2010 Heiskell Award Winner: Study Abroad

Washington & Jefferson College

The Magellan Project

Nomination submitted by: Tori Haring-Smith, President

Program Overview
Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) was selected to receive a Heiskell Award to recognize its progressive approach to study abroad, providing funding for short term experiences in an effort to spark interest in semester-long study abroad experiences. Each year, more than 30 students receive support for three-week credit-bearing courses that are led by faculty during the January intersession. After building confidence during the short term trip, students are encouraged to pursue year- or semester-long programs and are able to take their financial aid with them.

The college also offers opportunities for more adventurous students to craft individualized research projects under the umbrella of the Magellan Project-a growing collection of alumni- and foundation-funded initiatives. Recent activities funded through the Magellan Project include a study of public health care delivery on the politically divided island of Cyprus, work with street children in Paraguay, and an exploration of hieroglyphics in Egypt. Grants usually range from $3,000-$5,000. Students are required to write a project proposal and personal statement, as well as a budget that includes a personal financial commitment in addition to requesting Magellan funds. "The Magellan Project encourages students to take initiative so that they can develop self confidence," says Tori Haring-Smith, President of Washington & Jefferson College.

Using short-term programs as catalysts for semester-long study and providing a design-your-own option for independent overseas experiences, Washington & Jefferson College is a leader in innovative study abroad programming.

Program Implementation
Click here to read the winning nomination, including details on how the program achieves its objectives

Selection Panel Members 2010

The members of the selection panel for this year’s awards include the following leaders in international education:

Stephen Dunnett
Vice Provost for International Education, State University of New York at Buffalo, and Past President, Association of International Education Administrators

Uliana Gabara
Dean of International Education, University of Richmond and Past President, Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA)

Sebastian Fohrbeck
Director, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

Judy Irwin
Global Education Advisor

Arlene Jackson
Director of International Education American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)

Brian Whalen
President, The Forum on Education Abroad