UW System Global Leadership Award


In Educating for Global Competence, Veronica Boix-Mansilla and Anthony Jackson define global competence as “the capacity and disposition to understand and act on issues of global significance.” In this context, the word “global” refers not just to different places on the planet, but to the great variety of interconnected people, cultures, ideas, problems, and opportunities that constitute all human experience. The globally competent student learns how to synthesize information and ideas from many sources and perspectives, and makes well-informed decisions to act on what is learned. It is this constellation of knowledge, disposition, and action that characterizes Global Leadership.

Global Leadership gives students many opportunities to transcend their local boundaries by developing global competence across disciplines of art, English language arts, history/social studies, mathematics, science, and world languages. A well-rounded global curriculum not only opens students’ eyes, but sets the stage for them to act in ways that are inspired by their course of study and driven by a desire to make a difference locally, regionally, and globally.

Leadership is a Global Competence. (n.d.). Retrieved January 11, 2017, from http://asiasociety.org/education/leadership-global-competence


Students from any discipline can be recommended for the UW Global Leadership Award. This award will recognize student achievement as well as alert potential employers or graduate school admissions officers to coursework and service learning that increased students’ global competence, addressed cultural diversity, and included a minimum of 2 semesters intermediate level language study in addition to service learning and/or study abroad.

The service learning component may include an overseas experience studying and/or working within a non-English speaking culture or it may be a local experience working in the community with members of a migrant/immigrant/refugee culture different from that of the student’s culture. This component may be organized through a campus department or approved by the world languages department if found independently by the student.


The UW System Global Leadership Award is designed to award UW System students of any discipline who demonstrate through curricular choices a propensity for global competence and leadership.

Requirements (14-18 credits):
  • 2 semesters of intermediate university level language study (200 level or higher) earning a B- or better in the last class. At least 1 language course must be taken at UW. A minimum of an official ACTFL OPI certified intermediate low proficiency level in a language other than English may be substituted.
  • A minimum of 2 courses (6 credits) with a global/international emphasis in any discipline. Options may include but are not limited to:
    • International economics, business, or marketing
    • International, foreign, or world affairs
    • International, global, or world/non-U.S. government/politics
    • World/non-U.S. history, geography
    • Comparative cultures, religions
    • Science, technology, engineering with a global application/perspective
    • An additional world language
    • Literature, music, drama, visual arts with an international perspective
    • Other
  • Study Abroad and/or Service Learning Internship experience minimum of 20 hours. May not be in one’s own culture community*.
  • Reflective Essay
    • This reflection should encompass the impact of both coursework and overseas/service learning experiences on the student. Students should reflect on how these experiences have changed their outlook and approach to their career and/or life goals. Essays should address how proficiency in a second language and knowledge of other cultures prepares them as leaders to interact and contribute as a global citizen in an interconnected world.

* “One’s own culture community” is defined as the one in which a person has been raised. (IE. One who was adopted internationally to a US family as an infant or child may choose to return to their birth country for service. However, a Hmong student raised in a Hmong family may not do service in the local Hmong community but could do service in the Hispanic community in their hometown.)

Be an Award Sponsor!

The UW System is seeking sponsors for the Global Leadership Award. Recipients of the award will have completed the above requirements and are recommended by their UW university. In conjunction with this award, graduates will receive $2000-$5000.

Highlights to Sponsorship

  • Have your company name added to the award.
  • Demonstrate your ongoing support to students who exemplify leadership skills and global competence.
  • The opportunity to get involved with a student early in their career and prepare them specifically to work for you through internships during their college experience.
  • The opportunity to personally present the award and meet all the new graduates who have exemplified global leadership skills.

For more information or to become a sponsor, please contact the UW System Collaborative Language Program Director.