International Education Week (IEW) is a joint initiative organized by the U.S. Departments of State and Education.  It serves as “an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide… [and promotes] programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences.”  See the State Department’s website for more information.

Each year, CU Boulder organizes programming to showcase and celebrate the extensive international connections here on campus, spearheaded by the Offices of Education Abroad and International Student & Scholar Services.  If you are interested in becoming involved, please reach out to Kelsey Lanning (, Education Abroad) and Laura Hoffsis (, International Student & Scholar Services).


International Education Week Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2018 International Education Week Award Winners!

Yusen Ye: Winner of the Muneeb Kamal International Student of the Year Award 2018:

Yusen YeThe Muneeb Kamal International Student of the Year, Yusen Ye, is a junior Physics major, and has been highly involved in promoting international understanding at CU Boulder, among both international and domestic students. He has been described as approachable, caring, responsible, a ray of sunshine, positive, motivating, a bridge-builder, and a master chef.

Last year, Yusen stepped up as the President of CU International and we have seen him grow as a leader, working to boost membership, create fun and engaging programs, and ensure that International Coffee Hour is welcoming space for international and domestic students. He cares deeply about individuals and works constantly to make sure each person feels welcome and included.

Yusen possesses a passion for food that is unparalleled. Through his involvement as the chair of the International Festival Food Committee and his daily conversations, he connects people through food. His sincere interest in and knowledge about food makes it easy for him to start and sustain relationships with students from other cultures that opens a door to deeper cultural connections.

No one is more enthusiastic than Yusen. His passion for people, food, and culture drives him to continually further international understanding on campus. Yusen is always available to help students, faculty, and staff. He plans, participates in, and promotes events on campus that allow students to connect with one another culturally and deepen their global understanding. Yusen is always there when someone needs support, a panel member, or anything to do with internationalizing on campus. He is a social magnet, and we are thrilled that he uses this magnetism to make campus a more inclusive, welcoming, and international place. 


Natalie Hagewood - Education Abroad Student of the Year 2018

Natalie Hagewood Our Education Abroad Student of the Year, Natalie Hagewood, spent her Spring 2018 semester in Rabat, Morocco on the CIEE Language & Culture program. She is a senior International Affairs major and Arabic minor.

Natalie has been described in just a few words as fun to work with, reliable, and shows great insight and intelligence in everything that she does. Her appreciation and respect for diversity immediately stands out when you meet her. Natalie has been very involved in the CU Boulder community before and after studying abroad. A few examples of Natalie’s dedicated service here in Boulder include her work as an intern at the Center for Western Civilization, Thought & Policy, the Flag Organizer for the renowned Conference on World Affairs, and an intern at both the UN Association of Boulder County, and the Global Studies Residential Academic Program.

Natalie was awarded a Rotary Scholarship for her language study in Morocco and while there she worked diligently to improve her Arabic not only in her classes, but in her daily interactions with locals. Her time in Morocco left her committed to wanting to help with the global refugee crisis that has been centered around migration from the Islamic world into Europe. To this end, she has been studying not just Arabic but also German (in addition to being fluent in Spanish). She hopes, after graduation, to return to that part of the world and contribute to assisting refugee travel and resettlement.

Since returning to CU after studying abroad, Natalie has been active in founding a chapter of the Slow Food Youth movement, which advocates for farmers’ rights and environmental initiatives and seeks to connect the pleasures of the table with a commitment to the communities, cultures, knowledge, and environment that make this pleasure possible.

According to her nominators, her global concerns, and energetic advocacy for those less well off, spring directly from her experience in Morocco.

We are thrilled to award Natalie the Education Abroad Student of the Year Global Citizen award.


Erick Mueller – Campus Global Citizen of the Year 2018

Erick MuellerOur Campus Global Citizen this year is Erick Mueller, professor in the Leeds School of Business and Executive Director at the Leeds Deming Center for Entrepreneurship. He leads groups of CU Boulder and other students abroad to Santiago, Chile and to Cape Town, South Africa each year. Preparing for these programs takes an incredible amount of work on top of Erick’s regular teaching and directing duties on campus, and somehow Erick makes it seem like there are more than 24 hours in a day.

Erick’s program to South Africa, dubbed “Entrepreneurship and Empowerment”, takes students to the impoverished townships of Cape Town to learn about and consult with local business owners. That is a brief glance at his program, but the impact of this experience on his students is far from simple, and is best described by the students who nominated him for this award:

One of his students writes, “One of Erick’s core principles in life and global travel is “Moving the Needle.” Erick believes that everyone should be part of the global economy, and has the power to change the world, one small step at a time. His passion and dedication to this idea manifests itself in every classroom he teaches and he inspires global citizenship in us all.”

Another student said, “Erick was somehow able to take an experience that most students see as inherently “their” adventure and show us that our time in South Africa was not about our own study abroad experience, but about those entrepreneurs we were partnering with and the positive change we can create for these amazing South African entrepreneurs.”

Erick sets his programs apart by making the experiences beneficial to both his students and communities he visits. He not only teaches his students to love the South African culture, he brings a bit of America to the rest of the world as well. As an example, he organizes an annual 4th of July barbeque for the program each year. One student says, “I will never forget Erick arriving to the barbeque dressed in his Harley Davidson gear, wearing an American flag bandana and singing “Proud to be an American.” Touched by Erick’s love for both his own country and South Africa, a group of forty students and local entrepreneurs, an equal mix of American and South African, circled around this man we all respected, admired and loved and joined him to sing “Proud to be an American” from the other side of the world.”

One last quote from a student: “We leave with an inspiration and role model on a global scale, not everyone knows how to travel without seeing through the American telescope but Erick broadens the vision by example. As a first-hand witness to Erick’s passion and dedication to the global community, I believe he is the best nominee for this award.”

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