(Aug. 6, 2013) -- Last month, UTSA's global reach focused on Bogota, the thriving eight-million-population capitol metropolis of new U.S. free-trade partner Colombia, and an example of a society emerging successfully from its past drug-crime fueled insecurity. Education and economic development policy were on the agenda for the UTSA delegation, led by President Ricardo Romo.
While UTSA representatives was in Bogota, the Colombian Senate convened an international educational forum for input on best practices to reform its federal education law. UTSA officials were invited to give testimony, sharing UTSA's experiences as a young and highly ranked institution. Times Higher Education ranks UTSA among the top 100 universities in the world under 50 years old.
Accompanying President Romo were Jude Valdez, vice president for community services; Mauli Agrawal, interim vice president for research; Harriett Romo, director of the Mexico Center and the Bank of America Child and Adolescent Policy Research Center (CAPRI); and Robert McKinley, associate vice president for economic development.
U.S. foreign policy in Latin America is recalibrating its approach to find a better balance for security and prosperity interventions. As gains are made to reduce crime and insecurity, the emerging middle class is seeking more opportunities in education and economic development.
UTSA is growing its reputation by addressing issues such as Hispanic higher education attainment, mainstreaming first-generation college students, and building a strong applied research and innovation profile as well as world-class economic development programs. These themes resonate with Latin American universities and governments that want to tap UTSA's experience.
While in Bogota, the UTSA delegation attended the opening event of UTSA's four-month certificate program for Colombian economic development professionals. The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) program will help Colombian small businesses compete in global markets.
Under the U.S. State Department Pathways to Prosperity initiative, UTSA has been engaged to transfer the SBDC methodology and work with economic ministries of 15 Western hemisphere nations to date. These new networks of SBDCs become partners and market distribution channels for Texas and U.S. small businesses to expand trade. In South America, UTSA is engaging with Colombia, Peru and Brazil.
Immediately following opening speeches, the certificate course began, led by the UTSA International Trade Center Director Cliff Paredes, and senior trade specialist Monica Alcoz. Enrollment was 160 in the Bogota course; the following week another 120 enrolled for the course in Cali. UTSA courses scheduled for Medellin and Barranquilla next January are expected to reach 400-500 economic developers across Colombia.
The UTSA delegation also convened with Bogota's Ministry of Education and the ASCUM, Colombia's higher education association, which is similar to the American Council on Education. At the meetings, UTSA's profile and interests were showcased to develop strategic alliances with top Colombian universities. Attracting top Colombian graduate students, faculty and researchers in STEM fields, business and education disciplines was a key focus in addition to developing administrator connections.
On the second day of its trip to Colombia, UTSA officials attended the Senate's International Educational Forum, led by Senator Efrain Torrado, who chairs the education oversight committee of congress (Comision Sexta). The forum welcomed 200 higher education leaders, was nationally televised in Colombia and was positioned as the opening volley for education reform legislation as a priority for this year's Colombian legislature.
At the forum, UTSA offered nearly two hours of testimony on its rapid growth and its goal of becoming a Tier One university through high-quality faculty and programs, research growth and industry collaboration, a modern campus community and student retention and success. Related themes also were presented by the Ministry of Education, the Colombian student financial aid authority, the national collegiate sports agency, and Colombian university rectors and students.
>> To learn more about UTSA's delegation to Colombia, email Robert McKinley.
The UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy's Curtis Vaughan Observatory will offer free stargazing for the public beginning on top of the 4th floor of the Flawn Science Building. Experienced astronomers will be on hand to show a variety of astronomical objects and answer any questions. This event is free and open to the public, so feel free to invite friends and family.
Curtis Vaughan Observatory
This year's keynote speaker is Donalyn Miller, author of The Book Whisper. The event will feature breakout sessions and a presentation by the Creative Writers from North East School of the Arts. The event is free and open to all teachers from Pre-K through university level. Attendees can earn a certificate for 3 hours of Professional Development Credit.
Riklin Auditorium (FS1.406), Downtown Campus
The UTSA community is invited to attend the 3rd annual Rowdy Gras celebration! This year Rowdy Gras includes a daytime event from 11 a.m. -1 p.m. with a free food tasting and music on the UC Paseo. The main event takes place from 6 - 9 p.m. in the UC Lawn. The event includes free food, live jazz music, activities and giveaways.
University Center Paseo & Lawn, UTSA Main Campus
The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning’s 2015-16 Speaker Series continues with Dana Cuff, Ph.D., a professor of architecture and urbanism at the University of California, Los Angeles. In her talk, Cuff will discuss new forms of “studio” and new types of practices. Free and open to the public.
Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BV 1.328), UTSA Downtown Campus
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures invites Texas and Texans to the Asian Festival. What began as a traditional family reunion for the Chinese New Year has expanded to include other Asian communities and participants, showcasing their unique culture and traditions.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures
Join the UTSA Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching in celebrating interdisciplinary inquiry at the 2016 Interdisciplinary Studies Colloquium. The colloquium will include a panel of faculty and recent doctoral graduate and a showcase of the best IDS undergraduate inquiry projects of the year 2015. The event is free and open to the public.
Business Building (BB 2.06.04), UTSA Main Campus
The UTSA College of Public Policy presents the Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series featuring Dr. Iris Carlton-LaNey, Professor of the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Dr. Iris Carlton LaNey will speak to the UTSA community about the role and impact of African-Americans in the social work profession.
Buena Vista Theater (BV 1.326), Downtown Campus
Please join us for a presentation and book signing by Luis Carlos Montalván (Fmr. Capt., USA), author of the New York Times Bestseller Until Tuesday and the international award-winning childrens book Tuesday Tucks Me In. His books will be available for purchase at the UTSA Bookstore. This event is free and open to the public.
Southwest Room (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus
The 12th Annual Black Heritage Gala is a formal event which includes a student performance, keynote remarks by Michael Brown, an award presentation, dinner and dancing. Tickets are $10 for UTSA students and $15 for all other guests. Tickets are on sale now at Roadrunner Express. Contact (210) 458-4770 for more information.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom, Main Campus
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures will host a free workshop focusing on teaching Latin American culture and geography for students seeking their teacher certification. The workshop includes free resources for teaching Latin American subject matter as well as presentations on language, identity, music, geography, and political and developmental history, and a special educators’ tour of the museum’s Los Tejanos exhibit. Free with registration.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC 3.01.02)
Faithful Alabi holds the Raw Teen III American deadlift record
2015 was a significant year for UTSA. As the university moved forward on the road to Tier One research, designations and recruitment of high caliber faculty and students, it also completed its first ever capital campaign. Read about UTSA's accomplishments in the 2015 Year in Review as we look forward to what the next year will bring.
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