CIEE Awards $20,000 Study Abroad Access Grant to University of Houston

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CIEE is pleased to announce that it has awarded its 2020 Study Abroad Access Grant to the University of Houston (UH) to support the creation of an engineering-themed study abroad program in Legon, Ghana. The $20,000 CIEE Study Abroad Access Grant recognizes innovative programs that increase access to international educational opportunities for students in groups that are traditionally underrepresented in study abroad.

Dr. Jerrod Henderson, Instructional Associate Professor in the University of Houston’s Cullen College of Engineering, will work with CIEE’s Faculty-Led & Custom Programs to create a program that will introduce 20 UH students to the National Academy of Engineers Grand Challenges for Engineering – game-changing goals for improving life on the planet.

Within the context of a developing nation, students will examine the role of engineering in tackling global challenges, from improving urban infrastructure to providing universal access to clean water. Students will have a unique opportunity for cultural exchange as they get a firsthand account of the local impacts resulting from the challenges and present their findings to faculty and other students in Ghana.

 “I hope this program will continue to build the momentum for more engineering programs abroad,” said Dr. Henderson. “As institutions better understand the value of and demand for these programs, I believe we will see greater resourcing and opportunity for our engineers to get global experience in their field of study.”

In addition to recruiting students from across University of Houston, a Hispanic Serving Institution (HIS) and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) that was named the second-most diverse public research university by the U.S. News and World Report in 2017, Dr. Henderson intends to encourage participation by students in the Program for Mastery in Engineering Studies (PROMES), a student services program he directs designed to promote engineering recruitment and retention among all students, especially those from traditionally underrepresented groups.

“Dr. Henderson’s work with PROMES has opened up new levels of access for underrepresented engineering students. They have formed a true community here on campus, and I am excited to see them extend these connections beyond our campus and provide learning opportunities internationally,” said Paula Myrick Short, University of Houston Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.

“Dr. Henderson and the University of Houston are leaders in promoting high-quality international programs for students in the STEM academic disciplines and CIEE is privileged to support this bold program which will become a benchmark for the national trend in international education experiences focused on STEM subjects,” said James P. Pellow, President and CEO of CIEE. “We are honored to partner with University of Houston on this creative program that expands the study of engineering  principles through a global experience.”

The CIEE Study Abroad Access Grant is part of CIEE’s longstanding commitment to expand study abroad opportunities for students underrepresented in international education. In addition to the $20,000 grant, CIEE awards more than $8 million a year in scholarships and grants in an effort to break down barriers of cost, curriculum, and culture so that any student who dreams of studying abroad can make it a reality.

Previous recipients of the CIEE Study Abroad Access Grant include:

2019 CIEE Study Abroad Access Grant Winners: California State University, Northridge (CSUN) for their program From Apartheid to Today: Black Deaf Activism, Culture & Education in South Africa and Gallaudet University, for their program Sign Language of Spain (LSE) And Spanish Deaf Culture in Madrid

2018 CIEE Study Abroad Access Grant Winner: Bronx Community College of the City University of New York, for their program Increasing STEM, Cultural, and Global Competencies of Bronx Community College/CUNY Students through Sustainability Activities on Palma de Mallorca

2017 CIEE Study Abroad Access Grant Winner: Tennessee State University (TSU) for their program Intersecting Lives: Reading African-American Literature through a Black Feminist Lens

2016 CIEE Study Abroad Access Grant Winner:  Northshore Technical Community College (NTCC) for their Global Maritime Abroad Collaboration  program in the United Arab Emirates

For more information about CIEE’s Faculty-Led & Custom Programs, visit: