A group photo of delegates, faculty from the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences, VCU’s Graduate School and Global Education Office staff
The delegates gathered with faculty from the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences, VCU’s Graduate School and Global Education Office staff. (Photo courtesy of Global Education Office)

Universidad de Guadalajara delegation visit to VCU fuels collaborations

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Virginia Commonwealth University recently welcomed a delegation of faculty and administrators from the Universidad de Guadalajara in Mexico to discuss collaborations between the two institutions. Hosted by the VCU Global Education Office, the delegation met with university leadership, faculty and staff to learn more about the innovative programs offered to students, staff and faculty.

Jill Blondin, Ph.D., executive director of the Global Education Office, views the delegation visit as a way to strengthen the partnership that has been cultivated and maintained for years.

“The University of Guadalajara is a long-standing international partner, and this visit provided the opportunity to discuss specific, shared areas of interest and ways to enhance our collaborations,” Blondin said.

Yaoying Xu, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Counseling and Special Education in the School of Education, feels fostering the partnership through this visit provides a means to collaborate in key areas. It is expected that the two universities will continue to work together to develop programs beneficial to students and faculty.

"The UdeG delegation visit will help increase collaboration, innovation and information sharing in STEM education, especially for underrepresented minority students,” Xu said. “We will follow up with UdeG on exploring shared online learning resources, faculty and student exchanges, collaborative research on STEM education, as well as transitions between VCU’s English Language Program and academic programs for UdeG students."

The delegates included Héctor Raúl Solís Gadea, Ph.D., executive vice rector; Griselda de la Torre, head of the interinstitutional and international relations unit; Vanessa Isabel Rivas Díaz de Sandi, secretary of the vice rectory; Valeria Padilla, coordinator of internationalization; Edith Oregon Romero, Ph.D., research coordinator of the University Center of Health Sciences; Arturo Villa Flores, adviser in the area of strategic projects in the vice rector's office.

During the four-day visit, the delegation met with Michael Rao, Ph.D., president of VCU and VCU Health, and Fotis Sotiropoulos, Ph.D., VCU provost and senior vice president for academic affairs; discussed liver disease research with Arun Sanyal, M.D., director of the Stravitz-Sanyal Institute for Liver Disease and Metabolic Health; and toured the VCU da Vinci Center for Innovation and the Medicines for All Institute. In addition, the delegation visit included meetings with faculty and staff from the College of Humanities and Sciences and the graduate school.

A meeting with faculty and staff from the School of Education and the Global Education Office facilitated a discussion of the recently awarded 100,000 Strong in the Americas grant that has funded a unique study abroad program for students of both universities.