Heiskell Awards: University of British Columbia

2014 Heiskell Award Honorable Mention: Internationalizing the Campus

University of British Columbia

Africa Awareness Initiative

Nomination submitted by: Michelle Suderman, Associate Director

Program Overview:

The Africa Awareness Initiative (AAI) aims to improve discourse on Africa at the University of British Columbia (UBC) by producing outstanding academic fora to encourage critical discussions pertaining to the relevance of the African continent, the Diaspora and its globalization. Since 2002, this initiative has furthered internationalization on campus by raising awareness about Africa through academic programs and extra-curricular activities. AAI hosts annual events to present world-class African scholars, writers, artists and activists, with the goal of promoting understanding of a continent whose complexities were not well understood on campus in the past.

The initiative facilitates and promotes Africa-related scholarly work to enhance academic studies and deepen the understanding of current affairs on the continent, with the ultimate goal of establishing an African Studies Major program at UBC.

President and Vice-Chancellor, Stephen J. Toope, pointed to the need for representation and intelligent dialogue surrounding Africa on the UBC campus as the spark that led to the initiative. “In general, Africa was often viewed as a poverty-stricken and homogenous continent,” said Professor Toope.

“AAI has championed internationalization throughout the UBC campus by raising awareness about Africa through academic programs and extra-curricular initiatives,” he added. “It is through student-led groups, such as AAI, that our institution can truly integrate international perspectives into our campus culture and can make internationalization and global awareness a reality.”

Program Implementation:

Read the winning nomination, including details on how the program achieves its objectives

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Selection Panel Members 2014

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

Amparo Codding
Academic Dean, School of Arts, Humanities and Wellness, Bergen Community College

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

Daniel Obst
Deputy Vice President of International Partnerships, Institute of International Education (IIE)

Anne Waters
Senior Associate Dean, School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University

Brian Whalen
President and CEO, The Forum on Education Abroad