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.

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About Dr. Mestenhauser

posed portrait of Josef Mestenhauser

Josef 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.)

Memorial for Dr. Mestenhauser

The University of Minnesota hosted a Remembrance of Josef Mestenhauser on October 3, 2015, where more than 200 people joined in remembering his life and legacy. Learn more and watch a recording of the memorial.

Mestenhauser Student Award

The 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.

Book: "Mestenhauser and the Possibilities of International Education"

cover of the new Mestenhauser book

Dr. Mestenhauser’s final manuscript has inspired the publication of a new book, Mestenhauser and the Possibilities of International Education: Illuminating Pathways for Inquiry and Future Practice. Contributed chapters by authors from Minnesota and around the world address his impact and serve as a call to action at a critical time. All proceeds from sales of the book support the Mestenhauser Legacy Initiative. The book can be ordered online from the publisher or purchased at the University of Minnesota Bookstore in Coffman Union.

Mestenhauser Lecture Series on Internationalizing Higher Education

This lecture series is named in honor of Professor Josef A. Mestenhauser. It provides an academic forum in which scholars from around the world present innovative and thought-provoking scholarship on the internationalization of higher education.