Friday, January 13, 2023
Masayoshi Ishikawa.jpg
Masa Ishikawa Jazz Orchestra (featuring Eien Hunter-Ishikawa) performing the Mujo Suite, in part thanks to the funds granted through a Special Projects Award in 2020.

A key part of International Programs’ (IP) mission and vision is to support opportunities to internationalize the University of Iowa campus. One way IP commits to this work is through the Special Projects Awards granted to individual staff, faculty, programs, or departments associated with the university. Special Projects Awards support internationalization by providing funding for small-scale international activities on campus, and are supported in whole or in part through the generous contributions of the Stanley-UI Foundation Support Organization

“The University of Iowa is very fortunate in having continuous funding from the Stanley-UI Foundation Support Organization to advance faculty research related to international education,” said Russ Ganim, associate provost and dean of International Programs. “Our Special Projects Awards act as a small grants program that allows scholars to move forward with initiatives that will grow over time. We strongly encourage faculty to avail themselves of the opportunities provided by these resources.” 

Past Special Projects have included visiting lecturers, speakers, film series, exhibitions, and other public activities that support international engagement on campus. 

“Our Special Projects Awards act as a small grants program that allows scholars to move forward with initiatives that will grow over time. We strongly encourage faculty to avail themselves of the opportunities provided by these resources.” - Russ Ganim

“When we’re looking at award proposals, we evaluate applications using three criteria points,” explained Mary Paterson, administrative services manager of International Programs. “What impact the event/project will have on campus internationalization, if there is already demonstrated support for the event/project through additional sponsorships or funding sources, and the relevance the project has to a broad audience of UI students and faculty.” 

In 2022, six Special Projects Awards were granted, including to support the Anne Frank Sapling Planting Ceremony in April; a campus visit and community indigo vat (tie-dye) and public workshop event by Adil M. Khatri, a Bandhani artist; and visits and public readings by Juan Gómez Bárcena, Matías Candeira and Alex Chico in November. Other projects included support for International Day: Equitable Education for Everyone in April, a K-12 initiative supported by the UI College of Education; the 2023 International Roundtable on Chinese Applied Linguistics; and the University Lecture Committee’s November lecture by Alexander McLean. 

Alexander McLean

Alexander McLean visits with Martha Koome, Chief Justice and President of the Kenyan Supreme Court, and other members of the Kenyan Judicial Service Commission before his talk in November 2022.

While the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted many things, including international travel, the Special Projects Awards continued to allow for international impact here on campus. Awarded in November 2021, Rosemarie Scullion, associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of French and Italian, worked alongside colleagues in the UI's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, William Reisinger and Marina Zaloznaya, to bring scholars to campus to participate in a panel discussion in tandem with a lecture given by the Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor, Timothy Snyder.  

“The Stanley Special Projects Award provided funding that allowed us to gather a panel of international experts who are studying the advance of authoritarian ideologies and the serious challenges that actual and aspiring autocrats are now presenting to democratic societies around the globe,” said Scullion. “The award specifically provided the funding to bring in scholars who hold appointments in leading academic institutions in Europe, Canada, and the U.S. They made invaluable contributions, joining the UI scholars who also participated in providing broad, but substantively nuanced perspectives on how the retreat from democratic values and governance is adversely affecting various regions around the world.” 

All UI faculty, staff, and departments are invited to apply for a Special Projects Award to support projects that contribute to the internationalization of the University of Iowa campus and help connect Iowa with the world, and the world with Iowa. For questions regarding the Special Projects Award, please contact Mary Paterson, administrative services manager, at

APply for a special projects award 


International Programs (IP) at the University of Iowa (UI) is committed to enriching the global experience of UI students, faculty, staff, and the general public by leading efforts to promote internationally oriented teaching, research, creative work, and community engagement.  IP provides support for international students and scholars, administers scholarships and assistance for students who study, intern, or do research abroad, and provides funding opportunities and grant-writing assistance for faculty engaged in international research. IP shares their stories through various media, and by hosting multiple public engagement activities each year.