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. 

Save the Date
(Re)connecting in a dis/connected world
April 12, 2024


Now Accepting Proposals (See Below)

Submit a Proposal

Keynote Speaker

INTZ Keynote

Dr. Kari Grain

Dr. Kari Grain is the author of Critical Hope and teaches in the University of British Columbia (UBC)’s Faculty of Education, where she leads the Adult Learning and Global Change Master’s Program. In her ongoing community engaged scholarship, Kari is a research consultant in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side with SFU's Community Engaged Research Initiative. Her research in global education, experiential learning, adult education, and anti-racism has been featured in peer reviewed journals, books, and podcasts. In higher education and beyond, Dr. Grain believes that critical hope has the potential to be a vibrant pathway toward systemic and personal change; vital to that process of transformation is an attunement to relational, creative, and vulnerable ways of being in the world with others. Grain is the co-editor of a forthcoming (2024) volume on Community Engaged Research with University of Toronto Press. Kari lives on unceded Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territories. 

Call for Proposals

Internationalization Summit, April 12, 2024

(Re)connecting in a dis/connected world 

We are more connected than ever with significant advances in technology and transportation. Many people can communicate with each other instantly, almost no matter where they are in the world. Information can be shared across borders and cultures, expanding and challenging viewpoints and ways of life. We can travel across the world or locally with flights, cars, or bikes at our fingertips using a smartphone app. 
However, there are increasing ways in which we’re disconnected. Many people are outside systems of support with limited or no access to meeting basic needs.  Technology can pull us away from meaningful and empathetic interactions and at the same time it can facilitate networks of people opposing humanizing others. Increasing polarization and cultural division are causing renewed societal fracturing and warfare around the world. 

Can global engagement support building more authentic, equitable, and meaningful relationships for “public good”?  

Join us for an event that brings together the DU community, regional university colleagues, and international partners to explore this theme of (re)connecting in a dis/connected world and the role of the internationalization of higher education. Through thought-provoking discussions and presentations, we will examine how we can cultivate and practice more mindful global engagement throughout our daily work at home and abroad 


We encourage all members of the regional academic community including faculty, staff, graduate, and undergraduate students to consider submitting a proposal especially those pertaining to this year’s theme. 

Session proposals should highlight long-term action or strategy as well as everyday work in the university – teaching, research, learning, and working with students and community – that contribute to the global engagement in higher education and building human connections. Proposals can come from diverse philosophies and perspectives including research-based, theoretical, reflective, dialogic, collaborative, practical/applied, experiential and action-oriented. 

The priority deadline to submit is Friday February 16, 2024, though we will accept later submissions on a rolling basis.   
Guiding questions for proposals: 

  • What are key examples in research, teaching, service, or work that embody or foster centering human connection in global engagement? 

  • What innovative internationalization practices connect people across cultures, epistemologies, time zones and borders? 

  • Understanding how deeply the local and global are intertwined, how are we as higher education teachers and professionals collaborating with students to understand the impact of and leverage artificial intelligence in more ethical global engagement? 

  • How will technology advancements and AI impact intercultural, language and global learning and research?  

  • What resources can we provide for all students to develop cross-cultural relationships and connections in an increasingly virtual world? 

  • How do international educators lead in creating new paths in examining our participation in inequitable global structures and systems? 

Proposals are submitted online and include several components:  

  • Session title 

  • Statement on the relevance to the event’s 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.  

Submit a Proposal

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?  

Attending the Summit

Travel to DU

Visitors traveling to Denver to attend the Internationalization Summit have options for travel and lodging. The Partner Week and Summit events will take place primarily on the DU campus. The visitor guide will provide several options for hotels located near the campus.

The University of Denver is located just six miles from downtown and is about 16 minutes from the City Center via I-25 or light rail. DU’s 130-acre campus is firmly embedded in established neighborhoods and surrounded by variety of well-known dining and entertainment options.

Visitor Guide

  • Hotels

    There are several hotel partners in the area from whom you can request a DU rate upon reservation, which typically results in savings.

    Find a Hotel

  • Transportation

    Make your way to DU campus using one of a variety of transportation options, from chartered buses to public transit.


Past Internationalization Summits

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

Keynote speakers:

  • Dawn Michele Whitehead

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

2023 Summit Program

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

2023 Summit Schedule

2023 Internationalization Summit Program

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)
    Subin Sudhir, Associate Professor of Marketing and Chairperson of Executive Education (IIM Indore, India)

    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. 
    Streaming of this session will be available for registered participants. Please register if you are interested in viewing and a link will be sent.

  • 9:40 - 10:30 AM Session 1 (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
    Session Focus: Education Abroad or Away     Room # 2115

    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: Women and Development in Contemporary Morocco

    Akbarali Thobhani, Metropolitan State University of Denver
    Leila Armstrong, Metropolitan State University of Denver
    Douglas Mpondi, Metropolitan State University of Denver
    Session Focus: Global and/or International Research and Scholarship     Room # 2121

    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.

    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
    Session Focus: Education Abroad or Away     Room # 3110

    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: Leveraging Artificial Intelligence for Global Education: Bridging Teaching, Research, and International Engagement
    Presenter: Krishna Bista, Morgan State University, Maryland 
    Session Focus: Global and/or International Research and Scholarship     Room # 3130

    Join us for an enlightening session on "Leveraging Artificial Intelligence for Global Education: Bridging Teaching, Research, and International Engagement," where we delve into the remarkable impact of AI on the future of international education. As AI reshapes our lives, its potential to revolutionize teaching, research, and global engagement grows increasingly apparent. This session will explore cutting-edge applications of AI in the classroom, its capacity to drive pioneering research, and its ability to cultivate international connections in higher education. How can we harness AI to create a more interconnected and internationalized academic experience for both faculty and students? What innovative solutions can AI bring to global education challenges? Don't miss this opportunity to gain valuable insights into the transformative potential of AI and its implications for the future of education.

    • 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
      Mei Yin, University of Denver
      Runchao Liu, University of Denver
      Session Focus: Global and/or International Research and Scholarship     Room # 2121

      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
      Session Focus: Global and/or International Research and Scholarship     Room # 2115

      The researchers report the development of the Counseling Competence Scale on Refugees and Immigrants (CCSRI) to respond to the need for assessing the counseling competence on refugees and immigrants. The absence of an adequate assessment of counseling competence contributes to a misdiagnosis of refugee/immigrant clients. Thus, the development of this scale which we discuss in this session.

      Title: The Role of Language, Culture and Diversity in Ethical Global Engagements and Partnerships
      Gugulethu Mazibuko, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
      Leasa Weimer, University of Denver
      Session Focus: Engaging Cultural Diversity at Home     Room # 3110

      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 sustaining ethical partnerships and global engagements.

      Title: Silence Reflects Compliance

      KP Hartman, University of Denver, GSPP - International Disaster Psychology program
      Veehangi Singh, University of Denver, GSPP - International Disaster Psychology program
      Lin Gonzales, University of Denver, GSPP - International Disaster Psychology program
      Sabrina Herstedt, University of Denver, GSPP - International Disaster Psychology program
      Nicole He, University of Denver, GSPP - International Disaster Psychology program
      Session Focus: Education Abroad or Away     Room # 3130

      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

    • 11:40-12:30 PM Session 3 (SIE Complex)

      Title: Joint session - Intercultural Development in Practice and Application
      Becca Ciancanelli, University of Denver
      Kara Taczak, University of Denver
      Session Focus: Teaching, Curriculum, and Pedagogy     Room # 2115

      Part I: Engaging with Global Intercultural Pedagogy in the Classroom
      Growing out of the Community+Values initiative, the Inclusive Teaching Practices modules aim to solve complex problems, engage multiple perspectives, foster greater belonging, show compassion beyond boundaries and shape the future of our world.  A new module on "Global Intercultural Pedagogy" was developed recently by Becca Ciancanelli, Director of Inclusive Teaching Practices, and Casey Dinger, Executive Director of the Internationalization Office. This workshop will introduce faculty and students to this new open education resource and will offer an engaged conversation about effective teaching tools that highlight and value cultural difference as a part of the classroom content.

      Part II: Returnees Reflect: The 4 Dimensional Experience for Post-Study Abroad
      The Returnees Reflect Session will provide participants with a better understanding of the post-study abroad experience for undergraduate students and how university sponsored programming can aid in reflection and connection at domestic campuses upon return. Theoretical frameworks and a real-world application will be expanded upon and discussed in this interactive session.

        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
        Daphne Rajenthiram, University of Denver
        Session Focus: Campus Internationalization     Room # 2121

        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
        Session Focus: Engaging Cultural Diversity at Home     Room # 3110

        Biases manifest in nearly every interaction between people worldwide either positively or negatively.  Biases can detrimentally affect the experiences of our students who study abroad along with the international students who choose to study in another country.  Belonging is correlated with a culture of community and research has shown that whether students gain a sense of belonging it will directly affect retention rates and improve the loyalty or perceptions towards an institution.  This session will provide participants with a strong understanding of biases, how they are formed, how they can be addressed and steps to create a culture of genuine belonging to influence our work and the world around us.  The session will draw upon psychological concepts and lived experiences to provide a multifaceted approach to understanding bias and belonging. Participants will not be required to share but will be welcome to speak about their own experiences and perspectives throughout the session.

      • 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: 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.
        Streaming of this session will be available for registered participants. Please register if you are interested in viewing and a link will be sent.

      • 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
        Session Focus: Education Abroad or Away     Room # 2115

        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
        Session Focus: Teaching, Curriculum, and Pedagogy     Room # 2121

        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
        Session Focus: Campus Internationalization     Room # 3110

        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: Thoko Esther Mnisi, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
        Session Focus: Campus Internationalization     Room # 3130

        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.