Award for Global Engagement

2018 Recipient

Michael Anderson
Director, English Language Programs
College of Continuing and Professional Studies

Dr. Michael Anderson has transformed the Minnesota English Language Program (MELP) with new and innovative programs, and redesigned the Intensive English Program taking it from near extinction to national accreditation, all the while maintaining a steadfast commitment to a welcoming, supportive environment for ESL students.

Over the course of his more than 20-year career teaching ESL at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Anderson has been actively involved in collaborative international projects and committees across the campus. He has worked with various colleges to create ESL courses relevant to departments, such as the English for Physics course in the College of Science and Engineering. He has also been instrumental in securing funding from international student fees, enabling MELP to expand efforts to support international undergraduates. Resulting projects include the creation of the Student English Language Support program, ESL Faculty Liaison position, and the ESL Resources website.

Central to Dr. Anderson’s work is ensuring that international students learn English in a context that provides them with a positive academic, cultural, and social experience. In 2016 he spearheaded a campus-wide “Glad You Are Here” video project that allowed faculty and staff to speak directly to international students with a welcoming message.

Dr. Anderson is a national leader in ESL assessment, having published and presented at multiple conferences around the world. In addition to his role as director of MELP, he teaches a practicum course and has developed a forum for ESL teachers to share research and best practices with the University community. He continues to identify new initiatives, and is currently exploring the feasibility of a Pathway Program for international students.