Texas Tech Selected as 2016 Paul Simon Spotlight Award Recipient

The university’s K-12 Global Education Outreach division, housed under the Office of International Affairs, was selected for the prestigious award.

K12 Outreach

Texas Tech University’s K-12 Global Education Outreach (GEO) division recently was selected as a 2016 Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award recipient by NAFSA, the world’s largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education and exchange, for its internationalization efforts in primary education.

“We are deeply honored for Texas Tech’s K-12 Global Education Outreach division to be honored with this prestigious award,” said Ambassador Tibor Nagy, vice provost for International Affairs. “Given the forces for globalization will only accelerate, global competence is now required of every student who wants to succeed in today’s world. Our GEO program will continue to develop new and creative ways to enable West Texas K-12 students to enhance their global IQ.”


Kelley Coleman

The prestigious award is given to institutions making intentional, significant progress in expanding the reach of internationalization among students, faculty and staff; fostering collaboration across academic, administrative and student services in the interest of internationalization; expanding student, faculty and academic support units contributing to internationalization; and assessing and measuring that progress.

“We are honored to receive this award and to be recognized for our efforts to help internationalize the campus and educate the local community,” said Kelley Coleman, director of Texas Tech’s K-12 Global Education Outreach division. “This award recognizes years of hard work and we are honored to receive it.”

Housed under the Office of International Affairs, the GEO division was created to foster cultural awareness and encourage the pursuit of higher education through programs, partnerships and outreach opportunities. The division offers programs and workshops throughout the year designed for students of all ages and teachers to help cultivate a global understanding of the world and today’s society.

“For the past 18 years, our K-12 Global Education Outreach division has provided cultural outreach programming to local schools across West Texas,” Coleman said. “As our international population has grown, so have our outreach efforts. Serving as a liaison between the university and local community has allowed us to foster cultural awareness for thousands of students and teachers across the South Plains.”


Sen. Paul Simon

Named after the late Senator Paul Simon of Illinois, the award is given to institutions that have excelled in expanding global learning for students and scholars. Simon was a strong supporter of international education and foreign language learning. His leadership in these areas supported the creation of the National Security Education Program, which addresses critical national security deficiencies in language and cultural expertise.

Since 2003, NAFSA has presented the Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award to universities such as Duke University, the University of Texas-Austin, Rice University, Northwestern University, Colorado State University, Webster University and the University of Notre Dame.

This year’s recipients will be featured in NAFSA’s report “Internationalizing the Campus: Profiles of Success at Colleges and Universities” and will be recognized during a ceremony in Washington, D.C., this November during International Education Week.

To learn more about Texas Tech’s K-12 GEO division or the Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award, visit their websites.