Education Abroad named finalist for international diversity award

Published on 5/23/2022 3:52:41 PM
Education Abroad at Texas A&M University was recently named a 2022 PIEoneer Award Finalist for the Championing Diversity category. This award recognizes organizations that have successfully increased access and widened participation in international education opportunities across student demographics.
 
Education Abroad has instituted various outreach and recruitment initiatives over the past year that remove barriers and open doors of possibility to marginalized student populations. Our focus has been to break down stereotypes held by U.S. college students and increase study abroad participation by low-income, first-generation, minority, and other marginalized segments.
 
These initiatives include launching several Hullabaloo U sections focused on diversity and global learning; building a justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion certification curriculum that will pilot this fall; and raising funds to provide free passports to students from underrepresented populations.
 
“Everyone within Education Abroad is passionate about providing access to meaningful, diverse, and inclusive international experiences,” said Holly Hudson, Associate Vice President for Global Engagement. “It’s always gratifying when our staff is recognized for the hard work and innovation that has led to such a positive and progressive shift.”
 
Removing barriers, increasing access, and expanding the geographical footprint of programs are ongoing efforts for Education Abroad. Since the 2009-2010 academic year, study abroad participation by students of color has increased from 29% to 49%. In 2019-2020, first-generation students made up 23% of student abroad participants at Texas A&M.
 
Texas A&M also dedicates about $1.5 million a year to study abroad scholarships and was recently named a Top 20 Gilman Scholar producer by the U.S. Department of State. In 2019-2020, 24% of study abroad participants reported a family income of less than $60,000/year.
 
“Participating in an international experience provides evidence-based advantages such as an improved academic performance, developmental growth, and higher starting salaries,” Hudson said. “Supporting and facilitating the high-impact practice of Education Abroad is only relevant if it impacts those in most need of its benefits.”
 
Education Abroad leads the nation as the No. 1 public university for study abroad and has done so since 2014-2015. It has positioned itself as a national and regional leader through participation in and recognition by international education organizations. Most recently, Texas A&M was recognized by Diversity Abroad with the Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion in International Education award.
 
Winners of the PIEoneer Awards will be announced on Sept. 9, during a ceremony at London’s Guildhall.
 
About The PIE
Professionals in International Education – commonly known as The PIE – is an independent media, recruitment, and events company based in London that connects a global community of professionals working in international education. Organizations previously recognized by The PIE include Kaplan, the Institute for International Education, the Texas International Education Consortium, The University of Adelaide (Australia), the University of Miami, and Humber College (Canada).
 
By Caleb Chapman, Department of Global Engagement at Texas A&M University