Texas A&M Education Abroad Receives National Award For Diversity And Inclusion Efforts
Texas A&M University’s Education Abroad has been selected for Diversity Abroad’s Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion in International Education (EDIIE) award. The award was presented during the Global Inclusion 2021 annual conference in Atlanta this week.
The recognition reflects a commitment to addressing educational inequities and advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in the field of global education. Texas A&M won in the Institutional/Organizational category of Outreach, Marketing and Recruitment.
“We congratulate the 2021 EDIIE Award recipients for their work to democratize global education and ultimately unlock the doors of opportunity for the students they serve,” said Andrew Gordon, CEO and founder of Diversity Abroad, a membership organization that works to assist young people from traditionally marginalized and underrepresented backgrounds to pursue global educational opportunities.
Education Abroad staff said they are committed to removing barriers and increasing opportunities for underrepresented populations as part of its mission to provide wide-ranging access to meaningful, diverse and inclusive global experiences. Underlying that commitment is a belief that all students should have access to international education experiences and the proven resulting benefits.
“Education Abroad is a national leader in providing international experiences for students and is clearly making a difference in removing barriers and creating new opportunities to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in study abroad,” said Patrick Louchouarn, interim vice provost for faculty affairs and interdisciplinary initiatives. “Moreover, their current initiatives will undoubtedly continue to increase access to and participation by students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds.”
As such, Education Abroad has instituted — and continues to build — a robust variety of outreach, marketing and recruitment initiatives that make available global opportunities to underrepresented students even during a challenging time for travel.
In the wake of the heightened awareness surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement, Louchouarn said Education Abroad revisited its mission and crafted a new and focused Diversity Statement reestablishing their commitment to cultivating a welcoming environment for all individuals, in which people feel empowered to inquire about – and take advantage of – international education, regardless of the identity group(s) they may belong to.
The design of Education Abroad’s equity, diversity and inclusion outreach programs are centered around three main themes: support; awareness and understanding; learning and development. By looking through those lenses, Education Abroad staff said they were able to identify gaps that existed within its organization and throughout campus.
These efforts led to the development of new identity-based resources and web content, an “abroad for all” email campaign, a First-Year Experience Course (FYEX), an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) digital badge curriculum, and a passport scholarship for underrepresented students. As a result, the demographics of participation in international experiences now reflect – and in some cases surpass –Texas A&M’s student enrollment demographics.
“Our team has worked incredibly hard toward our goal of increasing awareness of, and access to, Education Abroad programs and services. Receiving this award affirms the tremendous work we have put into this effort and has already inspired us to generate new ideas,” said Holly Hudson, executive director for Education Abroad. “There is now a strong desire for Education Abroad at Texas A&M University to collaborate with and learn from our partners to lead our field in designing innovative, affordable and inclusive programming.”
About Diversity Abroad:
Diversity Abroad is the leading membership organization that inspires and supports educators, policy makers, industry professionals and other stakeholders in leveraging global educational programs to support the academic success, interpersonal development and career readiness of students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds.
About The Excellence In Diversity & Inclusion In International Education (EDIIE) Award
Through the Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion in International Education Awards, Diversity Abroad Diversity Abroad celebrates outstanding institutions, organizations, individuals, and students who exemplify the vision and ideals of Diversity Abroad to support diversity & inclusive excellence in global education.