Rutgers University Awarded the Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization

December 1, 2014

I am very pleased to let you know that Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey was recently named a recipient of the Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization by NAFSA: the Association of International Educators. Joanna Regulska, Vice President for International and Global Affairs, and I traveled to Washington, DC last week to receive this award on behalf of Rutgers, which was honored along with three other universities: Columbus State University, North Carolina State University, and The Ohio State University, who also received the award for 2014.

The award, named for the late Senator Paul Simon, recognizes Rutgers’ significant strides in providing a global education to its students, tackling global challenges through research, and working with diverse communities at home and abroad. The university has made monumental achievements in enhancing its global reputation over the course of its nearly 250-year history. One hundred and fifty years ago, the university welcomed a handful of students from Japan to campus; now, Rutgers hosts nearly 1,500 incoming international students from over 125 countries each year.

Through the Rutgers’ Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs (GAIA Centers), the university has established hundreds of strong research and education partnerships with key institutions on six continents. The centers’ advising services, cross-cultural social events, and immigration processing have streamlined the arrival and cultural adjustment of nearly 7,000 talented international students and scholars. The centers have grown service-learning abroad and study abroad opportunities from just a couple of programs in the 1960s to over 160 semester and year-long courses. Through these centers, we have also fostered strong relationships with the UN—as a result, Rutgers is one of only a handful of universities affiliated with the UN Department of Public Information as a nongovernmental organization (DPI NGO).

Rutgers actively participates in significant international programs. Since January 2012, the university has hosted 73 Brazilian students for one-year, non-degree educational programs under the Brazilian Scientific Mobility Program. It was one of only 20 universities nationwide selected to host talented young African leaders for a six-week civic leadership program under President Obama’s Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.

Rutgers students and alumni received 26 Fulbright grants this year, a record number for the university. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program, which administers the grants, reported that this ties Rutgers for third place among research universities nationwide.

The university’s worldwide reception is higher than ever before. In 2013, the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) ranked Rutgers 33rd out of the top 1000 higher education institutions around the world.  And, applications for admission to Rutgers from international students are running significantly higher at this point than last year.

My congratulations to Vice President Regulaska and all of her staff, as well as all of the others here at Rutgers who have done the work that led to us being recognized with the Paul Simon Award.

Dr. Edwards with Marlene Johnson and Martin Simon