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New Grant to Increase Global Engagement on Campus

Oct. 17, 2023

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — A new grant from the U.S. Department of Education will allow Illinois Wesleyan University students to experience more study abroad opportunities while enhancing existing programs related to international and global studies, world languages and preprofessional programs. 

Titled “Building Capacity to Increase Global Engagement Across the Curriculum,” the two-year Undergraduate and International

Student wearing IWU sweater extends arms in front of a mountain landscape
A new grant from the U.S. Department of Education will allow Illinois Wesleyan University students to experience more study abroad opportunities.

Studies and Foreign Language Grant was received through the federal International and Foreign Language Program. One of just 13 grants of its type awarded nationwide, this funding will further advance IWU’s mission of preparing students to live and work as responsible citizens in a globalized society. 

Led by Professor of Spanish and Director of International and Global Studies program Carmela Ferradáns, the IWU team responsible for securing the grant includes Byron S. Tucci Professor of Spanish Carolyn Nadeau, Betty Ritchie-Birrer '47 and Ivan Birrer Ph.D. Endowed Professor and Chair of Political Science William Munro, Associate Professor of Nursing Noël Kerr, Director of the School of Business and Economics Bryan McCannon '98 and Director of the International Office Sarah Van Alebeek. 

“The overarching goal of the proposal is to leverage IWU's strengths in high-impact teaching and learning practices such as internships, study abroad and experiential learning to deepen global engagement and develop skills and knowledge in intercultural competence for students and faculty,” said Ferradáns. 

Funding from the grant, which is active through 2025, will be used to establish a Global Engagement Fellows program at IWU; develop internships with a global focus and short-term study abroad experiences; increase intercultural competence of faculty through workshops; and enhance existing Hispanic studies minors offered within business and health programs. 

“Through a constellation of integrated activities, Illinois Wesleyan will raise the intercultural competence of both faculty and students,” said Ferradáns. “By the end of the project, IWU undergraduates will understand the importance of responsible global engagement in our increasingly interconnected, yet culturally diverse society, as the number of students who participate in an international experience or event will increase dramatically."

By Julia Perez