Last night in Washington, I had the honor of accepting the World Affairs Council-DC Educator of the Year Award on behalf of our university. The World Affairs Council is a non-profit, non-partisan organization devoted to global education. Other award recipients included National Geographic, IBM, South Africa and U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter, who provided the keynote. Below is my acceptance speech from the award ceremony and a Mason video that preceded my remarks.
Congratulations to the entire Mason community!
Thank you so much for this award, which I accept with great pride and gratitude on behalf of the entire George Mason University community.
Like the World Affairs Council, we at George Mason are committed to educating the kind of individual who understands the complexities of our interconnected world and is ready and able to make a positive difference. As the largest public university in Virginia, and the most diverse, we are working hard to ensure that global education is not a privilege for a select few but a core element in every student’s college education.
We do this by building an increasingly international campus community, by attracting students and faculty from all over the world, and by making it easier for students to study abroad, work abroad and serve abroad.
Our new campus in Incheon, South Korea, enables students to spend a semester or more in Asia at the same cost or lower than they pay at their home campus. It is also a source of new students from Korea and other parts of Asia, who are enriching the global diversity of our campuses in northern Virginia.
We are building partnerships with a network of universities in key international hubs to support greater student and faculty mobility.
We are working to make our many other experiential and integrative learning opportunities more accessible, including research, field work, internships with international organizations, serving learning, and alternative spring breaks.
We are also working to ensure our research has global impact. Earlier this year, we were reclassified as a tier 1 research university in the influential Carnegie Classification, a distinction that places us among America’s 115 top research universities. The influential Jiao Tong ranking places us among the world’s top 200 universities. We are committed to what we call “research of consequence,” scholarship and science that can help us understand the pressing issues that confront our world and can help us identify new solutions.
Like our higher education neighbors in the Washington area, George Mason is strategically positioned to amplify our global impact. We’re surrounded by hundreds of international agencies, embassies, think tanks, multilateral organizations, NGOs, and a host of global corporations. Washington has all of the elements to be one of the most dynamic hubs for global education and research in the world.
Our goal at Mason truly is to be not the best university in the world, but the best university for the world. It is a tremendous honor and source of pride for us to know that the World Affairs Council recognizes our commitment to global education.
On behalf of our entire George Mason University community, thank you again for this wonderful award. It epitomizes what we aspire to be.