Tayah Nelson Soars With New IDEAS Grant Submission

Published: March 23, 2021 | Author: Lawrence Mbaki | Read Time: 2 minutes

One of the many beauties of Southern Utah University is the diversity of our T-Birds! Boasting learning abroad experiences in six continents, SUU's Office of Learning Abroad (OLA) recently submitted an IDEAS grant that will continue to increase and diversify education for students.

The IDEAS (Increase and Diversify Education Abroad for U.S. Students) grant competition is open to accredited U.S. institutions of higher education physically based in the United States with a broad range of capacity to administer study abroad programs, including institutions that have limited experience administering study abroad programs as well as those with established programs.

SUU has partner agreements with approximately 61 universities around the world where students can spend a semester studying abroad. In addition to these semester exchange options, SUU also provides a host of short-term study abroad programs. The location of these programs differ from year to year, depending on the proposals submitted by SUU faculty and staff members who escort students on these trips. An estimated average of 12 short-term programs run each year. In the 2018-2019 year, a total of 341 students participated in semester and short-term studies abroad.

If funded, this grant-supported project will increase the awareness, enthusiasm, and confidence of faculty and staff members in their knowledge of study abroad opportunities so they can more actively engage in these programs and encourage students to fully take advantage of these life-changing international opportunities.

The innovator and principal investigator behind this grant submission is none other than Tayah Nelson, Learning Abroad Specialist. Nelson has only been with OLA since June, and before that she was a student worker.

“Our team wanted to make sure we were proposing a project that would utilize the funds in a way that would truly benefit our office both in the year it was used and beyond,” Nelson said. “One challenge with this grant was deciding on what project to propose. The grant dictated that no funds could be used towards student travel, so that limited the available options and meant that we had to get a little creative.”

Thankfully OLA has a wonderful team of creative individuals who brainstormed other ways to get students excited and engaged in international learning experiences. This led them to reach out strategically across campus and connect with offices and programs closely mentoring students. To get students involved, they would lead by example and get their faculty and staff mentors excited and engaged in learning abroad. And just like that, a submission was born.

OLA continues to help T-Birds spread their wings of global citizenship, and this grant could help them further glide into the success of international diversity.

“Our entire office was impressed with the professionalism and dedication Tayah displayed with this grant submission,” Director of SPARC Sylvia Bradshaw commented. “We are eagerly engaged and anxiously anticipating the granting of this proposal.”

Produced by the SPARC Office

SUU’s SPARC Office provides assistance to faculty, staff, and administrators seeking external funding for their projects and programs, from concept development and planning through implementation and management of funded projects.

Tags: SPARC Study Abroad

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