Mestenhauser Legacy Initiative

The Mestenhauser Legacy Initiative was launched by the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance in close consultation with Professor Josef Mestenhauser to recognize his legacy to international education. Through this collection of innovative programs and scholarship, we strive to honor Professor Mestenhauser's legacy of working to broaden international understanding.

Share your storyU of M Memorial for Josef Mestenhauser

Please join us as we remember our dear colleague and friend, Dr. Josef Mestenhauser.

Saturday, October 3, 2015
1:00-2:30 p.m. (Reception to follow)
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Further information is forthcoming

RSVP now

For more information on the Mestenhauser Legacy Initiative, contact Gayle Woodruff at, 612-625-6065, or Elizabeth Schwartz at, 612-625-8829.

Mestenhauser Student Award for Excellence in Campus Internationalization

Dr. Josef Mestenhauser

The Josef Mestenhauser Student Award for Excellence in Campus Internationalization recognizes outstanding student contributions to international education. This award acknowledges important work being done by students at the University of Minnesota to internationalize the curriculum and campus.

The Mestenhauser Student Award honors Dr. Josef Mestenhauser, Distinguished International Emeritus Professor, recognizing his long career of advocacy for and commitment to students.

Yizhou Ben Ma and Si Chen2015 Recipients

Si Chen
University of Minnesota, Morris

Yizhou Ben Ma
Food Science
College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

MORE: Read recipient bios, watch the students' digital stories, and see photos from the award ceremony.

Award Details

Nominees must demonstrate:

  1. a strong commitment to international education and broadening international understanding at the University of Minnesota or the community at large.
  2. active involvement in programs and activities that contribute to the University of Minnesota's mission of fostering global competence and developing global citizens.


Undergraduate, professional, and graduate students in good academic standing from any discipline from all five campuses at the University of Minnesota are eligible to be nominated for the award. Nominees must be registered for full-time study.


Faculty members, administrators, staff, or other students may nominate eligible students by submitting the following materials:

  1. a brief nomination letter (200-500 words)
  2. a brief statement from the student outlining how he or she demonstrates the established award criteria (one page max)
  3. a copy of the student's resume or C.V.
  4. a nomination cover sheet, completed by the student; this form requires two references (reference information from family members or high school references not accepted)

Nominations cannot come from staff within the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance.

The Award

Up to two monetary awards will be given in the amount of $500 each. Awards will be processed as a scholarship to the recipients' student accounts (please note that this may have an effect on financial aid).

Awardee Obligations

Award recipients will be asked to prepare a digital story that highlights their engagement with internationalization at the University of Minnesota. Recipients will be supported and provided the necessary resources in the production of their digital stories.

Please contact Elizabeth Schwartz at 612-625-8829,, or Gayle Woodruff at 612-625-6065, with questions.

About Josef A. Mestenhauser

Dr. Josef MestenhauserJosef A. Mestenhauser was Distinguished International Emeritus Professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development at the University of Minnesota in its College of Education and Human Development. His more than fifty-year long career included being teacher, researcher, administrator, counselor and consultant. He published more than 120 books, monographs, articles and book chapters on international education, educational exchanges, international studies, transfer of knowledge, cross-cultural relations, leadership development, cultural change, educational reform and professionalism. He was a three-time holder of senior Fulbright grants in the Philippines, Japan and Czechoslovakia. He was President of NAFSA:Association of International Educators, ISECSI (International Society for Educational, Cultural and Scientific Interchanges) and the Fulbright Association of Minnesota, and held offices in several professional associations. He earned a doctorate from the Charles University, Faculty of Law, and Ph.D. degree from the University of Minnesota in Political Science and International Relations. In addition, he held the post of Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic in Minnesota, Iowa, and North and South Dakota, from June 1, 1999 to June 2008.

Among honors he received is the Marita Houlihan Award for Excellence in International Education; Centennial Award from Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan; Comenius Medallion from the Prime Minister of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic; International Citizen Award from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul; Honorary Fellowship of the Faculty of Pedagogy, Charles University; Honorary Professorship of the European Humanities University in Minsk, Honorary Professorship of the Kyrgyz State Pedagogical University in Bishkek, Medal for Outstanding Contribution to Higher Education by Charles University in commemoration of the 650th anniversary of its founding; Presidential Silver Medal from President Vaclav Havel; Jan Masaryk Silver Memorial Medal from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic; and the Distinguished Global Engagement Award from the University of Minnesota. (Download full C.V.)

Lecture Publications

Papers have been produced from each Mestenhauser Lecture.

2009: Dr. Josef MestenhauserBook cover

Reflections on the Past, Present, and Future of Internationalizing Higher Education—Discovering Opportunities to Meet the Challenges

This book is a substantially expanded version of a presentation of the same title at the inaugural Josef A. Mestenhauser Lecture Series on Internationalizing Higher Education on October 28, 2009. Available as an e-book or print book through All proceeds will support the lecture series and related activities.

  • Kindle e-book available for $9.99
    (Must have Kindle app, available as free download for Mac/PC, iPad, Blackberry, and other platforms. Learn more.)
  • Print copy available for $50.00.

2011 lecture2010: Dr. Jolene Koester

Intercultural Matters: The Internationalization of Higher Education

2011: Dr. Richard Arndt

Cultural Diplomacy and International Understanding

2012-13: Dr. Betty Leask

Internationalizing the Curriculum and Student Learning: Preparing Graduates for the 21st Century

Contribute to the Mestenhauser Legacy Fund

Joe Mestenhauser with studentsThe Mestenhauser Legacy Fund supports the University of MInnesota's efforts to broaden international understanding through innovative programs and scholarship. The fund is named in honor of professor emeritus Josef Mestenhauser, whose knowledge, dedication, and tireless energy laid the groundwork for the University of Minnesota's outstanding reputation in the field of international education.

The annual Mestenhauser Lecture Series and Student Award for Excellence in Campus Internationalization are two examples of activities supported by the fund. The Mestenhauser Lecture Series is part of the GPS Alliance's initiative to internationalize the curriculum and campus by providing international and intercultural experiences for all students, faculty, and staff. The Student Award for Excellence in Campus Internationalization honors Professor Mestenhauser's long career of advocacy for and commitment to students.

Private support enables the GPS Alliance to continue developing programs and initiatives that benefit the entire University of Minnesota community. Through these endeavors, the GPS Alliance recognizes and honors Josef Mestenhauser's profound legacy of excellence and leadership in the field of international education.

Make a GiftTo support the Mestenhauser Legacy Fund, please make a gift through the University of Minnesota Foundation.

For more information on making a donation, please contact Diane Young, development director, at 612-624-8819 or

Thank you for your support!