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July 29, 2013
By Nicole Shearer
After arriving in Mexico City, Mexico for a three-day trade mission with the Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED), Greg Mosier, University of Nevada, Reno dean of the College of Business, Jeff Thompson, University dean of the College of Science and Marcel F. Schaerer, director of the Nevada Small Business Development Center, found out their planned agenda had been completely rearranged.
"We were told the agenda for the following day was reworked to place a heavy emphasis on education exchange between our state's higher education systems and the federal and state schools in Mexico," said Mosier.
Much of the trip focused on the importance of higher education and collaboration between Nevada and the higher education system in Mexico. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and the Nevada delegation spent time with Mexico's Sub-Secretary of Education Fernando Serrano Migallon discussing the enhancement of student/faculty exchanges for teaching certifications which are recognized by both Mexico and Nevada.
"This presented an opportunity for us to further expand our educational outreach and meet key members of the educational community in Mexico," said Mosier, who received the University's 2013 Global Engagement Award. "The role of higher education in economic development was clear with the dedicated shift to focus on education."
In May 2013, President Barack Obama and Mexican President Peña Nieto announced a new partnership in higher education to encourage more collaboration between both countries' universities and students. Included in the Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation and Research was an agreement to expand educational exchanges, increase joint research on education and learning and share best practices in higher education and innovation. This trip was the first education exchange between the United States and Mexico since this bilateral forum on May 2.
"Being a part of this federal initiative allows for more exchange and collaboration," Thompson said. "There is opportunity for partnerships that will help enhance their workforce and bring more students to Nevada's higher education system, including the University."
During a reception hosted by the Ambassador to Mexico, recognition of the College of Business was given to Mosier when he learned the commercial specialist at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, Miguel Angel Vázquez, had attended the University and the College of Business during a year-long study-abroad program. Mosier, Thompson and Schaerer also found out the Undersecretary for North America, Sergio M. Alcocer, had been to the University to see the shake table located in the Large Scale Structures Lab on campus and worked with Ian Buckle, civil and environmental engineering professor and director of the Center for Civil Engineering Earthquake Research, and John Anderson, seismological laboratory professor for the College of Science.
"This trip will help us expand entrepreneurship between both countries," said Schaerer. "It helped build one-on-one relationships that can now be fostered through digital communications. We felt such a tremendous generosity from the people of Mexico in the process of conducting business."
Before returning home, Governor Sandoval joined with the Governor of the State of Mexico, Eruviel Avila, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding.
"This opens up opportunities to exchange students with many incredible universities in Mexico," Thompson said. "It also enables our faculties to work together and collaborate in fields ranging from anthropology and seismology to business and economic development."
Members of the Nevada delegation included the Governor's Office of Economic Development; the University of Nevada, Reno College of Business; University of Nevada, Reno College of Science; Nevada Small Business Development Center; University of Nevada, Las Vegas; the Desert Research Institute; the Clark County Regional Center; the Southern Nevada Operations; Vanguard Integrity Professionals, Inc.; American Pacific Corporation; Phoenix Industries, LLC; Law Offices of Andrea Szew; Snell & Wilmer; Molasky Group; VaOpto; Kimmie Candy; Mundo Restaurant; Brite Sol; Urban Nest; Retis Global Investments and Flying ICU.
Nicole Shearer is a communications officer for University Communications.