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George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Wednesday, December 7, 2005

IU international programs honored for excellence by Goldman Sachs Foundation

Programs noted for their "extraordinary K-12 outreach"

Dec. 7, 2005

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University has been named winner of the Goldman Sachs Foundation Prize for Excellence in International Education. The university will receive an award of $25,000 and will be honored at a ceremony on Thursday (Dec. 8) in Washington, D.C.

IU's international studies program was selected as a winner in the University Category from nearly 500 educational institutions, media and technology organizations that are working to bring greater knowledge of other world religions, languages and cultures to students and teachers. These organizations reach more than 20 million students and families worldwide. The Goldman Sachs Foundation and Asia Society sponsor the $125,000 prizes program.

In her letter to IU announcing the prize, Vivien Stewart, vice president of education of the Asia Society, cited the university for its "extraordinary K-12 outreach and commitment to internationalizing pre- and in-service teaching training."

"The prestigious Goldman Sachs higher education prize is a splendid recognition of Indiana University's outstanding international activities," said Patrick O' Meara, IU dean for international programs. "While the prize recognizes the outreach of the East Asian Center, the Center for the Study of Global Change and the Cultural Immersion Project of the School of Education, it also reflects the commitment of so many dedicated people to fostering a better understanding of the world in which we live."

IU officials will accept the honor at an awards dinner at the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel featuring former North Carolina Gov. James B. Hunt Jr., who co-chairs the National Coalition on Asia and International Studies in the Schools.

The international education awards program comes at a time when educators and policy makers are sounding alarms that U.S. students lack sufficient knowledge about other world regions, languages and cultures.

"There is a shameful and inexcusable gap between American students' knowledge of other countries, cultures and languages and the escalating importance of this knowledge to our nation's economic prosperity and national security," said Stephanie Bell-Rose, president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation.

With few notable exceptions, the nation's public schools are doing a woeful job of teaching students about the world outside America's borders, and students are in danger of being handicapped in an increasingly interconnected and global economy, according to the Asia Society. Surveys conducted by the Asia Society and the National Geographic Society show a huge gap in most students' knowledge about the growing importance of Asia and other world regions to the nation's economic prosperity and national security.

Over the course of the last three decades, IU has developed key international components within different areas of the institution, providing long-term capacity-building initiatives for pre- and in-service teachers and K-12 students. Three IU centers will share the 2005 Goldman Sachs Prize.

"This prestigious prize is evidence that the international legacy of Herman B Wells is flourishing today, this time beyond the borders of IU," said Deborah S. Hutton, outreach coordinator in the Office of International Programs and the Center for the Study of Global Change. "These three exemplary IU centers, as well as others on campus, reach out to pre- or in-service teachers to internationalize their curricula and directly to K-12 students about different cultures and global issues. In this time of globalization and terrorism, we can't just wait until students arrive at IU to educate them about the world."

The IU School of Education offers the Overseas Student Teaching Project as an optional supplement to conventional student teaching requirements. Following an in-depth, year-long preparation and a minimum of 10 weeks of in-state student teaching, pre-service teachers spend an additional eight weeks teaching in primary and secondary schools abroad.

Partnerships with schools and education officials in 12 different countries, including Costa Rica, India, Ireland, Kenya, Russia and China, allow candidates to learn about education, culture and life outside the United States at a formative phase of their training as K-12 teachers by spending time teaching abroad. The program has served nearly 2,000 pre-service teachers and is open to candidates from other college campuses.

The IU Center for the Study of Global Change connects the university's extensive international resources, scholars and students directly to America's K-12 classrooms through live interactive video technology. The center also offers summer institutes for teachers around international topics ranging from trade and global climate change to populations at risk and conflict resolution.

The Global Center, with the Indiana Department of Education, was one of only two states selected by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and Brown University to create a series of staff development workshops for teachers, focused on the deliberation of international issues and civic engagement in their classrooms. The Global Center also facilitates the internationalization of individual Indiana high schools.

The East Asian Studies Center places great emphasis on its teacher outreach with two flagship programs: the East Asian Literature workshop for high school English teachers and the National Consortium for Teaching About Asia workshops for middle and high school teachers, which have reached nearly 700 educators.

EASC has become the go-to teacher training center in the region for professional development resources on East Asia, and recently it began leading study tours to Asia for educators. It actively develops curriculum resources for teaching about Asia and global affairs in Indiana classrooms.

About the Asia Society

Asia Society is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening relationships and deepening understanding among the peoples of Asia and the United States. The society operates cultural, policy, business, social issues and education programs. Through its Asia and International Studies in the Schools initiative, Asia Society's education division is promoting teaching and learning about world regions, cultures and languages in K-12 schools by raising awareness and advancing policy, developing practical models of international education in the schools, and strengthening relationships between U.S. and Asian education leaders. Headquartered in New York City, the organization has centers in Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, San Francisco, Shanghai and Washington, D.C., and will open a center in Mumbai in 2006. More information is available at, and

About the Goldman Sachs Foundation

The Goldman Sachs Foundation is a global philanthropic organization funded by the Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The foundation's mission is to promote excellence and innovation in education and to improve the academic performance and lifelong productivity of young people worldwide. It achieves this mission through a combination of strategic partnerships, grants, loans, private sector investments and the deployment of professional talent from Goldman Sachs. Funded in 1999, the foundation has awarded grants in excess of $54 million since its inception, providing opportunities for young people in more than 20 countries.