RALEIGH, NC – The U.S. Department of State, Partners of the Americas and NAFSA: Association of International Educators announced Saint Augustine’s University (SAU) as one of the latest 100,000 Strong of the Americas Innovation Fund grant winners sponsored by NAFSA and CAF Development Bank of Latin America in honor of NAFSA’s retired Executive Director and CEO, Marlene Johnson. SAU was the only HBCU to receive funding as a lead institution among 14 award recipients.

The goal of 100,00 Strong in the Americas – the leading education initiative in the Western Hemisphere – is to increase the number of U.S. students studying annually in Latin America and the Caribbean to 100,000 and to bring 100,000 students to the United States by 2020. Innovation Fund grants fuel partnerships between higher education institutions in the United States and the rest of the Western Hemisphere to create new student exchange and training programs.

With the grant, SAU will expand its existing bi-directional study abroad programs through a partnership with the University of Health Sciences Antigua, which will focus on collaborative research projects and opportunities in STEM disciplines. Additionally, SAU will collaborate with Université Episcopale D’Haïiti’s Bishop Tharp Business and Technology Institute to develop a service-learning program focused on the study of the unique attributes of French/Haitian Creole language and culture. SAU will collaborate with partnering institutions to devise curriculum, prepare activities and acquire equipment required for the international research component, providing students with the opportunity to gain enrichment from the cultural and linguistic traditions unique to Haiti.

SAU was one of 14 American higher education institutions awarded grants; Michigan State University, University of Pennsylvania, and West Virginia University, among others, were also selected. NAFSA Executive Director and CEO, Esther D. Brimmer stated, “We have full confidence that these programs will help students gain the global competencies they need to reach across borders and become globally engaged leaders.”

The Innovation Fund grant marks the third major financial contribution to the SAU in a month time; Christ Church of Raleigh, NC recently donated $75,000 and alumni and supporters of the University recently raised over $335,000 during the University’s reunion weekend.


About 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund

The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund is the public-private sector collaboration between the U.S. Department of State, Partners of the Americas, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, corporations, foundations, regional governments, and Embassies working together to inspire U.S. universities and colleges to team up with universities and technical education institutions in the Western Hemisphere to create student exchange and training opportunities.  Innovation Fund grants build institutional capacity, increase student mobility, stimulate regional education cooperation, and contribute to workforce development.  Since its inception in January 2014, the Innovation Fund has awarded 118 grants to teams of 235 higher education institutions from 25 countries in the Western Hemisphere region. Innovation Fund grant-winning partnerships increase student exchange opportunities and strengthen connectivity between higher education networks throughout the Americas. Learn more:   www.100kStrongAmericas.org. Follow the Innovation Fund on Twitter and Facebook via #100KStrongAmericas


Saint Augustine’s University (SAU) was established in 1867 in Raleigh, N.C. SAU, which sits on 105 acres, is a four-year liberal arts university with an average enrollment of approximately 1,100. SAU offers more than 25 undergraduate degree programs and is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

For more information about Saint Augustine’s University, visit www.st-aug.edu.

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