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Kirkwood Receives Prestigious International Education Award

Kirkwood International Students featured

College only two-year institution among elite universities recognized by NAFSA

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (March 13, 2019)-Kirkwood Community College has been named as one of eight higher education institutions across the nation to receive the prestigious 2019 Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization by NAFSA, the world’s largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education. The college will receive the award at an event in Washington, D.C., during International Education Week in November.

Named after the late Senator Paul Simon of Illinois, the NAFSA Simon Awards recognize outstanding innovation and accomplishment in campus internationalization.

Five colleges have been awarded the “Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization” which recognizes colleges and universities for excellence in integrating international education throughout all facets of their campuses. The institutions receiving this award are:

  • Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island)
  • Kirkwood Community College (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
  • West Virginia University (Morgantown, West Virginia)
  • Miami University (Oxford, Ohio)
  • Dickinson College (Carlisle, Pennsylvania)

The “Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award” recognizes a specific international program or initiative that contributes to internationalization on campus. The 2019 Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award schools are SUNY Buffalo State (Buffalo, New York), Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, Virginia), and the University of Evansville (Evansville, Indiana).

According to Kirkwood Dean of International Programs Dawn Wood, the award is the result of an ongoing, concerted effort to promote international education across the entire college.

“Kirkwood has long recognized the importance of connecting global learning to our local community and industry needs,” said Wood. “For years, this college has recognized the significance of providing a global intercultural experience for all of its students, faculty and staff. This is significant for our community to grow and thrive in this globalized economy.”

The International Programs department at Kirkwood has made its impact felt on a local, national, and worldwide scale. The college is ranked fifth nationally in number of study abroad students for two-year colleges nationwide and consistently attracts a diverse range of international students from countries around the world. The institution has put an emphasis on innovative international experiences for all students, both in and out of the classroom, due to the global commitment of its board, administration, faculty, staff and students.

For more information about International Programs at Kirkwood, go to