Putting a Face on Global Engagement

While many universities offer international programs, some of them simply amount to exchanges or brief visits to other countries.  Global engagement is about more than travel. NEOMED’s Office of Global Engagement aims to understand people and cultures and gain competencies globally that enable the University and others to effectively serve one’s diverse community, locally.

On Wednesday, Sept. 20, NEOMED’s Office of Global Engagement took an important step as it welcomed guests from the Universidad del Noreste (UNE) in Tampico, Mexico, to our campus. The purpose of the visit was to discuss areas of possible collaboration and international partnerships.

Victor M. Torres, director of the Office of Global Engagement, introduced UNE representatives—Dr.  Lilia Velazco del Angel, president/rector; Dr. Jose Luis Garcia Galaviz, dean, College of Health Sciences; and Mario Alberto Najera Torres, executive director, Office of Global Engagement—to Dr. Gershen, members of the leadership team and several eager members of NEOMED’s faculty and staff who attended a small reception to hear more about a health sciences university whose origins parallel NEOMED’s founding in the early ‘70s as a community-based medicine college.

All were treated to a wonderful bilingual presentation by Dr. Velazco del Angel, accompanied by Mr. Najera Torres. Each described the rich history of the Universidad. Although considerably larger than NEOMED—the Universidad del Noreste offers 14 undergraduate degrees and has more than 4,500 total students—Dr. Gershen noted that it is also similar to NEOMED in that it offers 10 master’s degrees; two doctoral degrees; and Schools of Medicine, Psychology, and Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Biology.

A tour of NEOMED and a lunch discussion between the two teams wrapped up the day. Next steps will be to evaluate the viability of partnership solutions discussed in three general areas: student mobility, faculty exchange and research. One very interesting project in the short term is the possibility of Universidad del Noreste’s faculty members coming to NEOMED to train on simulation, standardized patients and assessment at the Wasson Center.

Pictured here with Victor M. Torres and Jay A. Gershen (l to r): Lilia Velazco del Angel, Jose Luis Garcia Galaviz and Mario Alberto Najera Torres

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