ACE Internationalization Laboratory


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Internationalization Lab provides customized guidance and insight to help colleges and universities achieve their internationalization goals. To date, more than 200​ institutions have participated in the program.

Working closely with ACE experts, participating institutions will:

  • Assemble an internationalization leadership team on campus
  • Analyze current internationalization activities and articulate institutional goals
  • Formulate a strategic action plan to take internationalization efforts forward

Participating institutions also have access to:

  • On-campus site visits by ACE staff, involving a roundtable discussion with the leadership team and key stakeholders to facilitate dialogue, define key questions and issues, clarify goals, and build support for the internationalization process
  • Three meetings of the entire Internationalization Lab cohort, hosted by ACE in Washington, DC
  • Regular contact with and guidance from ACE advisers as the campus conducts its review, analyzes findings and develops its action plan

The Review Process

​As part of the Internationalization Laboratory, ACE provides assistance to leadership teams as they engage in a comprehensive review of internationalization efforts on campus. Steps include self-assessment, site visits, peer reviews, and a final report.

While ACE works with each institution to customize a process that best suits its needs, institutions are asked to commit to the following:

  • Forming an internationalization leadership team
  •  Engaging in a review of current internationalization efforts with the goal of sharpening institutional and student learning goals and developing or updating an action plan
  • Allocating sufficient staff time to accomplish the review
  • Participating (at least two team members) in three meetings of the Lab, one in conjunction with the ACE-AIEA Internationalization Collaborative in Washington, DC
  • Membership fee for the Lab, plus travel expenses for site visits

Specific activities will likely include:

  • Initial one-day site visit: ACE staff visit each campus to help institutions prepare for the self-assessment. The visit generally includes a meeting with the leadership team and a roundtable with key stakeholders to begin the dialogue, define the key questions and issues, clarify goals, and build support for the process across campus.
  • On-campus review process: This process is based on materials presented in Internationalizing the Campus: A User's Guide, which that outlines a process for reviewing existing strategies and activities and developing a strategic plan. This review process culminates in a written report produced by the leadership team.
  • Regular contact with Lab staff by phone and e-mail: ACE provides assistance to individual leadership teams as they go through the process of completing a comprehensive review of internationalization efforts on campus. This guidance includes a preliminary review of prepared assessment materials, plus recommendations for enhancing the materials to generate a more comprehensive report.
  • Peer review team visit: Upon completion of the self-assessment report, a team of ACE staff and experts in the field of internationalization visits individual campuses. These site visits last one to two days and include meetings with the president, senior administrators, board members, faculty, administrators, and students.
  • Development of a report by the visiting team: This report analyzes the status of internationalization at the member campus and makes recommendations for future work in internationalization.
Our Experts and Leaders

Expert Advisers​​

The Internationalization Laboratory is led by a team of advisers who guide participating institutions through the program. Advisers are internationalization experts who have a wide range of background and experience. Each participating institution is assigned a lead adviser, but all members of the cohort benefit from the collective expertise of the full advising team throughout the process.

 Gerardo Blanco, Ph.D.

Gerardo Blanco, Ph.D.

Gerardo Blanco is associate professor of Higher Education and academic director of the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College​. His research explores explores the intersections of quality and internationalization in higher education with a focus on accreditation, rankings and international assessments.

His research has been published in leading journals, such as Higher Education, Studies in Higher Education, the Comparative Education Review, and the Review of Higher Education. Gerardo has held leadership roles in the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), and the Association for the Study of Higher Education's Council for International Higher Education and serves on several advisory and editorial boards. In 2017, he received the "Best Research Article Award" from the Comparative & International Education Society's Higher Education SIG. In 2014 and 2020, his work received honorable mentions from the same organization.

​Dr. Blanco is the author (with Catherine Marshall and Gretchen B. Rossman) of Designing Qualitative Research 7th edition. He is also Fulbright Specialist and an advisor for programs and global initiatives at the American Council on Education. ​

Robert Edward “McKenna” Brown, Ph.D.

McKenna Brown is Professor of World Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) where he also served as the executive director of the Global Education Office. As senior international officer, he oversaw an operation of 49 fulltime faculty and staff charged with the expansion, coordination and support of international activities across the institution.  Under his leadership, VCU completed a multiyear strategic planning process for comprehensive internationalization; launched the Quest Global Impact Awards, allocating $500,000 towards over 32 projects aligned with the university’s strategic plan; and established VCU Globe: a global education living learning community, and the International Faculty Development Seminar.

During this tenure at VCU, Dr. Brown has received the Elske V.P. Smith Distinguished Lecturer Award (2007), the Presidential Award for Community Multicultural Enrichment (2006), and the Humanities and Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award (2002). He is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Ecuador 1978‐80) and has held leadership positions in several community and professional organizations including World Affairs Council of Greater Richmond, Red Cross Multicultural Advisory Board, Guatemala Scholars Network, Foundation for Endangered Languages and Modern Language Association.

Dr. Brown's academic appointments prior to joining VCU include four years as a faculty member at University of Wisconsin - Green Bay, during which he led a number of education abroad programs to Latin America. His research interests include the links between language and identity; he is the recipient of three Fulbright awards and has served as co‐PI on two US Department of Education Title VI funded projects and numerous Department of State educational grants.

Dr. Brown earned a B.A. in speech therapy at Florida A&M University, and an M.A. and doctorate in Latin American Studies at Tulane University.

Susan Carvalho, Ph.D.

Susan Carvalho is associate provost and dean of the Graduate School at the University of Alabama (UA), where she leads an agenda focused on growth and globalization of graduate education, including work with UA’s Capstone International to increase international graduate enrollments. ​

Before joining UA, Dr. Carvalho served for seven years as associate provost and senior international officer at the University of Kentucky (UK). Her other leadership positions at UK included interim dean of the Graduate School, associate dean in the College of Arts & Sciences, chair of the General Education Reform Steering Committee, interim department chair in Hispanic Studies and in Political Science, and chair of the Domestic Partner Benefits Committee.

At the University of Kentucky, Dr. Carvalho guided the expansion of the Office of International Affairs into a full-fledged International Center, and served as a resource to the president, provost, and campus leadership teams for the development of global competitiveness. She has served on the executive committee of the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) and is a past AIEA Neal Presidential Fellow and American Council on Education Fellow. 

Dr. Carvalho’s scholarly foundation is in the field of Hispanic Studies; she has authored a monograph, a collection of essays, and over 30 scholarly articles in the area of Latin American and Latino/a cultural studies. She has been the principal investigator on several grants focused on higher education development in post-conflict regions, and has delivered multiple presentations on internationalization and on women’s leadership in higher education.

Dr. Carvalho holds a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of Virginia.

David Fleshler, J.D.

David Fleshler arrived at Case Western Reserve University in May 2009, and he now serves as the vice provost for international affairs. In this role, he leads the Office of Global Strategy, which provides university-level vision and leadership for international activities across campus. Mr. Flesher works in partnership with faculty, staff, and students to enhance the university’s international focus. He also works to identify and pursue strategic partnerships with local, state, national and international organizations.

In conjunction with his role at the university, Flesher serves as a senior advisor to the chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents. In this consulting role, Mr. Flesher works to advance the internationalization of the university system of Ohio. From 2000 to 2008, he served as Assistant Vice President, Director of Agency Allocations and Partnerships, and Director of International Operations at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland.

Mr. Flesher serves on the endowment leadership committee for the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA).

Mr. Flesher received his A.B. from the University of Michigan and J.D. from Boston College Law School.

Kara A. Godwin, Ph.D.

Kara Godwin is ACE’s Director for Internationalization where she leads the Internationalization Laboratory and ACE's global engagement efforts. With a focus on equity and strategic transformation, she contributes to cross-council research, policy, and innovation.

Dr. Godwin is a former Research Fellow at the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College where she most recently edited the book Intelligent Internationalization: The Shape of Things to Come (Brill/Sense, 2019), a collection of essays from international education leaders, researchers, and policymakers around the world.

Prior to coming to ACE, Dr. Godwin focused on strategic policy, assessment/evaluation, faculty development, university innovation, and international emerging economies as a consultant for organizations including Soka University, Duke Kunshan University, Olin College of Engineering, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, and The Economist. She has special interest in the global development of liberal arts/general education and has published broadly on analysis of the Global Liberal Education Inventory, a database of over 200 programs worldwide. 

Dr. Godwin has managed programs at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago, has been a visiting scholar at Amsterdam University College, and a U.S. education policy analyst. In her former career, she was a project manager and information technology programmer in the U.S. and U.K.

Dr. Godwin holds a B.A. in international relations and English with a French minor from Augustana College (IL), an M.S. in higher education administration and social policy from Northwestern University, and a Ph.D. in higher comparative and international education from Boston College.

Gil Latz, Ph.D.

Gil Latz is vice provost for global strategies and international affairs at The Ohio State University.  In his most recent past position, Dr. Latz was associate vice chancellor for international affairs, professor of geography, and philanthropic studies affiliated faculty member, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI); and associate vice president for international affairs, Indiana University. Until 2012 Dr. Latz was affiliated with Portland State University (PSU), where he held positions in Geography, International Studies, and as vice provost for international affairs.

In addition to his position at IUPUI, Dr. Latz is the immediate past president of the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA). He has a longstanding interest in curricular internationalization, including publications on the intersection of internationalization, diversity, and community engagement, global learning for all, and assessing study abroad. In 2009, Dr. Latz chaired the submission that garnered PSU the NAFSA: Association of International Educators, Senator Paul Simon Award for Exemplary Campus Internationalization. Prior to his appointment as an Internationalization Laboratory Advisor, Dr. Latz served as a peer reviewer for 10 Lab institutions.

Dr. Latz’s academic research focuses on: regional development and resource management policy (agriculture and urban) in East Asia, North America and Europe; Japan’s modernization process in terms of the role played by philanthropy and civic leadership; international trade; and curricular internationalization.

Dr. Latz earned his B.A. at Occidental College.He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, and studied at the University of Tokyo as part of his graduate research training.

Ross Lewin, Ph.D.

Ross Lewin is responsible for the strategic planning and direction of the University of Maryland’s (UMD) internationalization efforts. As the associate vice president for international affairs, he leads the office and its units in enhancing international programs and services for both the campus community and international visitors; promoting the internationalization of UMD undergraduate and graduate programs; and developing strategic partnerships with leading academic and research institutions, international corporations, and governmental and non-governmental organizations around the world. Prior to beginning work at UMD in 2012, Dr. Lewin was at the University of Connecticut, where he worked as the executive director of the Office of Global Programs and director of the Office of Study Abroad. 

Dr. Lewin is editor of The Handbook of Practice and Research in Study Abroad (Routledge & AAC&U, 2009). 

He earned his B.A. in politics and literature from the University of California Santa Cruz and both his M.A. and his Ph.D. in German studies from Stanford University.

Cheryl Matherly, Ed.D.

Dr. Cheryl Matherly is the vice president and vice provost for international affairs at Lehigh University. She serves as the university’s senior international officer and is charged with providing strategic leadership for its numerous international education programs, including study abroad, international student services, ESL programs, international internships, partnership programs, Fulbright programs, UN programs, and the Iacocca Institute. 

Before coming to Lehigh, Matherly was the inaugural vice provost for global education at the University of Tulsa. She also taught in the School for Urban Education. She served as assistant dean of students for career and international education and as director of the career services center at Rice University in Houston. 

Dr. Matherly’s special area of interest is with the internationalization and workforce development. Dr. Matherly received four NSF grants for projects related to the preparation of science and engineering graduates for the global workforce. She has written extensively on the relationship between employability and education abroad, including several book chapters that examined this topic in context of comparative national policies. She is recognized for her leadership on issues related to international internships and experiential learning.  She is past president of the Association for International Education Administrators, the association for senior university leaders, and was named Senior International Officer of the Year by the Institute of International Education in 2020.   She is an inaugural member of the American Academy of International Education.

She has an Ed.D. in education from the University of Houston, an M.S. in college student personnel administration from Indiana University and a B.A. in English literature and political science from the University of New Mexico. She is the recipient of two Fulbright grants for International Education Administrators, in Japan and Germany.​

Anthony L. “Tony” Pinder, Ph.D.

Dr. Anthony L. Pinder serves as the inaugural Vice Provost for Internationalization & Equity at Emerson College in Boston, MA (USA).  In his role as Emerson’s chief international officer (CIO), Dr. Pinder is responsible for managing and building on all of the College’s global operations, notably the Emerson European Center at Kasteel Well, The Netherlands.  In addition, Dr. Pinder provides leadership to the offices of International Student Affairs (OISA); Education Abroad & Domestic Programs; English Language Learning (ELL), and initiatives that support international fellowships/awards, international visitors/scholars and international faculty support services. 

He oversees the College’s global partnership development, which have resulted in joint/dual degree programs with institutions in Australia, France, Spain, and Switzerland.  Dr. Pinder established Emerson’s nationally recognized Global Pathways Program, which features nearly 30 faculty-led education abroad programs around the world.  He leads the College’s faculty development program Curriculum Internationalization & Inclusive Pedagogy Studio. Under his leadership, Emerson won the prestigious 2020 Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization, awarded by NAFSA, the largest leading association worldwide for international educators in higher education.

​Dr. Pinder’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is the result of a three-decade career devoted to efforts in this area. He has written and presented extensively on the internationalization of Historically Black Colleges/Universities (HBCUs). Prior to Emerson, he served as CIO and Assistant Professor of Education at Georgia Gwinnett College, Morehouse College and Dillard University. Critical to this work has been his leadership in facilitating climates of belonging for international students on these campuses, and creating greater awareness of how their intersectional identities affected their experiences on campus.​​

Penelope “Nell” Pynes, Ph.D.

Until her 2020 retirement, Penelope "Nell" Pynes was the Associate Provost for International Programs at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, leading internationalization efforts, directing the University's Global Engagement Quality Enhancement Plan and promoting student/faculty exchange. She has served as President of AIEA and as Chair of NAFSA's International Education Leadership Knowledge Community and is currently a Senior Associate for Internationalization for the American Council on Education (ACE). She was the 2020 recipient of Diversity Abroad’s Trailblazer Award. A regular presenter on comprehensive internationalization and co-designer of several SIO training programs, she has a doctorate in Germanic linguistics from UNC-Chapel Hill.​

Susan Buck Sutton, Ph.D.

Susan Buck Sutton served as senior advisor for international initiatives in the Office of the President at Bryn Mawr College, where she guided strategic planning with regard to international matters. She is also emerita associate vice president of international affairs and emerita chancellor’s professor of anthropology for Indiana University, where she had both system-wide and campus-specific responsibilities at IU’s urban campus, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis.

Dr. Sutton is past president of the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) and past chair of the International Education Leadership unit of NAFSA. She has given numerous presentations and workshops on the changing nature of internationalization, institutional partnerships, curriculum internationalization, and international service learning, and has consulted and/or conducted internationalization reviews for 25 colleges and universities. Under Dr. Sutton’s leadership, IUPUI received the 2009 Andrew Heiskell Award from the Institute for International Education and 2011 Senator Paul Simon Award Exemplary Campus Internationalization from NAFSA in recognition of its internationalization efforts.

As an anthropologist, Dr. Sutton’s research has focused on migration, tourism, and community in contemporary Greece. She is past president of the General Anthropology Division of the American Anthropological Association and past editor of the Journal of Modern Greek Studies. She currently sits on the executive board of the Modern Greek Studies Association and the board of overseers of the Gennadius Library in Athens.

Dr. Sutton holds a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.​

 Heather Ward

Heather Ward

Heather Ward is the associate provost for global affairs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ward helps manage the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs as well as spearheads key initiatives.

In her previous role leading the Study Abroad Office, Ward was responsible for a dynamic portfolio of 360 study abroad programs and exchanges in 70 countries. In 2018-19, an estimated 43% of students studied abroad before graduation, making Carolina one of the top-20 U.S. institutions for study abroad participation each year. Under Ward’s leadership, the SAO has increased study abroad scholarship funding and introduced new programs to fit the changing needs of UNC-Chapel Hill’s diverse students. Ward was also responsible for the SAO’s professional staff, budget and operations.

Prior to joining UNC-Chapel Hill in January 2019, Ward served as associate director for internationalization and global engagement at the American Council on Education in Washington, D.C., where she developed programs and resources to support the internationalization of colleges and universities, as well as increased collaboration among global higher education institutions and systems. Ward also led ACE’s efforts to promote the use of technology to deliver global learning and strengthen international partnerships. Ward previously served as associate director for internationalization and outreach at George Mason University (VA) and Director of International Programs at Mary Baldwin University (VA). Her previous experience in international affairs focused on human rights, criminal justice reform and immigration, and she has held positions with the Vera Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, Americas Society and U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Ward holds a bachelor’s degree in Latin American studies and Spanish from Vanderbilt University and a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University. Her passion for global education began with an undergraduate semester in Madrid, Spain, followed by a summer internship and field studies in Guatemala.

Ward and her family enjoy living in Chapel Hill and spending time on local trails and rivers. ​​

Impact Profiles
Past Participants

Bethany College (WV)

California State University, San Bernardino

Loyola Marymount University (CA)

Mercer University (GA)

Purdue University Northwest

Rhodes College (TN)

Sinclair College (OH)

Southern Illinois University

Universidade Federal de Goiás (Brazil)

Universidade Estadual de Maringá (Brazil)

Universidade Federal do Pará (Brazil)

University of California San Diego

University of Delaware

University of Missouri - Kansas City

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

University of North Georgia

York College of Pennsylvania

Albany State University (GA)

Auburn University (AL)

Florida Gulf Coast University

Franklin & Marshall College (PA)

George Mason University (VA)

Holy Family University (PA)

Monmouth College (IL)

 The College of Brockport (SUNY)

University of California, Santa Cruz

University of Maryland Baltimore

University of Maryland Baltimore County

Arkansas Baptist College

Clark Atlanta University (GA)

Gallaudet University (DC)

Kent State University (OH)

Southern Connecticut State University

The University of Alabama – Tuscaloosa

Universidad El Bosque (Colombia)

University of Arizona

University of Nebraska Medical Center

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

West Chester University (PA)

Central Michigan University

Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Barranquitas

Lehigh University (PA)

Loyola University Maryland

Missouri University of Science & Technology

Mount Saint Mary's University (CA)

 Northeast Ohio Medical University

Old Dominion University (VA)

Southeast Missouri State University

Universidad Antonio Nariño (Colombia)

University of Nebraska Omaha

Brenau University (GA)

Bridgewater State University (MA)

California State University Monterey Bay

Fort Hays State University (KS)

Hofstra University (NY)

Inter-American University of Puerto Rico-Arecibo

Inter-American University of Puerto Rico-San German

LaGuardia Community College of the City University of New York

McMurry University (TX)

Miami University (OH)

Northern Illinois University

Salisbury University (MD)

Syracuse University (NY)

Dominican University (CA)

Eastern Washington University

Grinnell College (IA)

Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (Lebanon)

LIM College (NY)

New Jersey City University

Queens College CUNY (NY)

Salem State University (MA)

Southern University and A&M College (LA)

University of Hawaii System and at West Oahu and Hilo

University of Maryland, College Park

University of Montana

University of North Dakota

California State University - Dominguez Hills

Clemson University (SC)

Emerson College (MA)

Leeward, Winward, and Hawaii Community Colleges

Lewis University (IL)

Orange Coast College (CA)

Sacred Heart University (CT)

The State University of New York Geneseo

University of Alabama at Birmingham

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Western Washington University

Becker College (MA)

Grand Valley State University (MI)

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Merrimack College (MA)

Samford University (AL)

Texas Christian University

University of Minnesota Duluth

Villanova University (PA)

Virginia Commonwealth University

Fielding Graduate University (CA)

Georgia Gwinnett College

Monroe Community College (NY)

Montana State University

Universidad Metropolitana (PR)

University of Wisconsin–River Falls

University of Wyoming

Webster University (MO)

Case Western Reserve University (OH)

Richard Stockton College of New Jersey

Shepherd University (WV)

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Universidad del Turabo (PR)

University of Alaska Anchorage

University of the Pacific (CA)

Valparaiso University (IN)

CETYS Universidad, Baja California (MX-BCN)

Drake University (IA)

Inter American University (PR)

Long Island University (NY)

Marshall University (WV)

The Universidad del Este (PR)

The University of Tulsa (OK)

Central Connecticut State University

Pacific University (OR)

Purdue University (IN)

Saint Mary's College (IN)

Temple University (PA)

University of Colorado at Boulder

Western Michigan University

Appalachian State University (NC)

City University (WA)

Seton Hall University (NJ)

SUNY College at Cortland (NY)

SUNY University at Albany (NY)

University of Kentucky

University of Wisconsin Stout

Western Kentucky University

Arcadia University (PA)

College of Charleston (SC)

New Mexico State University

Park University (MO)

The University of Iowa

Boise State University

Northern Virginia Community College

Pace University

University of Denver

Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis

Pacific Lutheran University (WA)

Park University (MO)

St. Marys University (TX)

University of South Florida

University of Wisconsin–Madison

California State University, Sacramento

Fairleigh Dickinson University

Fordham Business Schools

Kalamazoo College

Kansas State University

Cohort 20 Applications Have Closed

ACE is not accepting applications for 2023 as we reimagine the program to meet the challenges of the future of education.

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ACE Model for Comprehensive Internationalization

The ACE Model for Comprehensive Internationalization is a strategic, coordinated process that aligns and integrates policies, programs, and initiatives to position institutions as more globally oriented and internationally connected.

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