Internationalization Summit

The Internationalization Summit is a forum for scholars, students and members of the academic community to engage in meaningful conversation, connect, share practices and present emerging research relating to the internationalization of higher education. 

Global Challenges and (in)action: Examining the role of internationalization in higher education 
Friday, April 14, 2023


Event registration is live and the updated schedule of events is listed below.

Event Registration

Keynote Speaker


Dawn Michele Whitehead

Vice President
Office of Global Citizenship for Campus, Community and Careers at the American Association of Colleges and Universities

Dawn Michele Whitehead is the vice president of the office of global citizenship for campus, community, and careers at the American Association of Colleges and Universities. Her work focuses on advancing practices and strategies to integrate global, civic, and experiential learning across curricular and co-curricular initiatives and practices that advance equitable participation in global and community-based learning for all. Dr. Whitehead has presented and published nationally and internationally.  She led community-based global learning programs in Ghana, Kenya, and Costa Rica and taught global and international studies at Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis.  Whitehead was named an inaugural member of the Institute for International Education’s National Academy for International Education and serves as a board member for The Forum on Education Abroad. Whitehead earned her Ph.D. at Indiana University Bloomington in Education Policy Studies with a doctoral minor in International and Comparative Education and a concentration in African Studies

Pre-Summit Schedule

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa: Opportunities for International Research and Teaching Collaboration

Wednesday April 12 - 10:30 AM -12:00 PM
(International House)

Theresa Johnson, Director at DU International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS)
Pettet, Assistant Director at DU, ISSS 

Have you or a colleague considered inviting an international scholar to DU for research, teaching, or consulting? ISSS staff will help explain how this can be possible through the J-1 Exchange Visitor visa, including the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program. We will review the process of requesting a J-1 DS 2019 immigration document and explain the role of ISSS and other DU offices. This workshop will help you understand how to host an international scholar and encourage connections between DU and institutions around the World, especially with our strategic partners. The workshop is for both faculty and administrators. It will include time for participants to network and make connections for potential collaborations.

COIL Connection and Networking

Wednesday April 12 - 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
(Community Commons, 1800)

Casey Dinger, DU Executive and Academic Director for Internationalization,  
Leasa Weimer, Director for Strategic Partnerships, DU Office of Internationalization 
Dora Khamala, DU Office of Internationalization Graduate Assistant 

Join us for a gathering of faculty, international partners and staff interested in implementing Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL). COIL is a type of virtual mobility in which two faculty members from culturally diverse institutions (often one domestic and one international) develop and co-teach a joint course. The purpose is to build connections and new relationships with people, knowledge systems and perspectives across numerous types of borders. Whether you are new to COIL or have run a COILed course already, come by and talk with others about your questions, challenges, or successes. We will provide some light refreshments!

War, International Research, and Shadow Peacekeepers

Thursday, April 13 - 10:15 AM - 11:00 AM 
(Community Commons, 1600)

Corinne Lengsfeld, University of Denver, Senior Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Education, Department of Mechanical & Materials Engineering

Right now the world political landscape is dominated by the anxiety of being on the brink of war in every corner of the earth. We with urgency must build international collaborations not just to solve international issues like climate change, education, human rights, health, etc., but also to serve as shadow peace keepers. The best collaborations are ones that have a sense of urgency and impact greater than ourselves. The pandemic taught us how communities and agencies, of all disciplines, could bind together to address problems of international impact rapidly, effectively. We leveraged all the expertise we have on our campus’ to achieve these results and we did it foregoing our egos and placing public good ahead of image, reputation, and renumeration. This is the type of partnerships we must seek to build today with the hopes that we do not enter into more dangerous territory. How do we as partners join together in meaningful ways to push this agenda forward both publicly and privately? Where are the barriers to success and the opportunities for rapid acceleration because the landscape allows us?

For Scholars: Fulbright Scholars alumni panel

Thursday April 13 - 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
(Community Commons, 1600) 

Leasa Weimer, Director for Strategic Partnerships, DU Office of Internationalization 

The application call for the 2024-25 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program is currently open! Join us to learn more about Fulbright program opportunities for scholars. A panel of DU faculty alumni will share their tips and experiences on the application process and how to use a Fulbright award to advance international research agendas and infuse global learning into the classroom. The application deadline is September 15, 2023.   

Fulbright grants for U.S. students

Thursday April 13 - 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
(Community Commons, 1600) 

Lindsay Lawton, DU Director of External Fellowships 
Casey Dinger, DU Executive and Academic Director for Internationalization 

How could a year abroad engaged in research, graduate study, the arts, or teaching English fit into your plans? Join us to learn more about Fulbright program opportunities for U.S. students. Hear from a recent Fulbrighter and from DU’s Fulbright Program Advisors, Dr. Casey Dinger and Dr. Lindsay Lawton, about how a Fulbright award can help students move toward their academic and professional goals. This workshop will help participants understand the application process and identify the Fulbright grant that best fits their goals and interests.

Climate Fresk Workshop

Thursday April 13 - 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
(Community Commons, Grand Forum)

Paul Sutton, DU Professor, Department of Geography and the Environment
Namrata Chatterjee, DU master's student in Geography 

The Climate Crisis and other related sustainability and inequality challenges represent an international challenge demanding a collective response. The Climate Fresk has a proven track record as a scientifically valid, accessible, and  effective teaching tool that fosters engagement, collaboration, and solution- oriented thinking.

Summit Schedule - April 14

8:00-8:30 AM Registration & Breakfast (Maglione Hall) 
Please click on the expanding lists below for details on each session.

  • 8:30-9:30 AM Opening plenary panel discussion (Maglione Hall)

    Title: Examining the role of higher education in seeking solutions to global challenges
    Thabo Msibi Dean and head of School of Education (University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa)
    Sarah Bexell, Clinical Associate Professor, Graduate School of Social Work; Faculty Director, Center for Sustainability; Director of Humane Education (University of Denver, United States)
    Casey Dinger, Executive Director for Internationalization (University of Denver, United States)

    Kick off the 2023 Internationalization Summit with a critical conversation that sets the scene for the rest of the day. This panel discussion deeply explores the Summit’s theme: Global Challenges and (in)action: Examining the role of internationalization in higher education. Through a moderated discussion, panel members offer thought-provoking perspectives addressing the social responsibility that higher education has in engaging with the complex challenges in our world today. 

  • 9:40 - 10:30 AM Session 1 (SIE Complex)

    Title: Engaging with Global Intercultural Pedagogy in the Classroom
    Presenters: Becca Ciancanelli, University of Denver

    Title: Returnees Reflect: The 4 Dimensional Experience for Post-Study Abroad
    Presenter: Kara Taczak, University of Denver

    Title: Influence of Short-Term Study Abroad on Student Affairs Educators' Global Perspectives of Higher Education

    Patty Witkowsky, University of Colorado Colorado Springs
    Caroline Wooten, University of Colorado Colorado Springs

    Global challenges can only be solved by citizens prepared to address them. Higher education is a key training ground for future global leaders to gain knowledge, skills, and abilities to address global needs. For higher education to truly embody internationalization and prepare future global leaders, faculty, staff, policies, priorities, and opportunities must support those efforts. Student affairs educators represent a key human resource in higher education and are integral to contributing to internationalization. This panel discussion focuses on the experiences of alumni from a short-term study abroad course in a student affairs masters preparation program. After an overview of the course outcomes and design, the alumni will discuss the influence of the short-term study abroad experience learning about higher education abroad on their intercultural competence and global perspective, ability to contribute to internationalization efforts in higher education, and efficacy in supporting international students and students participating in study abroad.

    Title: Raising 1.8 Billion Youth Voices: The Role of Higher Education & Advocacy
    Presenter: Emily Davis, University of Denver

    COVID-19, climate change, and many other factors have impacted children and young people globally.  An entire generation is at risk. To ensure effective policies, programming, and learning, it is critical that young people have a voice and a seat at the table and have input into decisions that impact their lives. Young people are leading changemakers and need to be part of the solutions. Higher education allows young people to become those change-makers, creates a safe space to brainstorm solutions, and allows them to learn from their peers. This session helps bridge the gap between high education and civil society by discussing the benefits and challenges of campus internationalization and engaging youth.

    Title: Women and Development in Contemporary Morocco

    Akbarali Thobhani, Metropolitan State University of Denver
    Ms. Leila Armstrong, Metropolitan State University of Denver
    Douglas Mpondi, Metropolitan State University of Denver

    This session is inspired by and primarily based on a seminar that was conducted in Morocco during summer 2022. The seminar was conducted under a grant from the U. S. Department of Education Fulbright Group Projects Abroad Program. Twelve participants from Metropolitan State University of Denver and the Denver Center for International Studies, a Denver public school, participated in the seminar. In this session, the presenters will explain why Morocco was selected as the focus of the seminar, describe the goals of the seminar, highlight the activities undertaken, discuss the importance of women artists and artisans to the development of Morocco and how they create employment opportunities thereby reducing the prevalence of poverty as well as contributing to gender parity and, finally, examine the role of women as leaders in politics.

  • 10:40-11:30 PM Session 2 (SIE Complex)

    Title: Transnational Positionality: How Faculty Challenge Conventional Pedagogy, Research Method, and Researcher's Subjectivity

    Ping Qiu, University of Denver
    Elizabeth Suter, University of Denver
    Mei Yin, University of Denver
    Runchao Liu, University of Denver

    This panel presents four papers on different but interconnected topics on transnational positionality. It aims to bring together international scholars and researchers that work on the international subject. We discuss how transnational positionality challenges our knowledge-building process that impacted our research and teaching. Mei Yin’s paper details the pedagogical approach and implication from her recent COIL (collaborative online international learning) course in collaboration with an applied math class at the Universidad del Desarrollo. Runchao Liu’s paper provides a researcher’s positionality regarding the politics and predicament of identification and cultural citizenship of international academics in the US on an institutional level in light of George Floyd’s case. Elizabeth Suter illuminates the One Child policy from a transnational adoption perspective while claiming her positionality as an adoptive mother. Ping Qiu’s paper reports on her observation and analysis of contemporary China’s cultural discontent and politics based on her Shanghai lockdown experience and diary entries from April to June 2022. All these papers coming together claim a transnational positionality that addresses academic and institutional issues across national, racial, and linguistic borders. They together address institutional, national, and international politics that continue to affect our daily practices, teaching, researching, and writing.

    Title: Counseling Competence Scale on Refugees and Immigrants

    Ruth Chao, University of Denver
    Seth Wyncott, University of Denver

    Title: The Role of Language, Culture and Diversity in Global Engagements and Partnerships
    Presenter: Gugulethu Mazibuko, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

    As universities expand global engagements and partnerships it is of great significance to unpack the role of traditions, culture and diversity in such engagements because partners need to be familiar with the host institution, community and country. With mobilities, traditions and cultures come in contact, culture has a role in this highly globalized society. Cultural diversity is key to sustenance of such through partnerships and engagements.

    Title: Silence Reflects Compliance

    KP Hartman, University of Denver
    Veehangi Singh, University of Denver

    Modeled after Rehearsals for Life, this workshop will utilize theater as a tool for engaging in critical consciousness, implicit bias examination, and confronting bias as a method of change. With repetition over a series of skits, the audience is invited to actively engage and alter the direction of the skit. They grow progressively more comfortable with this confrontation, enabling them to approach subsequent skits with a clean slate of engagement. The purpose of this workshop is to create a space for acknowledgement, accountability and insight about the role that educational institutions play in shaping narratives of different identities and communities. As globalization and internalization continue to impact most sectors of society, we need to question how the western education system contributes to the larger narrative, thereby making this particularly relevant to the present time.
    *This is a two part session and will continue in Session 3

  • 11:40-12:20 PM Session 3 (SIE Complex)

    Title: Collaborations between NGOs and colleges to create healthcare solutions in the developing world.
    Joseph Parker, University of Denver
    Nancy Lorenzon, University of Denver

    Health Outreach for Latin America is a non-profit focused on improving access to key healthcare services in rural Nicaragua. Drawing on HOLA’s work and experiences, this session will focus on how non-profits and their local partners can work together with students and universities to create sustainable and impactful programs in the developing world.

    Key areas of discussion will be: 

    • How to build effective infrastructure in the country’s we choose to work.
    • How to blend learning opportunities for volunteers with work that is equally impactful for the communities we serve.
    • How to create greater student engagement and opportunities within the non-profit sector.
    • Prioritizing long-term impact over short-term solutions.

    Title: International Students Perspective of Internationalization in the United States (U.S.): Reflections on University of Denver (DU) International Student's Experiences.
    Dorothy Khamala, University of Denver
    Dr. Rashida Banerjee, University of Denver
    Qiunan Liu, University of Denver
    Vongai Chokuda, University of Denver
    Chisomo Kamwendo, University of Denver
    Daphne Rajenthiram, University of Denver

    International students bring unique perspectives and experiences to universities in the United States (U.S.), making them more competitive globally. Despite institutions' efforts to accommodate them, providing high-quality international education remains a difficulty, since students face numerous challenges in a different sociocultural environment. To train students to address global concerns and give back to their communities, discussions about developing curriculum that promotes intercultural interactions alongside equality, diversity, and inclusion is essential. In this presentation, the panelists will draw on their experiences with diversity, equality, and inclusion, curriculum, securing accommodations, socio-emotional issues, and finding jobs in the U.S. This session will provide institutions with rationale/frameworks for embedding an internationalized education curriculum, allocation of resources and mitigation of challenges raised to support internationalization efforts on campus and advocating for equitable and sustainable education.

    Title: The Phantom Menace: From Bias to Belonging
    Presenter: Brian Henry, University of Denver

  • 12:30-1:45 PM Keynote Lunch Address (Maglione Hall)

    Dawn Michele Whitehead

    Vice President
    Office of Global Citizenship for Campus, Community and Careers at the American Association of Colleges and Universities

    Disruptive Innovation: Tackling Global Challenges with Action 
    Moving from (in)action to action to tackle the global challenges of today and tomorrow 

    During the last two years, the global health pandemic and racial reckoning have challenged the field of higher education to adjust and become more equitable, aware, and responsive to the intersections of global and local realities. This has elevated the importance of global learning while also inspiring a period of reflection in the field. As a result, the academic community has been rethinking long-standing practices and approaches to address global challenges. The time has now come for action. Action will require a disruption in the way things have been done, from the types of curricular and co-curricular experiences to engagement of more faculty, staff, and students in a variety of global learning opportunities. This presentation will explore strategies and provide examples for moving from inaction to action in global learning to tackle global challenges.

  • 2:00-2:50 PM Session 4 (SIE Complex)

    Title: Internationalization through Interterm Classes - Intensive Curricula for Global Awareness
    Erika N Trigoso Rubio, University of Denver
    Mike Kerwin, University of Denver
    Helen Hazen, University of Denver
    Julie Morris, University of Denver
    Linda Olson, University of Denver
    Robert Uttaro, University of Denver

    International field courses provide a valuable opportunity for further exploring student academic and personal interests. Interterm sessions managed by University Academic Programs, add to the numerous study abroad opportunities that DU provides. Interterm sessions are intensive, immersive, and focus on short-term curricula providing inclusive opportunities with generous scholarships for multiple destinations around the world. This panel will focus on the experiences of several faculty who recurrently participate in this program. These faculty members facilitate engaging courses for exploring focused topics at top international destinations. 

    The panel includes experts in interdisciplinary courses taught during DU interterm sessions. The audience will learn about international field intensive curricula in Belize, Kenya, England, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa, Spain, and Tanzania. Panel members will discuss their expertise in incorporating leadership, health and the environment, physical and cultural geography, indigenous knowledge, sustainability, bio conservation, international partnerships, and service learning.

    Title: Higher Education: Responding to Global Environmental Change
    Derek Brannon, University of Denver
    Sarah M. Bexell, University of Denver
    Julia Senecal, University of Denver

    This presentation will share results of a comprehensive review of published literature on higher education’s response to global environmental change. This review was performed to learn how universities globally are responding through appropriate changes to their curriculum and career pipelines to ensure a safe future for humanity and all species on Earth. Additionally, a focus group was performed with University of Denver and Denver Public School students on how they would like to see universities prepare them for their future, one different than that their professors faced when they were in school. There is deep concern that higher education is not preparing young adults for the future that in many ways has already arrived, and certainly has for marginalized and oppressed populations. There is also concern that university training is exacerbating global environmental change instead of supporting learning that will ameliorate these changes to ensure our young people have a future. This is a grave intergenerational injustice. This presentation will end with sharing Center for Sustainability programming to support students with skills and wellness to engage in meaningful careers and lives in the face of global environmental change.

    Title: Considering Intersectional International Identities for LGBTQ+ Campus Outreach
    David C. Kemp, University of Denver and Iliff School of Theology Joint PhD
    Steven James, University of Denver and Iliff School of Theology Joint PhD

    The essentialization of Queer identity can contribute to white/Eurocentric normative expectations for Queerness on higher education campuses. Whether they come from Argentina where they have had the right to obtain gender-confirmation surgery since 2007, or Taiwan, which did not grant same-gender marriage rights to civilians until 2019, international Queer BIPOC students benefit from undertakings that provide them with opportunities to explore their multiplicities. Out of the University of Denver’s international student population—four percent of the whole school—some are Queer, BIPOC, or both, and advancing events and spaces that restrict the ambivalence of exploring intersectional analyses can lower the isolation, rejection, and irritation that international Queer BIPOC students feel at DU. We propose the following question to help DU promote cross-cultural and cross-national coalitions for the benefit of international Queer BIPOC students: How can higher education institutions more equitably create LGBTQ+ spaces and programming for international BIPOC students?

    Title: Rethinking Internationalization through Digital Storytelling: Voices of International Post Graduate Alumni Students from a South African University
    Presenter: Dr. Thoko Esther Mnisi, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

    The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted every aspect of higher education, including internationalization. We analyze digital stories of international post graduate alumni students where they share their experiences of internationalization. Internationalization must be viewed as a way to strengthen and diversify higher education, not just as a means to attract international students. We need to embrace a more comprehensive view of internationalization, one that includes global collaboration, virtual exchange, and the development of intercultural competencies.

    To achieve this, we need to re-evaluate the structure of internationalization and prioritize strategic partnerships that allow for collaboration between universities and stakeholders. We also need to expand access to international opportunities beyond traditional study abroad programs and develop alternative forms of global engagement that leverage technology and virtual exchange. In conclusion, the post-Covid-19 era presents an opportunity to reshape internationalization in higher education.

Past Internationalization Summits

2022: Emerging Bridges: Capacity Building Through Global Engagement

Keynote speakers:

  • Dr. Himanshu Rai Director, Indian Institute of Management
  • Dr. Rajika Bhandari, International Education Expert and Author
2022 Summit Program

2021: Sustaining Internationalization: The Next Decade of Global Engagement

Keynote speakers:

  • Dr. Himanshu Rai Director, Indian Institute of Management
  • Karen Fischer, Senior Writer on Internationalization for The Chronicle of Higher Education
2021 Summit Program 2021 Summit Virtual Playlist

2019: Decolonizing Internationalization: Critical Views on International Education & Global Narratives of Nationalism

Keynote speakers: 

  • Deepak Unnikrishnan, Author (Temporary People), New York University Abu Dhabi
  • Professor Langa Khumalo, University of KwaZulu-Natal
2019 Summit Program

2018: What’s with a border? Inter/national engagement in a troubled world

Keynote speakers:

  • Armando Vazquez-Ramos, California State University
  • Norma Zondo, University of KwaZulu-Natal
2018 Summit Program

2017: Refugees, Migration and the Internationalization of Higher Education

Keynote speakers:

  • Rasha Faek, Al-Fanar Media
  • Masha Gessen, Journalist and Author
2017 Summit Program

2016: Cultivating Multiple Perspectives at Home and Abroad

Keynote speaker:

  • Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, NPR International Correspondent
2016 Summit Program

2015: Internationalization @ Home

Keynote speaker:

  • David Fearn, University of Glasgow
2015 Summit Program

2014: Defining Internationalization for DU

Keynote speaker:

  • Richard Stenelo, Lund University
2014 Summit Program

Guidance for Proposals

  • Proposals are submitted online and include several components:  

    • Session title 
    • Statement on the relevance to the events theme 
    • Format of session (presentation/panel, applied workshop, roundtable or other) 
    • Length of session (single 50 minute or double 100 minute) 
    • Session focus (engaging cultural diversity at home, education abroad/away, teaching, curriculum, and pedagogy, campus internationalization and global and/or international research and scholarship.   
    • Abstract of 150 words  
    • 3 Benefits or outcomes for participants joining your session  
    • Description of your session including how it will facilitate achieving these benefits/outcomes 
  • Guiding questions to consider when writing a proposal:
    1. What responsibilities do higher education institutions have in engaging the challenges that impact local and global communities?  
    1. How might higher education contribute to global inequity and climate change? 
    1. How are we as higher education academics and professionals collaborating with students to find inclusive, equitable and just solutions for global challenges? 
    1. How is your research, teaching, service or learning informing perspectives on global challenges? 
    1. What tensions and opportunities exist between local needs and global impact?