Office of Global Engineering Engagement awarded Innovation Fund grant

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Office of Global Engineering Engagement in the Penn State College of Engineering has been awarded a "100,000 Strong in the Americas" Innovation Fund grant for their Cross-cultural Engagement and STEM Program with the Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria, located in Lima, Peru.

Designed exclusively for universities and colleges in the United State and institutions in Peru, a total of 13 teams received grants to create new student exchange and training opportunities in the fields of environmental science, water resource management, science, engineering and mathematics.

Penn State and the Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria (UNI)’s Cross-cultural Engagement and STEM Program is a new summer program that focuses on global engineering culture and society, offering students the opportunity to strengthen their knowledge and understanding of culture, language and engineering on a global scale. Students participating in the program will develop important competencies in research, collaboration and cultural awareness to prepare them for success in completing their studies and pursuing future opportunities internationally.

Through their program, Penn State and UNI aim to increase student mobility and improve student retention and graduation rates, specifically among minority and low-income students, recognizing the crucial role that study abroad plays in student success.

“It’s really exciting to see how this support will allow our collaboration and friendship with our Peruvian partners to blossom,” said Patrick Tunno, director of Global Engineering Engagement at Penn State. “Study abroad experiences are truly transformative, and this grant will help provide an opportunity to students who might not otherwise participate.”

Funded by CAF Development Bank of Latin America, the U.S. Department of State and Sempra Energy, Innovation Fund grant awards are $25,000 each.

“We have such a fantastic team working on this project,” said Tunno. “We are really excited and honored to be among this prestigious group of American and Peruvian higher education institutions.”  

Tunno, along with Julio Urbina, associate professor of electrical engineering, attended the award ceremony on Feb. 21 at the Ambassador of Peru’s residence in Washington, D.C.

The mission of Global Engineering Engagement is to create an environment that embraces the values of international education, where access to global exposure and opportunities to develop cross-cultural competence is pervasive. Learn more at

Last Updated March 22, 2018