American Council on Education, SUNY Award Leaders in Internationalization Through Technology

March 10, 2014

The Great Lakes Colleges Association, Mount Holyoke College, and SUNY Cortland Recognized

San Diego, CA — The American Council on Education (ACE) and The State University of New York (SUNY), through its Center for Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL), today announced the winners of the Leaders in Internationalization Through Technology Award.

The inaugural awards – presented to Great Lakes College Association, Mount Holyoke College (MA), and SUNY Cortland – are part of a new program sponsored by Asahi Net International (ANI) that aims to recognize and promote the use of technology to enhance institutional internationalization and global competence among students at U.S. colleges and universities.

“The SUNY COIL Center and the innovative use of technology by participating institutions provides students with unprecedented access to a globally-rich higher education experience without requiring travel abroad,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “By bringing this unique opportunity to students, college campuses and partnering institutions are enhancing the value of the degrees and programs they offer, and SUNY is proud to be a part of their efforts.”

“The long-standing efforts at these three institutions truly exemplify how cutting-edge technology can help prepare students to succeed through greater access to international and cross-cultural knowledge,” said Patti McGill Peterson, ACE's presidential advisor for global initiatives. “We are so pleased to collaborate with SUNY COIL and to have the support of Asahi Net International in calling attention to not just the work of these colleges and universities, but the importance of technology in internationalizing all our campuses.”

“Asahi Net believes that students who are exposed to different languages, cultures and perspectives are better positioned to join the global workforce,” said Akira Takiguchi, president and CEO of ANI. “We offer our congratulations to the Great Lakes Colleges Association, Mount Holyoke College, and SUNY Cortland for their exceptional efforts on using technology to achieve this.”

The award-winners and their programs are:

  • The Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) for the Global Course Connections Program, which supports course connections between U.S. and internationally based liberal arts campuses. The program is made possible by the structure of the Global Liberal Arts Alliance, a GLCA initiative that is comprised of the 13 GLCA institutions in partnership with liberal arts institutions in 14 other nations. In this program, two college classes, one from a U.S. based Alliance campus and one from a non-U.S. based Alliance campus, are connected using technology in a way that enriches both courses with an international perspective. A spectrum of internet-based technology is employed in support of course connections, with methods chosen to enhance student group work, joint classroom discussions and shared class content. More than two dozen courses have been globally connected during the first two years of this initiative.
  • Mount Holyoke College, for its Deepening Global Learning Through Virtual Collaborations: The Learning Across Borders Initiative. The project, which was launched to expand the internationalization of Mount Holyoke's curriculum, has so far involved more than 30 faculty members across the disciplines. Through video-conferencing, they connect with international partners in courses to enhance students' understanding of global issues from different perspectives, of foreign languages and cultures and of career opportunities in a global world.
  • SUNY Cortland, for its long-standing efforts to offer international experiences through meaningful links in classrooms on five continents. Over the years, the institution has used online international learning and video-conferencing in disciplines ranging from education to economics to foreign languages. As part of their foreign language instruction efforts, faculty members created FLTeach, a network of online programs and tools. Created two decades ago, it is now used by thousands of instructors in more than 80 countries around the globe.

Leaders in Internationalization Through Technology, which recognizes established programs,is one of two awards to be presented by ACE and SUNY this month. A second set of institutions will be honored with Advancing Internationalization Through Collaborative Online International Learning awards, which recognize emerging initiatives, at the 6th Annual SUNY COIL conference March 20-21 at the SUNY Global Center in New York City.

About the SUNY COIL Center
Founded in 2006, the SUNY COIL Center, a unit of SUNY Global, is a leader in the emerging field of collaborative online international learning (also called virtual exchange). This is a teaching and learning methodology which provides innovative and cost-effective internationalization strategies. COIL programs foster faculty and student exchange with peers abroad through co-taught multicultural online and blended learning environments emphasizing experiential collaboration. They also serve as portals for SUNY students considering study abroad or for international students considering study at SUNY. For more information please visit:

About ACE
Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations, nationwide. It provides leadership on key higher education issues and influences public policy through advocacy. For more information, please visit or follow ACE on Twitter @ACEducation.

About Asahi Net International
Asahi Net International is a technology company that delivers teaching and learning systems that empower students and educators to extend and reinvent education. ANI is actively engaged with the Sakai open source community and make the Sakai LMS enterprise-ready, easily deployable, and fully supported for colleges and universities. With offices in the US, Japan, Colombia and Spain ANI's teams support 230 educational institutions and over 550,000 students around the world with their technology and experience in the field of education. For more information visit us at:

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

Share this:


Holly Liapis
Email the Office of Communications