In January 2015, Prof. Carlos Molina (Biology and Molecular Biology) and Prof. Mika Munakata (Mathematical Sciences) led eight students to Santiago, Chile for a 10-day exchange program with the Universidad Mayor. The exchange program is part of the “Reciprocal Approach to Promoting Study Abroad in STEM” grant funded by the US State Department 100,000 Strong Partners of the Americas Initiative. Dr. Carlos Molina and Dr. Marina Cunningham (Executive Director, Global Education Center) are joint Principal Investigators for the grant. The 100K Strong Americas initiative is the Obama administration’s signature education initiative in the Western Hemisphere, designed to foster region-wide prosperity through greater exchange of students. It is supported by the U.S. Department of State in partnership with NAFSA Association of International Educators and Partners of the Americas.
Among the planned activities in Chile were visits to major companies, where students had discussions with highly skilled professionals in the state-of –the-art facilities. Companies included Aeron, a developer of innovative Microalgae biomass production systems of food, oil, nutraceuticals, and biochemicals; BIOSIGMA, widely recognized for its development, adaptation and implementation of integrated biotechnological solutions; Start-Up Chile, a top entrepreneurship environmental and innovation hub in Latin America; the technological centers of the Universidad de Talca; the Vine and Wine Technological Center (CTVV) the first center in the country created with the cooperation of the Association of Fine Wine Export Producers (Chile Vid A.G.) and the Biotechnological Center of the Universidad de Concepción. The delegation from MSU also took time for sightseeing in and near Santiago and to the home of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.
The trip to Chile was preceded by a visit to Montclair State University in September 2014 by three Universidad de Mayor faculty members and seven students. That visit also included visits to biotech firms and to MSU’s New Jersey School of Conservation, participation in research seminars, guided tours of Princeton University and Columbia University labs, and New York City sightseeing.
Through these collaborations the participating students and faculty experienced science through the lenses of both Chile and the United States. Teams of Chilean and US students worked on research projects in several biotechnology fields, enhancing not only their scientific knowledge but also their communication and teamwork skills. Between the Chilean delegation visit to Montclair and the Montclair delegation visit to Chile, students in the two countries continued to work through the internet, with plans to extend their collaborations even afterwards.
Montclair State University Exhibits at Fair in Vietnam
Montclair State University’s Professional Masters of Science (PMS) in Applied Sustainability Science exhibits at the U.S. Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on May 30, 2014 at the Joint University Fair for students who wish to study in the United States. The Fair was designed to display outstanding academic programs that U.S. Universities have with their collaborating universities in Vietnam. Montclair State University and its partner university in Vietnam, the HCMC University of Natural Resources and Environment, are pioneering a unique Professional Masters of Science in Applied Sustainability Science which is geared to develop sustainability professionals for industry and government.
From Left to Right: Dr. Ho Thi Thanh Van, Head of Department of R&D and External Relations, HCMUNRE; Nguyen Linh, Lecturer, Dept. of Environment, HCMUNRE; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Van Ha, Dean of Faculty of Environment, HCMUNRE, Dr. Robert W. Taylor, Professor & Graduate Coordinator, Sustainability Science, MSU.
Professor Shahla Wunderlich (Health and Nutrition Sciences) with a group of senior students from the Department of Human Nutrition and Consumer Sciences at Warsaw University of Life Sciences (SGGW) in Warsaw, Poland. Dr Wunderlich taught the course Medical Nutrition Therapy course to these students as a visiting professor in the Summer of 2013.