The U.S. Department of State, Partners of the Americas, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators recently announced the University of Texas at El Paso as one of the latest 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund grant winners sponsored by Fundación Televisa.
With Fundacion Televisa’s support, the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund grant competition will facilitate eight new higher education partnerships designed exclusively for universities and community colleges in the United States and institutions in the Tecnológico Nacional de México (TecNM) network in Mexico.
100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund grants fuel strategic partnerships among higher education institutions in the United States and the rest of the Western Hemisphere.
The 20 new institutions announced will provide groundbreaking exchange programs that will allow students to work in teams, gain technical skills, and become more competent for the global workforce.
For UTEP, the money facilitates a partnership with Instituto Tecnológico de Campeche, Instituto Tecnológico de Tlalpan, and Instituto Tecnológico de Hermosillo to create an exchange program for students to learn sustainable, human-engineered practices that are environmentally friendly and that promote social justice.
The grant will allow students and faculty to focus on water, energy, agriculture and infrastructure projects. Students will work on community-driven projects to identify and implement engineering solutions for a more sustainable economy.
Upon completion of the program, students will receive recognition for participation in a leadership and entrepreneurship workshop.
“This news is great for our students,” said College of Engineering Dean Theresa Maldonado, Ph.D. “First, there is a deep commitment by our students toward building sustainable communities, and this award will enable them to partner with their counterparts in Mexico to arrive at robust approaches. We know students in our engineering programs need specialized core skills, but they gain a competitive advantage when they leave with leadership and entrepreneurial qualities.”
The grant will support the participation of 10 UTEP College of Engineering students who will join 30 more students from the participating Tecnologicos Nacionales. In this new faculty-led study abroad program, students from all majors in engineering can participate.
Additionally, a total of 12 faculty members from the participating Tecnologicos Nacionales and UTEP will be engaged in different program activities.
“This program is a clear example of how our college is supporting the UTEP Edge initiatives by providing students with enriching experiences for lifelong success such as global awareness, teamwork, social responsibility, leadership, communication, problem solving, critical thinking as well as community engagement,” said Heidi A. Taboada, Ph.D., associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Engineering.
Innovation Fund grants are $25,000 each, and grant-winning teams contribute additional resources to leverage and implement sustainable short-term student exchange to and from Mexico.
Since 2014, a total of 76 higher education institutions in Mexico and the United States have been awarded Innovation Fund grants that are supported by the public-private sector collaboration between the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Embassies, Partners of the Americas, NAFSA, companies and foundations.
Learn more: www.100kStrongAmericas.org