effort across higher education to better prepare students for a global economy and an interconnected world.”

Chuck Olcese, director of International Programs and Services at PSU, says the university is being honored for its internationalization work in the classroom, its efforts to offer international programming to the community, and its work in reaching out to school districts.

“It’s bigger than just recruiting international students,” Olcese said, praising academic departments across campus for implementing new programs that allow students to study abroad. “This is a really nice recognition for everyone who has been supportive of the international programs at Pitt State. It shows the high level of collaboration and the activity we have in the Four States region.”

The number of PSU students who take advantage of study abroad opportunities has consistently been on the rise, growing by 25 percent since 2001. Last year, 117 students studied abroad in 17 different countries. At the same time, international enrollment at PSU has also grown. This spring, 437 international students are enrolled at PSU, an 8.2 percent increase over last year.

“I am impressed with the university’s commitment to internationalization, which is so important to many of our students who have grown up in the Midwest,” said Dr. William Ivy, dean of enrollment management and student success. “It’s great that this prestigious organization has recognized PSU and will help tell our story nationwide.”

In a release issued this morning, NAFSA said the Sen. Paul Simon Award “recognizes outstanding and innovative efforts in campus internationalization.” The award is named for the late Sen. Paul Simon (D-Ill.), who was a strong supporter of international education throughout his life. Other recent winners of the award are Purdue University, Michigan State University, the University of Kansas, Georgia Tech, and the University of Oklahoma.

For more information on NAFSA, visit their Web site at

For information on international programs at PSU, call the Office of International Programs and Services at 620-235-4680 or visit them online at

---Pitt State---