U.S. Higher Ed Institutions Win Grants to Expand & Diversify Study Abroad

Taylor Nelson, Communications

We are pleased to announce today the winners of this year’s Capacity Building Grants, in partnership with the Department of State’s USA Study Abroad at #NAFSA17 in Los Angeles.

The Capacity Building Grants program ensures that U.S. institutions are able to:

  1. Provide students with opportunities to gain global knowledge and skills through a study abroad opportunity;
  2. Increase the overall number and diversity of student participation in study abroad;
  3. Establish and maintain strong international partnerships; and
  4. Diversify the fields of study and the destinations where students are studying and/or interning for academic credit.

“Our nation’s young people must have the global skills and knowledge needed to meet the demands of a 21st century workforce, whether in diplomacy, business, science, or the arts. Sending American students abroad is a strategic imperative for the United States and prepares our next generation of leaders to contribute to our national security and economic prosperity.” stated Anthony Koliha, Director of the Office of Global Educational Programs at the State Department.

The winners have submitted thoughtful projects for funding and we have compiled a short description of each below. Stay tuned for the stories of impact once they return from their exchanges.

2017 Capacity Building Grant recipients:


Institution: Dominican University’s Brennan School of Business – River Forest, Illinois

Program Title: Creating a U.S./ Latin America Bridge Program to Benefit Undergraduate Business Majors at Dominican University
Destination: Chile

Objective: Dominican University’s Brennan School of Business will increase its students’ knowledge of the Latin American business environment through curricular and experiential learning with the Chilean University Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso. The three phase program: planning, domestic implementation, and study abroad, will include course development, intensive career development through professional mentorship by Executives-in-Residence and internship placements in Hispanic-owned businesses in Chicago, and student exchange.


Institution: Glenville State College – Glenville, West Virginia

Program Title: Glenville State College Study Abroad
Destination: Bangkok, Dublin, London, and Australia

Objective: Glenville State College will build its capacity to continue working with the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission Knowledge Exchange Institute to identify new partner institutions in the cities of Bangkok, Dublin, London and a city within Australia. Four trained faculty fellows from the Business, Criminal Justice, Education and Land Resources Departments will develop a semester-long study abroad program that will be affordable to all students, including economically disadvantaged Appalachian students.

Institution: James Madison University – Harrisonburg, Virginia

Program Title: Tanzania Field School: Place-Based Learning for Portable Skills
Destination: Tanzania

Objective: James Madison University will continue working with Tanzanian institute, University of Dar es Salaam, in developing a new STEM-focused, project-based, experiential learning course modules in Appropriate Technology, Community Development, Sustainability, Low Impact Development, Natural Resources Management, Renewable Energy, and Water Resources. While the program will explicitly target female, first-generation and minority students in engineering majors, it will be open to all non-engineering majors with suitable STEM-backgrounds.

Institution: Montclair State University – Montclair, New Jersey

Program Title: Devised Theatre Project of the Americas: US and Chile
Destination: Chile

Objective: Montclair State University will expand a collaborative theatre student exchange pilot program developed with Universidad Mayor in Santiago, Chile. The program will engage students in a year-long dialogue of live collaboration, creation, and presentation of a newly devised work of theatre; which will include interest and abilities in performance, playwriting creative writing, directing, dramaturgy, and production design.

Institution: Morehouse College – Atlanta, Georgia

Program Title: Morehouse Pan African Global Experience II: Education and Public Health in the Diaspora
Destination: Cuba, Ecuador, and Brazil

Objective: Morehouse College will expand the Morehouse Pan-African Global Experience – a signature study abroad program that send students of African and the international African Diaspora descent to Brazil, Cuba and Ecuador, with the aim of increasing students’ knowledge of African heritage cultures and communities while strengthen language studies for research, fieldwork, civic engagement, and careers abroad.


Institution: North Carolina State University – Raleigh, North Carolina

Program Title: Capacity Building to Support Internship & Experiential Learning for Underrepresented Minority Students in Agriculture between the Dominican Republic and North Carolina State University
Destination: Dominican Republic

Objective: North Carolina State University will administer a new study abroad program for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to the Dominican Republic, which will consist of a short-term tailored internship-service program targeting students from Latin heritage, first-generation, and students from agricultural majors (i.e. agricultural business, biochemistry, plant and soil science, and poultry science). Students will intern for a month at key agriculture businesses while working alongside Dominican students to strategize an AG STEM Workshop for local High School students in the Dominican Republic.

Institution: University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, Michigan

Program Title: Capacity Building Grants for University of Michigan
Destination: Mexico, Botswana, Ghana/Thailand

Objective: University of Michigan will create a Faculty Global Development Fellowship to build the pool of faculty qualified and committed to lead new study abroad programs in the field of Nursing. Anticipated partnerships are with Instituto Cultural Oaxaca, Universidad Regional del Sureste School of Nursing, University of Botswana School of Nursing, and Cross Cultural Solutions organization. Faculty will be selected to complete required training on internationalizing teaching, co-lead at least one existing program, and/or develop and lead at least one new program in the next four years.

Institution: Santa Fe College – Gainesville, Florida

Program Title: Santa Fe College – Biotechnology Internship in Brazil
Destination: Brazil

Objective: Santa Fe College will work with Universidade Estadual Paulista “Júlio de Mesquita Filho” in Brazil to set-up a new biotechnology lab in partnership with three different cities in Southeast Brazil – Assis, Araraquara, and Botucatu.  The objective of this new program is to foster the development of Santa Fe College students’ intercultural competence within the framework of biotechnology by requiring students to work in projects with peers and researchers in Brazil.

Institution: University of California, Davis – Davis, California

Program Title: UC Davis Capacity Building and Road-Mapping for Undergraduate Action Research and Seminars Abroad
Destination: Nepal
Objective: University of California Davis (UC Davis) will develop a winter break program in Nepal and formulate a “road map” to facilitate the creation of similar intersession programs. The program will be the first in Nepal for UC Davis, and will be carried out in partnership with Nepalese universities and NGOs, allowing UC Davis students to be paired with young Nepalese professionals in the fields of human ecology, community/regional development, sustainable agriculture, food science, environmental science, and engineering.

Institution: University of Nebraska-Lincoln – Lincoln, Nebraska

Program Title: Computer Science Across Cultures: Collaborative Algorithm Problem Solving
Destination: Jordan

Objective: the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) will develop a new program for STEM students to study abroad in Amman, Jordan. The program will target computer science and computer engineering students, a group that currently makes up one of the smallest proportions of study abroad participants at UNL. The program will use a unique blend of team-based learning and on-site collaboration between U.S. and Jordanian students who will develop and solve algorithm problems, while facilitating cross-cultural learning and bolstering UNL’s institutional partnerships in Jordan.

Institution: Winston-Salem State University – Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Program Title: Afro-Cuban Studies in a New Era
Destination: Cuba

Objective: Winston-Salem State University will create a study abroad program rooted in dynamic interdisciplinary curriculum in partnership with Cuban institutions and organizations. The new program will leverage perspectives and knowledge of scholars across the College of Arts, Sciences, Business, and Education, and the School of Health Sciences to facilitate the development of new methods of teaching and researching on key issues of Afro-Cuban culture, history, health, education, and community.