Howard Mehlinger


John W. Ryan Award for Distinguished Contributions to International Programs and Studies (2000)
Indiana University Bloomington
School of Education
Department of Leadership and Policy Studies


When it comes to global education, it might be said that Howard Mehlinger wrote the book.

The textbook, that is. During his 34-year Indiana University tenure, Mehlinger made–and continues to make as an emeritus professor–many contributions, including conception and direction of the U.S./U.S.S.R. Textbook Studies Project, whose purpose was to examine and change inaccuracies that the two countries taught about each other.

Mehlinger came to IU to serve as administrator of the Inter-University Committee on Travel Grants, a consortium of 40 American universities that handled all academic exchanges between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. When he retired in 1999, he was co-director of International Studies for Indiana Schools.

As director of the Social Studies Development Center from 1968-81, he directed the India Curriculum Development Project; led the national Global Studies for Middle School Project; co-founded the Center for Global Studies; chaired a UNESCO conference on the status of social studies worldwide; and served as adviser to the Institute for German Studies. As dean of the IU School of Education from 1981-1990, he established and co-directed the Institute for the Study of Soviet (now Russian) Education, created an office to provide counseling and support to international students, supported the development of a global studies emphasis in the teacher education program, established an academic exchange with Hangzhou University of China, and directed a program that allowed African social studies educators to acquire an IU master's degree in one year.

As director of the Center for Excellence in Education from 1990-1999, he directed the IU/Ryazan State Pedagogical University Project and in 1998, co-chaired the 40th anniversary conference of Title VI of the Higher Education Act. Currently, he is president of the Mid-America Center, a foundation whose mission is to advance a "global perspective" among American educators.