The University of Evansville has been selected to receive a 2019 Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award in recognition of the University’s UE Builds: Local and Global, a program that partners with Habitat for Humanity.
Named after the late Senator Paul Simon of Illinois, the Simon Awards recognize outstanding innovation and accomplishment in campus internationalization. The Spotlight Award recognizes specific international programs or initiatives that contribute to internationalization on campus. UE was one of three schools to be given this award.
“Housing is one of the most important things that an individual or family needs,” said Holly Carter, UE director of education abroad and director of Harlaxton College programs. “It promotes health, independence, safety, and belonging. Habitat homes allow children safe places to grow, study, and achieve a better life. Habitat homes improve communities and help those who own them to move forward in life. A house is an important part of our lives, and UE loves to build them!”
The UE Builds: Local to Global program has featured builds in Evansville, Indiana, and such countries as Portugal, Romania, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. The program also held its inaugural Barn Blitz to build 30 backyard barns in one day for Habitat for Humanity. Barn Blitz II is scheduled for later this spring. The UE Builds team is currently working on a project in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, as part of UE’s Collegiate Challenge Alternative Spring Break. An upcoming build is also planned in Mexico this summer.
The UE community is very involved with UE Builds. The University’s Office of Education Abroad, Center for Innovation and Change, and Student Engagement help operate the program. Participants have included the Habitat for Humanity student club, the Student Government Association, faculty members, staff, vice presidents, trustees, and the UE president.
The Simon Awards are given annually by NAFSA: Association of International Educators.