LSU Recognized for Innovation in International Education

April 29, 2022

LSU and MENDELU collaboration

The Institute of International Education's Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education recognizes the innovative and impactful partnership between LSU AgCenter and Mendel University in Brno, Czech Republic. 

– Credit: LSU 

BATON ROUGE – LSU is the co-recipient of the 2022 IIE Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education in the category of Strategic Partnerships for the LSU AgCenter-MENDELU Partnership. This award from the Institute of International Education, or IIE, recognizes the most innovative and successful models for developing and expanding international education in practice today. The IIE Heiskell Awards were created in 2001 to promote and honor the most outstanding initiatives being conducted in international higher education by IIENetwork members, particularly those that address a specific need, remove institutional barriers and broaden the base of participation in international teaching and learning.

The IIE Heiskell Awards are named after Andrew Heiskell, a former chairman of Time Inc. and a member of the executive committee of IIE’s Board of Trustees. He was a renowned international and cultural philanthropist and a long-time supporter of international education. IIE is proud of continuing his outstanding legacy through the IIE Heiskell Awards and bestowing these awards on to IIENetwork members that demonstrate the power and longevity of international education through their innovative and impactful programs. 

This award recognizes the innovative and impactful partnership between LSU AgCenter and Mendel University in Brno, Czech Republic. The LSU and Mendel University partnership is a multidimensional and multi-disciplinary partnership initiated by the Agricultural Center and is primarily focused on agrisciences. The goals of the partnership include joint research, grant proposals, student exchange, faculty exchange, joint courses, a summer school and a food symposium. Since its inception in 2014, the partnership has created nearly 90 new linkages for research and teaching and has expanded to include the LSU College of Art & Design, Pennington Biomedical Research Center and LSU Leadership Development Institute. 

Despite the challenges of collaborating during a global pandemic, LSU AgCenter and MENDELU worked closely together via online collaboration platforms to continue engagement and to develop new programming. 

“Ms. Ivana Tregenza, LSU AgCenter Global Network director, deserves credit for nurturing this partnership to what is now a gold standard in the field. Her work with colleagues at MENDELU to deepen engagement, even during a global pandemic, is exemplary of creativity and innovation,” said Senior International Officer, Samba Dieng. 

The combination of innovation, collaboration and a global pandemic resulted in the virtual Food Symposium, currently in its second year, which focuses on food technology, new developments in food science, economic and labor issues and a session on student research. The inaugural Food Symposium attracted over 150 participants virtually in March 2022. 

“We are excited and gratified by this recognition of our collaboration with Mendel University. It is a tribute to the ingenuity and adaptability of the faculty of both universities leading to the success of this collaboration even in the face of a global pandemic. I am truly grateful to our faculty and staff and particularly Ms. Ivana Tregenza, the Director of our Global Network, for leading our efforts,” said Luke Laborde, interim vice president for agriculture and dean of the LSU College of Agriculture.

The LSU AgCenter and MENDELU partnership is a model for sustainable, creative and engaging collaboration.

“LSU is on the path to becoming a global powerhouse, and this prestigious recognition is yet another way in which we are demonstrating our international reputation. The LSU AgCenter / Mendel partnership is a model program for advancing our global agenda,” said LSU Interim Provost Matthew Lee.

LSU joins six other awardees this year in the categories of widening access for international education, student mobility and exchange, strategic partnerships and models of international education financial support. This year’s winning initiatives and all 150+ programs that have been recognized to date are available on www.iie/org/HeiskellAwards.   

For more information on the LSU AgCenter and MENDELU Partnership: 2014-2020 Partnership Report


About IIE

The Institute of International Education (IIE) is a world leader in helping people and organizations leverage the power of international education to thrive in today’s interconnected world. As a not-for-profit with 17 offices and affiliates worldwide, IIE manages 200+ programs with participants from 180+ countries. Each year, tens of thousands of people participate in IIE-managed programs. IIE collaborates with a range of corporate, government and foundation partners across the globe to design and manage scholarship, study abroad, workforce training, and leadership development programs.  

The IIENetwork is the global membership network connecting more than 10,000 professionals from over 1,500 organizations to resources, including IIE’s extensive knowledge and decades of experience supporting student mobility and exchange, campus internationalization, and international partnerships. 

LSU Agricultural Center

The LSU Agricultural Center, or LSU AgCenter, conducts agricultural research, exten­sion and teaching programs. The LSU AgCenter works to advance and maintain the diverse and unique agricultural industry of Louisiana, sustain the natural resources of Louisiana, provide nutritional research and education, and develop youth and families through the 4-H program. 

Mendel University in Brno

Mendel University in Brno, or MENDELU, is a public institution with a long tradition of excellence in teaching and research that has driven new ways of thinking since 1919. MENDELU offers more than 100 different graduate degree programmes in Czech and in English languages. 

LSU International Programs 

The International Programs, or IP, office at LSU is tasked with leading and supporting LSU’s global presence and increasing LSU’s international profile in teaching, research, and learning, that align with today’s global challenges. Complementing Louisiana's rich international history, IP is the port of global connectivity for LSU faculty, staff, and students. In addition to guiding the internationalization process for the university, four IP units - Office of Global Partnerships, International Services, Academic Programs Abroad, and the International Cultural Center - facilitate global learning experiences on campus and abroad. For more information, visit