ACE Peer Review Team with Naismith statute

2021-2022 KUIA Annual Report

Highlighting KU's international work, the annual report features stories on faculty and staff accomplishments, as well as student and alumni success.

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Message from the Senior Internationalization Officer

Charles Bankart

"These exciting developments set us up for an extraordinary year ahead, and they remind us of the remarkable breadth and depth of KU’s international work, the passion and expertise of our community, and our many accomplishments on the world stage."

Charles Bankart
Senior Internationalization Officer

As we begin a new academic year, I am delighted to share our highlights and accomplishments from the past year. Reflecting, it is amazing to see how much was accomplished over such a short period of time. Most notably, KU completed its two-year participation in the American Council on Education’s Internationalization Lab. It was out of that work and through the involvement of hundreds of faculty and staff members, as well as students, that we:

  • Established the new Institute for International and Global Engagement, headed by Melissa Birch, associate professor in the School of Business.
  • Created a new Provost Fellow for Internationalization, which has been filled by Megan Greene, professor of history.
  • Integrated comprehensive internationalization as a foundational element to KU’s strategic planning efforts under Jayhawks Rising.
  • Bolstered the foundation for internationalization at KU by providing a strong base budget for International Affairs and establishing the role of senior internationalization officer, which I took on this summer.

ACE Internationalization Lab Update

ACE Lab Peer Review Team

ACE Lab Peer Review Team Visit

In spring 2022, the ACE Lab Peer Review Team visited campus. The delegation met with campus administrators, deans, faculty, students, staff and Internationalization Lab participants. The delegation's reflections and recommendations from the visit were incorporated into a final report.

Results and Recommendations

KU has adopted comprehensive internationalization as one of its five core foundations to inform the multi-year strategic planning process Jayhawks Rising. The adoption signals that KU leaders recognize that to be successful, KU must be connected to and of the world.

“This requires moving beyond internationalization as a set of discrete services,” said Charles Bankart, KU senior internationalization officer. “Pervasive internationalization profoundly informs the nature of our actions, how KU articulates and understands its identity, and enables unique outcomes in the areas of student success, research and building healthy communities.”

The importance of internationalization in KU’s strategic plan is the direct result of KU's participation for the past two years in the American Council on Education’s Internationalization Lab.

In fall 2020 KU was one of 10 colleges and universities selected to participate in the ACE’s 18th cohort. Since then, more than 50 faculty, staff and students participated in subcommittees, identifying areas of strength and drafting recommendations for improvement. Those recommendations informed the Jayhawk Rising strategic plan.

This spring the ACE Peer Review Team visited campus. The delegation met with Chancellor Douglas Girod and Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer, as well as other campus administrators, deans, faculty, students, staff and Internationalization Lab participants. The delegation's reflections and recommendations from the visit were incorporated into a final report.

Members of the ACE peer review team and KU leadership team are pictured above: Jennifer Roberts, vice provost for Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies; Megan Greene, professor of history and former director of the Global Scholars program; David Di Maria, senior international officer and associate vice provost for International Education at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Ariel Armony, vice provost for Global Affairs and director of the University Center for International Studies at the University of Pittsburgh; Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer; Cheryl Matherly, ACE adviser and vice president and vice provost of International Affairs at Lehigh University; Charles Bankart, senior internationalization officer; Susan Klusmeier, vice provost for Academic Success; and Meredith McQuaid, associate vice president and dean of International Programs at the University of Minnesota.

Faculty Achievement

Map of Travel Grants

KUIA Awards 14 Travel Grants

KU International Affairs has awarded more than $46,000 in travel grants to 13 KU faculty members and one graduate student to support research and collaboration abroad. These competitively awarded funds were dispersed among faculty and students in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the School of Music.

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Kapila D. Silva at the Woodyard Award presentation

Woodyard Award Winner  

Kapila D. Silva, professor of architecture, was the recipient of the 2021 George and Eleanor Woodyard International Educator Award.

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Fulbright Scholar Award Winners

  • Abdelmajid Hannoum

    Abdelmajid Hannoum, professor of anthropology, received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award to travel to Morocco to conduct research on African migration to Europe.

  • William Collins

    William Collins, associate professor of civil, environmental & architectural engineering, received a Fulbright Scholar Award to conduct research for six months in Finland.

  • James Walters

    James Walters, associate professor of ecology & evolutionary biology, received a Fulbright Scholar Award to conduct research for nine months in the Czech Republic.

  • Stacey Vanderhurst

    Stacey Vanderhurst, assistant professor of women, gender & sexuality studies, received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award to study how Nigerian women are fighting harassment in public spaces.

Fulbright Specialist Award Winners

  • Brian Rosenblum

    Brian Rosenblum, co-director of the Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities, received a Fulbright Specialist Award to lead a six-week course in digital humanities at the University of Ghana.

  • James Thompson

    James Thompson, professor of special education, received a Fulbright Specialist Award to lead a series of plenary presentations and workshops in Portugal in the spring. Thompson died in September.

Student Success

Map of students

Students from Around the World

In fall 2021, more than 1,700 international students enrolled at KU’s Lawrence campus from more than 100 countries. The map shows international students’ home countries, highlighting the diversity and breadth of KU's international population.

KU International Students 2021-2022

international students in Fall 2021
countries represented

KU International Student 2

of KU undergraduate students
of KU students
of KU graduate students
Ukraine Student Protesting

KU Assists Ukrainian Students

Since February KU’s Ukrainian students and faculty have been living in two worlds, one where their friends and family are under constant threat of bombings and military attacks in their home country and the other in the United States, where the war is a distant thought for many.

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Nikita Larson pictured in front of Stop War sign at the St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna

Study Abroad in Eastern Europe  

For some domestic students traveling abroad, the war in Ukraine also affected their spring semester. Studying abroad in the Czech Republic this spring, Nikita Larson had a second-row seat as the country united behind Ukraine following Russia’s invasion.

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Study Abroad Sees Summer Rebound

This summer KU Study Abroad supported 724 students on international study, internship, research and service programs in 37 countries. Following two years of low participation rates due to COVID restrictions, 2022 summer numbers bounced back to near 2019 levels, when 772 students went abroad.

"These figures represent a very strong rebound in education abroad, particularly in light of the status of the pandemic in January and February, when the majority of students were completing applications for the summer 2022 term," SAGE Director Angela Perryman said.

Study abroad in Portugal and Spain

2022 Summer Study Abroad

students traveled abroad in summer 2022
students in study abroad program
students on travel registry
countries visited

Alumni Reflections & Giving

Bonn Group

Bonn Study Abroad Creates Lasting Bond

In the fall of 1971, a group of 12 University of Kansas students embarked on a junior year abroad program at the University of Bonn, Germany. There, they learned the language, took German-speaking classes and traveled Europe, including communist East Germany.

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Christine Pederson with Angela Perryman

Alumna Supports International Education  

Like a thread leading from one adventure to the next, international experiences are woven throughout Christine Pederson’s life. Through her generous support, Pederson, ’68, ensures today’s students have similar opportunities to embark on international adventures.

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Abhay and Mina Bisarya

Abhay and Mina Bisarya Scholarship to support international students

When Abhay and Mina Bisarya's three sons were looking for a way to celebrate their parents, they decided to make a gift to the university that brought them together.

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KUIA Staff and Faculty

Eron Memaj

KUIA names Eron Memaj as International Support Services Director

Eron Memaj was named the new director of International Support Services. Stepping into the position on Aug. 1, Memaj came from Kent State University.

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KUIA Faculty and Staff Kudos

Billie Archer, the executive assistant to the senior internationalization officer, was selected as one of seven KU staff members to participate in the 2021-2022 Staff Fellows Program. The professional development program provides leadership development for employees at all levels of the organization, including those without direct reports, and/or operational, group or department managers. Through this program, participants gain familiarity with campus, engage university senior leaders, and explore leadership through mentoring, assigned readings, and project work. The 2021-2022 Staff Fellows Program cohort joined seven members from the 2019-2020 group to focus on mental health. Picking up the work of the 2019-2020 Staff Fellows cohort, the group analyzed the cohort’s recommendations and developed an implementation strategy to address the mental health needs of employees.

Elizabeth Gould, assistant director for academic affairs at the Applied English Center, has been named a commissioner for the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation. CEA is a specialized accrediting agency that focuses on post-secondary intensive English language programs and institutions. The Commission, which governs CEA, is a body of elected and appointed members. It is responsible for setting CEA policy, for making accreditation decisions, and for fostering the continued development of CEA so that it can continue to respond to the changing needs in the field of English language teaching and administration.

Elected CEA commissioners are identified based on their professional experience and integrity. They have experience, training, and interest in English language programs and institutions, as well as in program evaluation. They have strong leadership ability, a commitment to quality English language education for international students, and an understanding that their role is to ensure CEA’s standing as a respected, impartial, specialized accreditor and well-governed non-profit organization.

Julie McClenahan, senior document specialist at International Support Services, received the KU Employee of the Month Award in October. KU recognized McClenahan’s creative ideas, ability to implement solutions to complex issues and willingness to be a supportive and thoughtful team member.

One co-worker described McClenahan as being “extremely self-driven, customer-experience focused, and innovative with an impeccable work ethic.” McClenahan prepares and produces immigration documents for incoming international students.

While presenting the award to McClenahan in fall 2021, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies Jennifer Roberts noted that in response to COVID-19 changes, McClenahan revolutionized all areas of the new international student experience. McClenahan also took it upon herself to rebuild the student portal and corresponding website information to make it more accessible and informative for students.

One colleague noted that McClenahan is “a leader who is constantly innovating ways to better our students’ experience as well as making our daily work more efficient, which was critical to our team’s work now more than ever when the pandemic uprooted almost any normal procedures we had in place.”

This spring, KU Study Abroad & Global Engagement was awarded the 2022 TRIO Champion Certificate of Appreciation. Each year TRIO SES & STEM recognizes a person or department that goes above and beyond to support TRIO students.

TRIO noted that SAGE's support of its newly created study abroad program to Costa Rica has been invaluable. SAGE staff members have not only helped guide the planning of the actual study abroad program but have also provided assistance with arranging for guest speakers and facilitating a collaboration project with the University of Costa Rica when travel was not available. Additionally, SAGE has helped make study abroad accessible for TRIO students through scholarship support and the creation of a TRIO Study Abroad Peer Advisor position. This position has helped provide outreach and study abroad advising to students participating in TRIO SES & STEM.

Pictured receiving the award are Mari Keyser, SAGE program coordinator for Spain and Latin America, and Julie Hamel, assistant director of student programming in TRIO SES & STEM.

KUIA Advisory Board

Many thanks for the KU International Affairs Advisory Board's support and advocacy for internationalization. Members include Chair Jean Hardy Robinson, PhD; Vice Chair James D. Harder; Anna R. Anderson; Carol Ann Brown; B. Wayne Burge; Roger L. Hiatt; Nicole Horton; Jill Kleinberg, PhD; David F. Lambertson; Patrick A. Mawhinney; Richard S. Paegelow; Thomas A. Rudkin; Leslie McElfresh Schweitzer; Jessica Townsend Teague and David A. White.

2021-2022 Annual Report