2022 International Engagement Grant Recipients Selected

The Office of International Affairs (OIA) is delighted to announce the recipients for 2022’s international engagement grants, including the Global Impact Research Grant, Virtual Global Learning Fellows Grant Program, Sustainable Development Goals Grant Program, and Student Integration and Intercultural Engagement Grant. Below, find more information about each of the grants, this year’s recipients, and their respective projects.

Global Impact Research Grant (GIRG)

The Global Impact Research Grant, administered in collaboration with the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Research (OVCR), provides funding to full-time, tenure-track eligible faculty pursuing collaborative, interdisciplinary, transnational projects that tackle issues aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through developing scholarly networks to solve global challenges, develop curriculum, engage the community, and foster research, the purpose of GIRG – this year in its inaugural year – is to make IUPUI, Indiana, and the world a better and more just place. Two projects were awarded GIRG this year:

Building Community Resilience to Climate Shocks in the Indian Himalayan
Lixin Wang, Broxton Bird, and Gabriel Filippelli, Department of Earth Sciences, School of Science, and Suzanne Babich, Department of Global Health, School of Public Health

Together with the Energy and Resources Institute in New Delhi School of Advanced Studies (TERI SAS) in Dehradun, IUPUI will lead a two-day workshop focused on tackling SDGs 2 (Zero Hunger), 5 (Gender Equality), 13 (Climate Action), and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals). The goals of the workshop are: 1.) To help participants, including academics, policy planners, and civil society and non-governmental organization representatives, to understand the water resource and agricultural challenges faced by mountain communities, and 2.) For participants to create an action plan that can be utilized in their home communities to address these challenges. Following the workshop, IUPUI will work with the Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the National Science Foundation to conduct research and continue to work with participants towards achieving the SDGs.


Community Engaged Assessment of Mental Health Services and Research Infrastructure to Improve Access to Care for Adults with mhGAP Disorders in Nigeria
Ukamaka Oruche, Department of Community Health, School of Nursing, Jane von Gaudecker, School of Nursing, and Khadija Khaja, School of Social Work

IUPUI, in collaboration with Nigerian universities Nnamdi Azikiwe University and the University of Port Harcourt, will lead research aimed at advancing SDGs 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing) and 10 (Reduced Inequalities), and reducing unequal care of patients with mental, neurological, and substance use (MNS) disorders in low- and middle-income countries, including the south-eastern region of Nigeria. Investigative teams at the universities will recruit participants and lead focus group discussions to explore differing perspectives on treatment pathways with patients living with MNS disorders. In addition to the focus group discussions, the World Health Organization Assessment Instrument for Mental Health Systems (WHO-AIMS) will be gathered from ministry of health representatives to gain a more complete picture of mental health in the region.

Virtual Global Learning Fellows Grant Program

The Virtual Global Learning Fellows Grant Program, formerly known as the Virtual Exchange Fellows Program, provides support for a cohort of IUPUI, IUPUC, and IUFW faculty and staff members to facilitate curricular and co-curricular global learning activities in a virtual environment through the use of video conferencing technology, as well as discussion boards, collaborative platforms, and messaging tools. This year's Virtual Global Learning Fellows are:

  • Amrita Datta, Herron School of Art + Design
  • Carmen Luca-Sugawara, IU School of Social Work
  • Charlotte Westerhaus-Renfrow, IU Kelley School of Business
  • Meganne Masko, Music and Arts Technology, School of Engineering & Technology
  • Nucharin Supakul, Radiology & Imaging Science, IU School of Medicine
  • Nathan Rousseau, Division of Liberal Arts, IUPUC
  • Chalmer Thompson, Urban Education Counseling, Educational Policy Studies, School of Education

Learn more about this year's cohort, their projects, and their exchange partners.

Sustainable Development Goals Grant Program

In line with OIA's internationalization strategy, which positions the SDGs at the cornerstone of our efforts, the Sustainable Development Goals Grant Program supports faculty and staff at IUPUI who are working towards the SDGs through their research, teaching, and engagement. This year's grant recipients are:

Children's Food Insecurity and Malnutrition in Nigeria
Ukamaka Oruche, Department of Community Health, School of Nursing

Ukamaka Oruche will lead a project in Nigeria that serves children from 0-5 years old experiencing food insecurity and malnutrition in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic by engaging undergraduate students in nursing courses and supporting parents within the local population. In addition to aiding in the physical development and wellbeing of the children and providing parents with educational resources to promote proper nutrition, the project will enhance students' knowledge of nutritional needs within the global community and examine the role nurses play in promoting good health and wellbeing. 

Developing Children’s Civic Science Books in Columbus, Indiana
Laura Blythe Liu, Division of Education, IUPUC

Just in time to celebrate Earth Day, Laura Blythe Liu will lead a project that involves IUPUC elementary teacher candidates developing civic science children's books that will be displayed in Bartholomew County Public Library in April. As part of the project, the elementary teacher candidates will lead a family story time and civic science lesson around the books in line with the Library's focus on fostering intergenerational service in Spring 2022.

Tourism and Sustainable Development in the United States
Becky Liu-Lastres, Department of Tourism, Event and Sport Management, School of Health and Human Sciences

Becky Liu-Lastres' project will evaluate US tourism destinations' performances as they relate to the SDGs, including how they are currently integrating the SDGs within their operations, their driving motivations behind their practices around the SDGs, and the challenges they face in advancing their work around the SDGs. The project will offer a critical evaluation of US tourism destinations' performances, provide best practice solutions for replication and further advancement of the SDGs across the industry, and help guide future research by calling attention to specific challenges destinations are facing towards advancing their work around the SDGs. Long-term, the project will produce research that contributes towards the United Nations World Tourism Organization's database of SDG achievements and efforts, reveal motivations for SDG participation within the industry through facilitated conversations that utilize psychology-based theory, and formulate a starting point to create a benchmark assessment for sustainable development around the tourism industry in the United States. 

Overseas Chinese Philanthropic Giving for the SDGs
Cathie Carrigan, International Programs, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

In collaboration with partners in China who are experts in overseas philanthropic giving, Cathie Carrigan will illuminate potential China-United States partnerships around the SDGs. The research conducted throughout the project will have the potential to create a model for understanding the way universities and corporations identify and describe their own roles in advancing the SDGs, which could be extended to cross-cultural partnerships worldwide.

Student Integration and Intercultural Engagement Grant

The Student Integration and Intercultural Engagement Grant, a new funding initiative in 2022, supports the creation of intentional and meaningful opportunities for international and domestic student integration both in the classroom and on campus. Distributed funds will be used to support faculty and staff in developing or enhancing courses or co-curricular programs that sustain collective learning, international engagement, group research, and community outreach by international and domestic students. This year's award recipient is:

Conversation Circles for Intercultural Engagement at the ESL Tutoring Center
Estela Ene, Department of English and TESOL, School of Liberal Arts

Conversation Circles, which utilizes the ESL Tutoring Center space, is intended to foster interaction between domestic and international students around linguistic and cultural topics of common interest. Two tutors facilitate the conversation between a small group of 4-6 students to talk about a variety of pre-selected topics. While each session does have a theme, the atmosphere is informal and provides the opportunity for participants to practice speaking English in a sheltered, fun environment amongst friends.

For more information about OIA's international engagement grants, please click here.