The Gerald H. Read Center for International and Intercultural Education was created in 1987, through an endowment established by distinguished Emeritus Professor Gerald H. Read. Consistent with the College of Education's commitment to global cooperation, the Center was designed to examine curricular issues related to international and intercultural education, to facilitate international student recruitment and retention, to encourage travel and cultural-immersion programs for students and faculty, and to support exchange and research projects with an international and/or intercultural focus.
Building on a rich past
The Center's responsibilities also include coordinating key programs established through the Read Endowment prior to 1987. Notable examples are the Gerald H. Read Distinguished Lecturer Series, which continues to draw prominent scholars, writers and humanitarians to the Kent State University campus; and an international travel program that offers valuable opportunities for educators to engage in overseas travel and observe various educational systems. In addition, the Center provides support to Fulbright scholars and other international educators seeking research opportunities in the United States: a practice that reflects back on Dr. Read's pioneering commitment to international exchange.
In the early 1990s, the Center echoed Dr. Read's longstanding interest in Eastern Europe when it invited Russian environmental educators to participate in an innovative summer workshop that was held in collaboration with local teachers. The same period witnessed the Center's sponsorship of seminars featuring prominent British educators. Over the years, similar exchange programs have enabled the Center to establish long-term relationships with institutions of higher learning in countries including Egypt, Greece, Israel, Kenya, Russia, South Africa, The Bahamas and Turkey, People's Republic of China, Saudia Arabia, Jordan, Brazil, Korea, Uganda, Ghana, Kyrgyzstan, several European countries.
In 2001, Phi Delta Kappa, an honorary society for international scholars, presented the Center with its Unit Award for International Education. This came two years after the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education awarded the Center its top Best Practice Award, in the category of support for diversity. In 1998, the AACTE awarded the Center an honorable mention for its support of global and international teacher education. Dr. Read was recognized as a George H. Reavis Associate of the Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation in 1989.