Leveraging international education toward achieving R1 status

Leveraging international education toward achieving R1 status

Welcome to the first installment of a new Gateway series seeking to recognize institutions whose innovative strategies are advancing new directions in international learning and engagement. This first installment features Baylor University and how they have leveraged international education toward achieving R1 status.

Gateway would like to congratulate Baylor University for recently attaining Research 1 (R1) status! In addition to joining the ranks of 145 other prestigious institutions that earned this designation, Baylor became one of 37 private R1 institutions and one of only six faith-based R1 institutions.

To obtain R1 status, institutions like Baylor must have very high doctoral research activity and meet several benchmarks measured by the Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Three notable factors appear central to Baylor’s success:

  1. Dedicated Faculty.  Baylor’s faculty appear to be especially committed to innovative research and student mentorship. They take pride in advancing their students’ knowledge through experiential learning, while also working toward their mission to develop tomorrow’s leaders. From leveraging endowed faculty for driving science and innovation to harnessing next generation international programming, Baylor is raising the bar with their groundbreaking leadership.
  2. Solutions Orientation. Four pillars are foundational to Illuminate, Baylor’s Strategic Plan.
    • Christian Environment. As a Protestant Christian university, faith is one of the driving forces in everything Baylor does.
    • Transformational Education. Baylor’s holistic approach to education transforms their students through knowledge acquisition, research, service, and religious exploration.
    • Research and Scholarship. Baylor values research and is committed to their students’ academic achievements.
    • Arts and Athletics. With nationally recognized arts and athletic programs, Baylor is helping students excel beyond the classroom.
  3. International Engagement. Baylor is revolutionizing international learning and engagement by leveraging an array of educational modalities to enable their students, even those unable to travel abroad, to meaningfully explore the international dimensions of their chosen disciplines and develop intercultural competencies needed for the future.  Among them, Collaborative Online International Learning, or COIL, enables professors and students to engage in virtual experiences with institutions around the world, offering opportunities for intercultural dialogue, research, and global skills development.

Baylor also recently incorporated Global Tech programming in partnership with Podium Education. Through Global Tech, Baylor students can participate in virtual learning opportunities with leading organizations around the world while developing in-demand skills that will prepare them for the workforce. With the rapid growth of tech jobs and the demand for technical and intercultural skills, Baylor students will certainly have a career advantage.

While many of us were already aware of Baylor’s global reputation and standing, their recent R1 designation further validates their work. Being recognized for doing top-tier research creates more visibility by attracting students and faculty worldwide and increases the likelihood of receiving more resources. We anticipate more world-class faculty, higher graduate student enrollment, increased funding, and technological resources for Baylor, which will likely lead to more cutting-edge research that tackles some of today’s most challenging issues.

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Episode 29: Cultural Lens on U.S. Higher Education: Analyzing International Perceptions of 'Anti-Woke’ Discourse

Dive into a nuanced exploration of the global discourse surrounding higher education in the United States. Join us for a panel discussion with esteemed international educators as we embark on a journey through the lenses of culture and international perspective, examining how global audiences interpret and engage with the ‘anti-woke’ discourse within the context of U.S. higher education. This engaging panel discussion will delve into the intersections of culture, ideology, and education, and the complex landscape of how international audiences perceive the ‘anti-woke’ narrative that has emerged within U.S. academia.

Whether you’re a senior international officer, or simply curious about the diverse viewpoints shaping U.S. higher education, this podcast episode will provide an invaluable space for critical analysis and insightful conversations.

Speaker Biography:

Fanta Aw is a distinguished leader in international education, renowned for her extensive contributions to global learning, cross-cultural understanding, and educational equity. With a deep commitment to fostering connections between diverse cultures and promoting educational excellence, she has significantly impacted the international education community.

Fanta Aw’s career has been characterized by her dedication to advancing global education initiatives, promoting diversity and inclusion, and nurturing partnerships that transcend borders. She has held influential roles in various organizations, advocating for the importance of international collaboration and learning experiences that empower individuals to navigate an increasingly interconnected world.

As a thought leader and visionary, Fanta Aw’s insights and expertise have shaped discussions on the future of international education, emphasizing the significance of equitable access, cultural exchange, and lifelong learning. Her work has not only elevated institutions but has also inspired countless individuals to embrace the transformative power of global education.

Date: September 14th, 2023
Time: 12 noon ET

Sponsored by:

Mark Beirn


An experienced global researcher and administrator, Mark Beirn brings a critical approach to risk management, factoring structural racism and identity-based violence into his rubric for supporting equitable global mobility.

Specialization Areas:

– Global Risk Management
– Education Abroad
– Diversity, Equity, Inclusion in International Education
– Health and Safety
– Curriculum Development


Stephen Appiah-Padi​


Stephen Appiah-Padi is an international educator with several years of teaching and administrative experience in both 4 and 2-year HEIs. An experienced global education practitioner-scholar, with a demonstrated history of success in the field.

Dr. Appiah-Padi has a Ph.D. from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada in Educational Policy & Administration with a specialization in International/Intercultural Education.

At Northwestern College, he provided oversight in the administration of education abroad and international student services. In Lansing, Michigan, he first oversaw diversity and intercultural education at Lansing Community College, and later created the Center for International and Intercultural Education (CIIE) which merged intercultural engagement and international education programs of the institution, and he became its first director. Additionally, Dr. Appiah-Padi taught a course, “Diversity in the American Workplace”, to undergraduate management students of the College. In his current position, he provides leadership and vision in advancing strategic internationalization initiatives, including international partnerships and study abroad programs at Bucknell University.

Dr Appiah-Padi has created and facilitated several workshops for faculty and staff development in higher education and in business organizations. He has presented at several national and international conferences. In NAFSA, among several volunteer leadership positions, he has served as Dean of the Fundamentals of Intercultural Communication Workshop, the Leadership Development Committee member, Chair of the Africa Special Interest Group, and a Fellow of the Global Fellowship Program for mentoring emerging leaders of internationalization in African HEIs. He currently serves as a member of the NAFSA Board of Directors.

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Rosa Almoguera


Dr. Rosa Almoguera has worked as an international educator for over twenty years. She was trained as a Hispanic Philologist at the Universidad Complutense, in Madrid, and did her M.A. at the University of Pennsylvania. Her Ph.D., from Universidad Complutense included a field study and edition of written balladry “Romancero”. During many years Rosa combined teaching and her role as a senior administrator at the Fundación Ortega-Marañón in Toledo, Spain. At the Foundation, Rosa directed and, in many cases created, programs for the University of Minnesota, Notre Dame, Princeton, Ohio State, Arcadia, and the University of Chicago. She has also been a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota, University of Portland, and Interamericana de Puerto Rico.

Beginning in 2016, Rosa works as an international education consultant for both public and private European and US higher education institutions. Rosa has been successful in developing new partnerships and programs, as well as helping improve already existing ones.

Rosa is a member of Forum and NAFSA and has presented with higher education professionals on innovative academic and research programming, STEM in study abroad and Nationalism in Europe. Rosa is currently completing the final Professional Certification from the Forum on Education Abroad.