February 23, 2015

Jeanette Grider

Center for Global Citizenship Honored for Innovation in International Education

Katie Gauthier Donnelly (left) with Darla Deardorff, Executive Director of the Association of International Education Administrators. Submitted photo

Saint Louis University's Center for Global Citizenship has been honored with the Innovation Award in Internationalization by the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA). SLU is the inaugural recipient.

The award highlights exceptional programs, projects or initiatives aimed at advancing internationalization and directed by senior international officers on their respective campuses.

An important element of the award focuses on developing programs that can serve as models for other institutions that are new to the field or those looking for new approaches for their current programs.

Among many accomplishments, two areas stand out as part of SLU's recognition.

Development of a Center for Global Citizenship: As part of its efforts to expand and enhance campus internationalization, SLU repurposed the 87-year-old Bauman-Eberhardt gymnasium in the heart of the main campus as one of two buildings forming a Center for Global Citizenship (CGC). The Center's mission is to promote collaboration across the University to educate and engage the SLU community for global awareness, responsibility and participation. The CGC is both a physical and intellectual space that houses Study Abroad, International Services, English as Second Language, International Studies, the Center for Intercultural Studies, the Center for Sustainability, the Center for Service and Community Engagement and the Cross-Cultural Center. The CGC has a student commons with spaces for formal and informal student meetings and work groups, an international restaurant, a 1000-seat auditorium with a large, wall-mounted high definition video screen and seminar rooms. Over 200 activities were hosted between May 2013 and June 2014.


Establishment of the SLU Association for International Debate (SAID) Program: What began as a two-way interactive debate between SLU students and students representing three universities in Kabul, Afghanistan, ultimately led to the founding of SAID. The debate, held during Black History Month, was a collaboration between the Center's administrative staff, the Cross-Cultural Center (CCC), International Studies and the Center for Intercultural Studies. Faculty from communication, political science, philosophy and the CCC nominated students since SLU does not have a debate team. As a result of the event, the students asked if the Center would sponsor a new student organization and SAID began. The founding group was composed of six students and now has approximately 16 participating in the debates. SAID is open to any SLU undergraduate or graduate student and has both domestic and international participants. Prior debate experience is not required.

Diana Carlin, Ph.D., associate vice-president for international initiatives, has been at the forefront of advancing international education at SLU. She sees the award as part of the continuing growth and interest in global understanding and connection.

"The CGC recognition as a physical and intellectual space that enables SLU students, faculty and staff to explore the world is gratifying given it has barely reached its potential," Carlin said. "My hope is that the award will encourage the SLU community to develop more creative ways to use the space."

Katie Gauthier Donnelly, program manager for the Center for Global Citizenship, who accepted the award at a ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 17, in Washington, D.C., shared her enthusiasm and pride in the CGC's recognition and her appreciation for those who helped make it possible.

"It was an honor to accept this award from AIEA on behalf of Saint Louis University and the Center for Global Citizenship," Donnelly said. "Being recognized for the collaborations that have developed out of the Center over the past year and a half is wonderful encouragement to continue to find unique ways to bring important activities that enhance our global perspective to our campus. Thank you to all of the Center's collaborators for your commitment."

Learn more about the Center for Global Citizenship
Learn more about SAID

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