Posted: 2/13/20

TAMIU’s ‘Reading the Globe’ Program Recognized by Institute of International Education



Texas A&M International University’s (TAMIU) “Reading the Globe Program”  has been recognized by the Institute of International Education (IIE) 2020 IIE Andrew Heiskell Awards as an Honorable Mention in the Awards’ Internationalizing the Campus category.

The Heiskell Awards, created in 2001,  showcase the most innovative and successful models for internationalization of campuses, study abroad, and international partnership programs in practice today. The Awards help highlight initiatives that remove institutional barriers and broaden the base of participation in international teaching and learning on campus. The other institution recognized by the Award was Rice University.

TAMIU president Dr. Pablo Arenaz said the recognition of one of the University’s most treasured programs for students is welcome.

“Over the last 12 years, more than 10,000 freshmen have engaged with Reading the Globe memoirs about war, immigration, social justice, and human trafficking, and over 170 Ambassadors have traveled to Cambodia, Chile, China, eastern Europe, Ghana, India, South Africa, Poland, Russia and, most recently, Brazil.  Each semester, we find ourselves as inspired as our students, and this creates a truly transformative international experience that colors their remaining years here. Investing in student learning about global issues is not only part of our mission statement, but a most worthy goal, ” Dr. Arenaz observed. 

Dr. Conchita Hickey, Dean Emerita and Senior Lecturer who has guided the program from its inception, said in addition to impacting participants, Reading the Globe  impacts the countries and communities visited.

“The program focuses on building tolerance of other cultures and the importance of service and leadership. Many students participate in service learning projects with community partners that engage with people who are facing some of the same concerns as the authors of the memoirs, providing a clear link between the global and the local,”  Dr. Hickey explained.

“Reading the Globe” recently celebrated its 12th anniversary at TAMIU. It provides freshmen students an international memoir as part of a  common read. Students engage with the work and discuss it in University seminars, and  the author comes to campus to address the entire freshman class. An essay competition follows with 15 Reading the Globe Ambassadors selected to travel to the author’s country for programming to prepare them to become responsible global citizens. It introduces narratives about events of the highest global importance, promotes discussions of international issues across the campus, and connects the broader world to the Laredo community. 

For additional information about TAMIU’s Reading the Globe, click on https://www.tamiu.edu/spotlight/index.shtml, visit offices in the Senator Judith Zaffirini Student Success Center, room 223 or call 956.326.2134.

The mission of ILE, founded in 1919, is to help people and organizations leverage the power of international education to thrive in today’s interconnected world. Find out more at https://www.iie.org

TAMIU is celebrating its 50th Anniversary and its 25th Anniversary at its north Laredo campus throughout 2020. A dedicated website shares the University’s remarkable transformation from a hybrid upper-level University to a full doctoral degree-granting University with over 29,000 graduates worldwide that enrolls over 8,400 students. Visit the calendar of Anniversary events, explore the University’s timeline, review alumni profiles and more at tamiu.edu/50. 

For more on the University’s story, contact the TAMIU Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 956.326.2180, email prmis@tamiu.edu, click on tamiu.edu or visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 268.

TAMIU's Reading the Globe Program is one of the Universty's most cherished student offerings.  This year, students traveled to Brazil.