Innovation Awards 2012: Winners & Finalists

People’s Choice Winner

The Education Abroad Network

Innovation in Global Access & Equity

Center for Global Education, Augsburg College: “Summer Academic Program in Mexico”

The Center for Global Education at Augsburg College’s Summer Academic Program in Mexico (2011) exemplifies innovation in access and equity in education abroad. This program was attended by a particularly diverse group of twenty-six students that included four East African students, four Latino/as, three African-Americans, and three Asian-Americans. The group also included four Muslims, two students who identified as LGBTQIA, and a student who identified as in recovery from substance abuse. An intentionally diverse community was sought via promotion of the program to traditionally underrepresented groups and specialized scholarships, such as the Students of Color Study Abroad scholarship.

CGE staff took seriously the need to prepare themselves for understanding and accommodating this unique group. CGE believes that internal preparation is a crucial step toward increasing equity and access because it aids in recruitment, promotes retention, and enhances program satisfaction which, in turn, encourages other students from underrepresented groups to participate in education abroad.

Innovation in Marketing

EF International Language Centers: “Live the Language Films”

The “Live the Language” films from EF International Language Centers were among the most talked about commercials in 2011-2012. Not backed by any impressive media budget, the “Live the Language” campaign became a massive hit in the design blogosphere and in social media. In the films, director Gustav Johansson uses his unique way of storytelling to capture the stories of seven different students who travel abroad to study with EF. The films portray students as they arrive at their schools, make new friends, and begin “living the language”. Everywhere they go they communicate in the local language and pick up new vocabulary, illustrated with gorgeous artifact-style typography by Albin Holmqvist.

“Live the language” became a massive hit in the design blogosphere in 2011. Over 700 design blogs from Argentina to Japan wrote about the campaign, and thousands of tweets and social media postings helped the films reach 5 million video views – with virtually no media budget.

Innovative New Program – Internship

Academic Studies Abroad (ASA): “Business in the Arts & Edinburgh Festival Fringe Internship”

With the Business in the Arts & Edinburgh Festival Fringe Internship from Academic Studies Abroad (ASA), students gain access to an otherwise closed world of networking with professionals in the performing arts industry at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the World’s Largest Performing Arts Festival.

The Business in the Arts program was originally designed for undergraduate performing arts students at North American institutions to fill a gap in curriculum where the business side of the arts is often neglected. Students are fully integrated into the larger base structure of the festival. Interns work beside decision makers of leading venues and production companies. Students also gain an insider’s edge by learning through tasks and networking what it takes to make a show an award-winning success in the festival environment. Internships are for-credit and customized to meet the goals of individual students. Placements are with award-winning production companies and students are given personalized attention throughout their internship.

Innovative New Program – Study Abroad

Center for Global Education/Wheaton College: “Study Abroad Program in the Kingdom of Bhutan”

Wheaton College is the only institution of higher learning (college or university) with a semester-long credit bearing study program in the Kingdom of Bhutan. Students spend four months in the country that devised the notion of Gross National Happiness as they observe a nation making the transition to a constitutional monarchy.

Wheaton College has been successfully running the program for two-years exclusively for Wheaton students but has just announced that they are accepting applications from students from other colleges beginning with the Fall 2012 term. It is through the practicum experience that students get a firsthand opportunity to immerse themselves into the larger Bhutanese community. In the first two years Wheaton students have had the chance to intern with government offices such as the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Finance and Thimphu Hospital. In addition, students have interned with NGO’s such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Nature, Voluntary Artists Society of Thimphu, RENEW, a domestic violence intervention and prevention program, KUZOO, the English language radio station and the Youth Development Centre.

Innovative New Program – Volunteer

Rustic Pathways: “Women Speaking”

Women Speaking is a grassroots initiative from Rustic Pathways that aims to weave together the female narrative. As mothers, daughters, teachers, business-women, and friends, women fulfill many roles in Southeast Asia, and their roles in society will continue to evolve as the region modernizes and changes. This trip pulls back the curtain on the female experience in Thailand, revealing a vital part of society that often remains hidden from view, especially from visitors. Participants experience the sleepy fishing ports in Southern Thailand, the bustling metropolis of Bangkok, and rural rice farms and Hill Tribe villages, discovering a colorful array of female voices throughout the journey.

Throughout the trip, participants move beyond the conversation, and students are encouraged to actively participate in the lives of girls and women from across the spectrum of Thai society. Woven together, the stories heard and the experiences had make up the intricate fabric of the female narrative. The goal is to have the connections made during this trip to empower students to better understand both the women of Southeast Asia, their home country, and around the world.

Innovative Student Video

CRCC Asia: “CRCC Asia Summer 2011 Video Competition” by Kate Gantner and Andrew Ignacio”

Innovation in Sustainability

ProWorld: “Cleaner Burning Stove Project”

ProWorld has set out to prove that international education can achieve programmatic and educational goals for its participants and be sustainable at the same time. A great example of this success in sustainability can be seen in the Cleaner Burning Stove Project, run out of ProWorld Peru.

In Peru, roughly eight million people live in poor rural areas where they depend almost exclusively on wood for cooking. These families cannot afford to cook on gas stoves like their urban neighbors. The environmental issue that results is the burning of wood in poorly ventilated kitchens, creating high concentrations of carbon monoxide, particulate matter and other pollutants. To date, with the help of community partners, students, volunteers, interns, and various funds,ProWorld Peru has installed more than 6,000 cleaner burning stoves in rural Peruvian communities. The impact of these stoves has been profound – in sustainability and health. As a leader in this space, ProWorld Peru stoves were part of the first UN Gold Standard grade carbon credit stove project in Peru.

Innovative Use of Social Media

University of California, Davis: “Aggies Abroad Network”

The Aggies Abroad Network aims to bring a new form of value and engagement to those students at UC Davis hoping to one day study abroad, to those students currently abroad, and to all study abroad alumni. The Aggies Abroad Network is a social media and creativity hub, where over 700 members of the UC Davis study abroad community have signed up and are actively sharing blogs, photos, videos, and more. The Aggies Abroad Network is fully integrated with Facebook, Twitter, and Google—sign-in/up, status updates, activity feed aggregation—and is serving as a space students are coming to for a daily dose of study abroad social media news, information, advice, stories, and more.

On a campus level, departments and central administrative units are using the content generated on the Aggies Abroad Network to help bolster their internationalization efforts. The Aggies Abroad Network is the driving force behind the innovative content strategies and engagement efforts on campus.

Innovative Use of Technology

SIT Graduate Institute and SIT Study Abroad: “LibGuides”

LibGuides is a popular, easy to use, web 2.0 library knowledge sharing system. It is used by librarians to make the resources and services of a campus library available remotely through attractive multimedia content, knowledge and information sharing, and the promotion of library resources to the community. With students studying abroad at over 65+ sites around the world, SIT has adapted LibGuides to the unique demands of our students. Pamela Contakos, former Director of Libraries and Academic Resources at the SIT Graduate Institute and SIT Study Abroad, tailored LibGuides to SIT student needs by creating user friendly navigation, allowing students to browse by subject, SIT graduate program, SIT Study Abroad program, and popular tags. Students can communicate instantly with library staff via online chat, text, tweet, or phone call. Additionally, Contakos launched SIT’s first mobile app for the SIT library, enabling library access anytime/anywhere. Both the online version and LibGuides mobile app offer easy-to-use search features and the ability to view ebooks and digital collections, place holds, and make reservations instantly.

The 2012 Finalists

Innovation in Global Access & Equity

  • Institute for the International Education of Students (IES Abroad)
    • “Chicago Scholars Abroad”
  • Institute for Study Abroad Butler University
    • “First Generation Scholar Program”
  • San Francisco State University
    • “Office of International Programs”
  • NYU Office of Global Programs
    • “LGBTQ Within the Global Network”

Innovation in Marketing:

  • Academic Programs International (API)
    • “Learning Transformed. Life Transforming.” Tagline & Campaign
  • University of Maine – Study Abroad Office
    • “Celebration Radio Show”
  • CIEE
    • “2 Months 35 Countries with CIEE Campaign”
  • Athena Study Abroad
    • “Colors of the World Visual Marketing Campaign”

Innovative New Program – Internship:

  • Actuality Media
    • “Actuality Media Internships”
  • Global Experiences
    • “Project Moda”
  • Institute for Education in International Media (ieiMedia)
    • “Summer Journalism Internship in Istanbul”
  • Monterey Institute of International Studies
    • DPMI Practicum/Emily Patrick

Innovative New Program – Study Abroad:

  • Bard College – Institute for International Liberal Education
    • “Al-Quds Bard Study Abroad Program in West Bank”
  • CAPA International Education
    • “Analyzing & Exploring the Global City”
  • University of Minnesota Twin Cities/Academic Programs International (API)
    • “Arab Media – Al Jazeera in the Time of Revolution”
  • University of Maryland
    • “Microfinance in Action”
  • Arcadia University, The College of Global Studies
    • “Renewable Energy – Policy and Development”

Innovative New Program – Volunteer:

  • Earthwatch
    • “On the Trail of Giant Pandas”
  • Give and Surf
    • “Give and Surf Non-Profit”
  • Service for Peace
    • “The Global PeaceMakers (GPM) Program”
  • CEA Global Education
    • “International Service Learning – Society, Inequality & Social Exclusion”

People’s Choice:

  • GlobaLinks Learning Abroad
  • CIEE
  • Education Abroad Network
  • Institute for the International Education of Students (IES Abroad)
  • Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS)

Innovative Use of Social Media:

  • International Studies Abroad (ISA)
    • “Worldwide Alerts”
  • Academic Programs International (API)
    • “Social Media Platforms & Engagement”
  • CRCC Asia
    • “Unique Use of Localized Social Media Outlets”
  • Rustic Pathways
    • “It’s Good to Go Sweepstakes”

Student Video:

Innovation in Sustainability:

  • Center for Ecological Living and Learning (CELL)
    • “CELL’s Programs”
  • Living Routes
    • “Study Abroad in Sustainable Communities”
  • The School for Field Studies
    • “The SFS Center for Sustainable Development Studies”
  • University of Oregon
    • “Sustainability Programs”

Innovative Use of Technology:

  • Universidad VERITAS
    • “e-Admissions Portal”
  • University of South Carolina
    • “Online Pre-departure Orientation”
  • Volunteering Solutions
    • “Mobile MyAccount”
  • FundsV Working Group
    • “Online Banking”