Annual winners of the Award for Outstanding Department Contribution to International Education at NIU all have something in common.
Each brings “the perspective of the world to Northern Illinois University and the expertise of Northern Illinois University to the world, through international mobility of faculty, students and ideas.”
“We’re extremely pleased and energized to receive this recognition,” says Terry Borg, director of the office which also includes External Programs Coordinator Ted Moen and Conference and Event Coordinator Gail Hayenga.
“The university has recognized that we were able to tie our global programming into efforts that yielded greater NIU student international awareness and understanding, and that we were able to do it in a revenue-positive fashion for the university,” says Borg.
Members of the award selection committee in the NIU Division of International Affairs were provided a long list of accomplishments to consider.
College of Education Dean Laurie Elish-Piper’s nomination incorporated “everything we’ve done over the last five years,” Borg says, “from housing youth on campus from Taiwan and Korea, to the Educate Global [program], to supporting multiple faculty in their global pursuits.”
“I believe that this award really recognizes the college’s efforts and our faculty who supported those efforts,” Borg adds. “We’re here to serve faculty, students and their interests.”
Other evidence of the office’s impact included representation and support on various trips to China, South Korea and Taiwan to identify potential demand for NIU programs. The office also offered support and technical assistance for Memorandums of Understanding, including Ethiopia’s Jigdan College, and international guest visits, including delegations from Istanbul University in Turkey and National Sun Yat-sen University in Taiwan.
The Office of External and Global programs was instrumental in providing advice, funding strategies and budget planning for a humanitarian service/mission trip to Guatemala in 2014.
In addition to hiring international graduate students as graduate assistants, the office also secured external dollars to support international initiatives, such as the American Education Summer Camp in 2014, funded by the National University of Tainan Affiliated Primary School.
Borg is excited to see where the International Education Week acknowledgment will lead. He’s already received an invitation to explore collaboration with the Center for Southeast Asian Studies.
“It’s really raised our profile to the point where other university offices are interested in partnering with the College of Education,” he says. “Our colleagues from different colleges and departments on campus are very interested in how we were able to put together a program like Educate Global, which is basically self-sustaining with student airfare, housing, food and select cultural tours being provided by our hosts at no cost.”
Previous College of Education winners of the Award for Outstanding Department Contribution to International Education at NIU include the Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education (2005) and the then-named Department of Literacy Education (2012), which is now called the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.