Kent State recognized for excellence in internationalization


Courtesy of Kent State University

Kent State University celebrates its international students during halftime of the Feb. 18 men’s basketball game at the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center.

Jesse Khalil, Reporter

Kent State is the sole university to be recognized for its excellence in internationalization by receiving the 2022 Paul Simon Award.

Out of every college university in the U.S. Kent State is the chosen recipient of the Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization, a prestigious award given to the university that excelled in visionary and innovative approaches toward promoting internationalization on campus this past year.

“We firmly believe that keeping Kent State as a leading institution in internationalization creates a much richer learning environment for everybody,” said Marcello Fantoni, vice president for global education. “It also puts Kent State at the top of the pyramid for its prestige, both domestically and internationally.”

Fantoni highlights the values that set Kent State apart in its pursuit toward internationalization.

“The people that work in internationalization and the university at large believe in the intrinsic values of providing our students with a global understanding and perspective,” Fantoni said.

The university’s response to the pandemic ended up giving it an advantage when it came to international student outreach and recruitment.

“Transitioning digital in a very short time and staying effective; that is the first battle we won,” Fantoni said. “We had the commitment, passion, but also the professional ability to continue to thrive, not just survive, during an uncertain time.”

Specific changes were made to the program to accommodate the pandemic, Fantoni said.

“We relaunched both in our international strategies for recruitment and establishing new programs internationally,” he said. “We never discontinued being committed to sending students abroad. …  We were able to stay in touch with our partners, agents; we talked with students and still managed programs abroad thanks to being in touch online.”

Kent State is proud to gain recognition for its prestigious level of internationalization. Going forward, Fantoni plans to grow and expand the Kent State name and programs offered.

“We want to work hard and capitalize on what we built over the pandemic and the past few years,” Fantoni said. “This is where we really need to stay focused, intentional and stick to our goals with even more determination.”

Jesse Khalil is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]