Potter on doubling education abroad

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

President Earl H. Potter III

President Earl H. Potter III addresses students and employees at the Celebrating International Achievements in Atwood Memorial Center.

President Earl H. Potter III  Rob Lavenda, professor of sociology and anthropology 

President Earl H. Potter III today said St. Cloud State expects to double, in the next five years, the number of students learning abroad.

Speaking at the "Celebrating International Acheivements" gathering in Atwood Memorial Center, Potter said the university would, among other things, expand scholarships for and lower curricular barriers to education abroad.

Potter noted engineering and science students, in particular, are finding it difficult to include education-abroad experiences in their curricular schedules.

Potter said he expects to sign a commitment letter with Institute of International Education, an independent not-for-profit based in New York City. More than 350 St. Cloud State students participated in education-abroad programs during the 2012-13 school year. 

Two recent honors for international education efforts -- the Simon Award and Heiskell Award -- validate St. Cloud State's international education programming, Potter said.

"What we do deserves to be ranked among the very best, across the country," he said.

St. Cloud State faced "incredible competition" pursuing the Simon Award and now finds itself among an elite pool of 55 recipients, including some of the best colleges and universities in the nation, Potter said.

View the list of Simon Award winners, which includes University of Michigan, Boston University, Carnegie Mellon University and University of Illinois.

Similarly, the Heiskell Award recognized St. Cloud State's innovative educational programming with Universidad de Concepcion in Chile. Potter credited Rob Lavenda, professor of sociology and anthropology, with founding and nurturing the partnership, which dates back to 2001.

The president ended his remarks by thanking employees for their efforts.

"We have a wonderful community committed to internationalization," Potter said. "You need to understand you rank among the very best in this nation. So, we go after these recognitions so you can have that point-of-pride, personally."

"And, we demonstrate to the world," he said, "that this university is strong, founded in a mission that has substance, to which we have made a commitment. And, we will deliver." 

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