Kennesaw State receives national honor for international education

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American Association of State Colleges and Universities award recognizes excellence and innovation…

Georgia (Oct 2, 2014)American Association of State Colleges and Universities award recognizes excellence and innovation

KENNESAW, Ga.  (Oct. 2, 2014) — The American Association of State Colleges and Universities has awarded Kennesaw State University an award for excellence and innovation in international education, one of only two such awards presented among the organization’s 400 member institutions nationwide. 

In its inaugural awards program, the AASCU is honoring Kennesaw State for international education programs that have enhanced the University’s curricula, fostered opportunity and creativity in integrating international students into campus life and encouraged students from underrepresented groups to study abroad. Nine institutions will receive awards in five categories during the organization’s annual meeting Oct. 19 in Washington, D.C.

“This award validates the extremely high value Kennesaw State places on international education,” said Lance Askildson, the University’s vice provost for global affairs and chief international officer.  “The institution is profoundly committed to educating globally competent students who can understand and navigate cultural differences as both successful professionals and engaged citizens.”

Among the initiatives cited for the AASCU honor is Kennesaw State’s 30-year-old “Year of” annual country study program that dedicates each academic year to a particular country or region.  The program features more than 30 lectures, performances, exhibits and other cultural events and an international conference throughout the year. During the 2014-2015 academic year, the University is celebrating “Year of the Arabian Peninsula.”

“The country study program has introduced thousands of Kennesaw State students to the rich diversity of world cultures that make up the human family,” said Daniel Paracka, director of academic initiatives for the University’s Global Affairs Division. “Annually, it results in the creation of new courses and curriculum, research projects, education abroad programs, and global partnerships. Its success is based upon campus-wide collaboration and input, and is based upon and builds upon the expertise of our faculty, staff and students.”

In its announcement of the award, the AASCU said the “Year of” program was selected as “an exemplary work that can serve as a model for institutions seeking ways to advance in the field [of international education].”

In addition to the award for international education, the AASCU also recognized institutions for excellence and innovation in leadership and development; student success and college completion; regional and economic development; and teacher education.

 “State colleges and universities have dealt with enormous challenges during the past decade, yet they have remained committed to their missions of student access and success, and regional and economic progress, as well as a dedication to advancing the quality and distinction of their institutions,” said AASCU President Muriel A. Howard.  “The innovative and collaborative approaches our members have engaged to successfully address their missions inspired us to create this awards program to foster recognition of their work.”

Kennesaw State’s international education initiatives have received several national honors over the past five years, including the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy’s Top Citizen Diplomacy Program Award; the Institute for International Education’s Andrew Heiskell Award for innovation in international education; and the Sen. Paul Simon Award for comprehensive internationalization. 

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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 90 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 24,600 from 130 countries.



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit