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Calvin Named Paul Simon Winner
February 23 , 2007

Calvin College is one of just four colleges and universities nationwide to be honored with a 2007 Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization.

Paul Simon AwardThe award honors the late Senator Paul Simon of Illinois who was a strong advocate throughout his career for international education.

It is presented annually by NAFSA: Association of International Educators and it recognizes institutions for overall excellence in internationalization efforts (NAFSA is the largest professional organization for those working in study abroad and with international students on U.S. campuses).

Michigan State University was a member of last year's quintet of honorees.

Ellen Monsma is the director of off campus programs for Calvin and spearheaded the nomination process for the college.

She says the Paul Simon Award is a heartening affirmation of Calvin's many efforts to educate students for lives with a global perspective.

"The goal of equipping Calvin College’s students to participate in and shape the world community requires that global and cultural understanding permeate every area of college life," she says, "including the hiring of faculty, recruitment of students and design of the curriculum."

She notes that the diversity among international students at Calvin has increased significantly over the past decade and that Calvin now ranks ninth among baccalaureate institutions in the Open Doors 2006 Report on international students studying in the U.S.

In addition she says Calvin also understands the need for hands-on learning experiences in global education.

"Calvin began a program in Spain in 1983," she says, "and has continually added programs since then, now offering semesters in China, England, Honduras, Hungary, Ghana, Spain, and France, and internship opportunities in developing countries. Also an environmental development program in Thailand debuted this spring and a recreation and service-learning option in Romania is being explored."

Because of these opportunities, 60 percent of the class of 2005 studied overseas at least once during their time at Calvin, and in the 2006 Open Doors Report, Calvin was fourth among baccalaureate institutions for the number of students studying abroad.

As a Senator Paul Simon Award winner, Calvin will be profiled in Internationalizing the Campus 2007: Profiles of Success at Colleges and Universities, which will be published in fall 2007. In addition, Calvin will be featured in an issue of NAFSA's International Educator magazine, and honored at the NAFSA annual conference to be held May 27-June 1 in Minneapolis.

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