Twentieth Annual ACE/AIEA Internationalization Collaborative Addresses Global Challenges
February 24, 2020

​Campus leaders gathered in Washington Feb. 15 to exchange ideas on internationalization as a sustainable social good at the ACE/AIEA Internationalization Collaborative 2020, a meeting held each year in conjunction with the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) Annual Conference.

The Collaborative comprised four main sessions interspersed with group discussions and networking opportunities. During the first session, Melissa Liles, chief global engagement officer at AFS Intercultural Programs, pointed out that expanding how we look at global citizenship means thinking about “interculturalizing” U.S. institutions, not just internationalizing.

The second session addressed environmental sustainability and how to balance the environmental impact of international mobility with the benefits of internationalization. Panelists represented a range of perspectives from climate science, to associations, to institutions.

After lunch, six panelists discussed the economic and societal contributions of internationalization. Each speaker presented a concrete initiative that could inspire and serve as a model for participants and then facilitate a small group conversation related to their project. Initiatives ranged from global health partnerships in Africa, to Smart Cities initiatives in the United States, to hydrology research in Ecuador.

From left to right: Philip Rogers, ACE senior vice president; Jenifer Cushman, chancellor of Penn State Beaver; Kristi Behme, intern at CliftonLarsonAllen and undergraduate student at Penn State Beaver; Akshay Peshave, entrepreneur and PhD candidate at University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Freeman Hrabowski III, president of University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

The final session focused on presidential and student reflections on the topics of the day. PhD student Ashkay Peshave and undergraduate student Kristi Behme recognized the vital knowledge, skills, and attitudes they learned in college that are preparing them to be citizens of a globalized world, such as being adaptable and working and communicating across cultures. They also talked about their own responsibility to address global challenges and promote social good, whether by supporting ethical businesses and brands or exploring and debating hot issues with their classmates. Penn State Beaver Chancellor Jenifer Cushman and University of Maryland, Baltimore County President Freeman A. Hrabrowski III talked about how their institutions are preparing students to be global citizens and gave advice to other top campus leaders on how to advance internationalization on their campuses. 

Hrabowski emphasized the importance of building internationalization into the mission of one’s institution. “It’s not icing on the cake,” he said, “but part of the cake. ​

This event was sponsored by IES Abroad.

Information about the ACE/AIEA Internationalization Collaborative 2021 will be available later this year. ​