Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Office of International Education and two members of the office have been recognized by the Institute of International Education with certificates of appreciation from the IIE’s Scholar Rescue Fund Alliance.

The IIE presented Associate Vice President for International Education and Global Engagement and Executive Director of the American Language Institute Michele Petrucci and Director, International Student Scholar Services and the American Language Institute, Emma Archer with certificates of appreciation “with deep gratitude for your extraordinary efforts to preserve the life, ideas, and work of a threatened scholar from Afghanistan by providing a safe academic haven at IUP.”

The awards recognize Petrucci and Archer and the IUP Office of International Education for providing “safe haven and an academic home to IIE-Scholar Rescue Fund Fellow Abdul Habib Khalid.” Khalid earned his doctorate in IUP’s Curriculum and Instruction program in 2020.

IIE’s Scholar Rescue Fund arranges, funds, and supports fellowships for threatened and displaced scholars at partnering higher education institutions all over the world. Since 2002, this program has assisted more than 1,100 scholars from 62 countries in partnership with more than 500 host institutions in 58 countries.

“We are proud to count Indiana University of Pennsylvania among our partners, and I am deeply grateful to Emma Archer and Dr. Michele Petrucci, to IUP President Dr. Michael Driscoll, and to all of your colleagues at IUP for your partnership in hosting IIE-SRF fellows,” Allan Goodman, CEO of the IIE, said in announcing the honor.

“Thank you for providing a supportive environment where they can resume their important scholarly work and rebuild their lives and careers. We look forward to continued partnership,” Goodman said.

Khalid, a research support coordinator in the Office of International Education at IUP, also offered his congratulations and gratitude to Petrucci and Archer.

“During my doctoral studies as a Fulbright scholar and now, as a recipient of the IIE-SRF fellowship, IUP has consistently proven to be an invaluable and supportive institution,” he said.

“I am deeply grateful for the direct support from President Driscoll, whose assistance played a pivotal role in facilitating this new chapter in my academic odyssey. Working alongside Ms. Archer and Dr. Petrucci at the Office of International Education has been immensely rewarding, and I greatly appreciate their unwavering support and understanding.”

Founded in 1919, the Institute of International Education has impacted 29,000 people in 180 countries annually through its programs, helping to educate the next generation of leaders and serving as a lifeline to the world’s most imperiled students, scholars, and artists. 

Since 2020, because of the support from the IUP Office of International Education, 15 international students at IUP have been selected for the IIE Emergency Fund scholarship, which provides funding for students who face financial hardships due to emergency situations in their home countries.

“The Office of International Education, with the full support of President Driscoll and Provost (Lara) Luetkehans, was pleased to work with IIE and Dr. Khalid to navigate his return to IUP,” Petrucci said.

“The logistics and administrative requirements were quite challenging at times, but after nearly two years, Dr. Khalid and his family persevered and finally arrived in Pennsylvania. We are pleased and honored to have Dr. Khalid back in our community and to welcome his family as well. He was an asset to IUP as a Fulbright doctoral student in the Curriculum and Instruction program, and we are confident he will again be an asset to IUP and the OIE in his role as a recipient of the IIE-SRF award,” Petrucci said.

“Dr. Khalid and his family are valuable members of the IUP community,” Archer said. “We are so grateful for the support of President Driscoll, Provost Luetkehans, and IIE to help Dr. Khalid return to his academic home at IUP.  It has been an honor to help with this initiative,” Archer said.

In fall 2023, IUP saw international student enrollment increase by 23 percent, for a total of 494 international students from 60 countries. This follows a 2 percent increase in international enrollment from fall 2021 to fall 2022. This enrollment is at its highest point since 2019.

Enrollment in the American Language Institute is up by more than 72 percent, with a total of 69 students. For the past 40 years, IUP’s ALI has provided intensive English programs for students from all over the world who want to improve their language proficiency and cultural understanding of the United States.