SIT cited for inclusive excellence

Young people from diverse backgrounds wearing orange life jackets and holding boat oarsFebruary 2, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:  

Ariana Peña, Diversity Abroad: apena@diversityabroad.org; 510.982.0635 x 706

Kate Casa, SIT: kate.casa@sit.edu; 802-258-3527

SIT’s International Honors Program cited for excellence in diversity and inclusion

BRATTLEBORO, Vermont —SIT’s International Honors Program will receive the 2018 Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion in International Education (EDIIE) Award for Programming, School for International Training announced today.

The award is given each year by Diversity Abroad, an organization dedicated to ensuring that young people from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds get the skills and experience they need to thrive in a global workforce.

“We at IHP are deeply honored by this recognition, which will inspire us to work even harder to make our programs truly inclusive,” said David Shallenberger, IHP academic dean. “We believe that our work is enriched by the diversity of those who participate in it, both within our groups and in our host communities. This award calls us to remain vigilant in our commitment to a compassionate and welcoming community,”

International Honors Program (IHP), part of SIT Study Abroad, is comprised of six global comparative programs: Cities in the 21st Century; Health & Community; Human Rights; Climate Change; Social Innovation; and Rethinking Food Security. Undergraduate students on these semester-long programs spend one month in each of three countries on three continents to get a comparative look at a critical global issue.

In announcing the award, Diversity Abroad cited IHP’s “demonstrated commitment to advancing diversity and inclusive excellence within international education on an individual, institutional, and organizational level, as well as students who represent Diversity Abroad’s mission to diversify global education.” The award will be presented at the 6th Annual Diversity Abroad Conference in April in Miami.

IHP has developed a support system for students of diverse backgrounds and identities to work and learn together. Dedicated staff members are responsible for the facilitation of each student group, and sessions on power, privilege, and positionality incorporated into the program structure.

“IHP programs are designed to embody the politics of solidarity through our pedagogy,” said Anna Gail Caunca, an IHP program manager. “By building a learning community based on mutuality, respect, and an examination of power and privilege, the group experience of IHP is an expression of solidarity in and of itself.”

More than 70 IHP staff took participated in training in 2016 to examine systems of oppression in different cultural contexts. The IHP team has also worked closely with SIT Study Abroad’s admissions staff to enhance opportunities for alumni mentoring. Starting in summer 2017, IHP alumni began offering online meetings aligned with different ways students self-identify.

Through the SIT Study Abroad website, students interested in any of SIT’s more than 80 semester and summer programs can contact alumni who have agreed to discuss country-specific diversity and inclusion questions.

SIT provides immersive, field-based study abroad programs for undergraduates. We offer more than 80 programs in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East, as well as IHP and other comparative programs in multiple locations.

SIT is part of the Diversity Abroad Network, the leading professional consortium of educational institutions, government agencies, for-profit and nonprofit organizations dedicated to advancing diversity and inclusive good practices that increase access, achieve equitable diversity and foster inclusive excellence in global education.

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