Collaborations between Montclair State University and Universidad Mayor (Chile) Expand Into Multiple Disciplines

Montclair State and Universidad Mayor signed a partnership agreement in 2011 and have collaborated in several academic areas, with both faculty and student exchanges.

MSU Theater students participated in an intensive voice workshop in September 2015 with visiting scholar and artist Prof. Leonor Lopehandía, of the School of Theater at the Universidad Mayor.   The workshop’s three days of activities taught the students how to deconstruct a text and explore it with both voice and body, building on applying all their acting skills.Lopehandía’sstay at Montclair Stateinvolvedmeetings with MSU faculty members in preparation for the spring 2016 faculty-led study abroad program in Chile. Under the direction of Theater and Dance Department faculty Heather Benton and Debbie Saivetz, approximately 10 Montclair State University students will visit Chile for one week in March 2016 to work with Universidad Mayor students and faculty on a play by the Catalan writer Sergi Belbel entitled Caricias (Caresses). MSU’s Prof.Debbie Saivetz is also collaborating with Leonor Lopehandiaon DeaLoher's play Land Without Words, which will be presented at Universidad Mayor in March. Saivetzhas directed staged readings of the plays Arabian Night and The Golden Dragon with students, faculty and alumni from the Universidad Mayor's School of Theater.  In May 2015, Heather Benton, program coordinator of MSU's BFA Acting program, conducted movement workshops for the Universidad Mayor Theater students. 

              In 2014, Montclair State University and Universidad Mayor were the recipients of a grant from the US State Department’s 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative. The proposal, submitted by Global Education Center Executive Director Marina Cunningham and Biology Professor Carlos Molina, was developed in response to President Obama’s call for programs that promote study abroad in STEM fields between the US and South America.

Although international collaborations are critical to science research, undergraduate science students rarely have the opportunity to engage in experiences that would prepare them for this particular practice.  Through the program, students in the US and Chile worked in a community of practice over a ten-month period, as they strengthened their communication and teamwork skills, transcending cultural and language barriers.  The program included six US and six Chilean molecular biology and chemistry students working together.  They learned about current biotechnology research in both countries and about the collaborative nature of scientific research.  Visits to the respective countries enabled students to take mini-courses, visit research institutes, engage in interactions with scientists, and work with one another on a joint research project.  They also visited sites such as pharmaceutical companies, mining firms, agricultural companies, universities, and marine research laboratories to learn about discoveries and techniques in the two countries. Through these activities, they were able to see contrasts between their research in academic settings and that being undertaken in industry.  

  In November 2015, a delegation of six MSU representatives from the Global Education Center and the Biology, Spanish and Education departments will visit Santiago. The delegation will plan program that expand the multi-level relationship between the universities into other common academic disciplines including Education, Spanish Language programs and Media.


For further informationsee Universidad Mayor’s own press release: