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UNI CIEP and Study Abroad Center to receive 100,000 Strong in the Americas grant

June 21, 2017

Cristy Steffen, promotions and admissions specialist, Culture and Intensive English Program, 319-273-3426,

Lindsay Cunningham Office of University Relations, 319-273-2761,

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Culture and Intensive English Program (CIEP) and the Study Abroad Center have been selected to receive a $25,000 grant this fall to develop a program between UNI and Universidad Latina de Costa Rica. The funds will be used for the Ulatina and UNI programs in April and May of spring 2018.

The Marlene M. Johnson Innovation Challenge grant is part of the 100,000 Strong initiatives from the U.S. Department of State, Partners of the Americas and NAFSA. Its purpose is to help fuel strategic new university partnerships to increase student exchange and training programs between the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean. It also allows students to work in teams, gain technical skills and become more competent for the 21st century workforce.

The partnership with Universidad Latina de Costa Rica will be extremely beneficial for both universities. Ulatina students will travel to Iowa to participate in a Sustainability Immersion Program while integrating existing courses from their home institution, Universidad Latina de Costa Rica. While on campus, the CIEP will be working collaboratively and resourcefully to develop the program with the UNI Recycling & Reuse Technology Transfer Center. Immediately following this experience, U.S. students will travel to Costa Rica to complete a Capstone course that will help them develop an understanding of how individuals and groups impact the environment through tourism and campus life.

"Winning the Innovation Fund award will give UNI the opportunity to take an active role in the larger mission of fostering region-wide cooperation through international education," said Carolina Coronado-Park, CIEP director.. "It has also given to UNI exposure among Latin American universities, a region that hasn't been traditionally on our university's radar, but it has become more and more attractive based on its economic growth, politically stable governments and interest of developing higher education institutions in partnership with North American universities.

For more information about the grant, visit or contact Cristy Steffen, promotions and admissions specialist for CIEP, at 319-273-3426 or