Statement from Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher on SUNY New Paltz Receiving the 2015 Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education

January 26, 2015

“Congratulations to President Don Christian, Dean Bruce Sillner, Study Abroad Director Christian Wilwohl, and the entire SUNY New Paltz campus on earning this prestigious award from the Institute of International Education (IIE) in recognition of the exceptional and wide-ranging study abroad programs offered to educational opportunity students.

“Study abroad is an important tool for colleges and universities as we seek to provide a higher education experience that prepares students for success in a global economy, and SUNY is proud to operate the largest comprehensive study abroad consortium in the country, offering students from all campuses access to more than 600 program options that reach every continent.

“SUNY New Paltz serves as an excellent model as we continue to work with IIE to expand the number of SUNY students participating in study abroad by 25 percent. Increasing the rate of participation by under-represented students will be essential to meeting this goal.”

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The State University of New York, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, 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 2022, 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

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