Executive Vice President Daniel J. Howard traveled to Ecuador on January 15-17, 2014 to accomplish multiple goals.
First, the delegation visited the Yachay, Ciudad de Conocimiento project in Urcuqui (http://www.yachay.gob.ec/), a rural area three hours north of Quito in Imbabura Province. Yachay is a project initiated by the government and managed by a state-owned corporation. It is designed to foster research and the development of synergistic relationships between academics (the future Yachay University), the government, and private industry. The site will eventually be a full city of 100,000 people.
While at Yachay, Provost Howard and Yachay CEO Hector Rodriguez, signed an MOU in a signing ceremony. Provost Howard expressed his commitment to working with the project, including identifying NMSU faculty who would be interested in consulting and/or teaching there.
Participating in the delegation were Cornell H. Menking, Associate Provost for International and Border Programs, Kristian Chervenock, Director of NMSU’s Office of Education Abroad, and Janet Green, Director of NMSU’s School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. In the Spring of 2013 NMSU will host 12 students from the Urcuqui area who will participate in a nine month program designed to improve their English skills, as well as prepare them for careers in the hospitality field. During the visit the delegation had a chance to meet a group of the candidates that have applied for the program.
Drs. Howard and Menking also participated in a signing ceremony with Ximena Amoroso, Subsecretaría General de Ciencia y Tecnología for SENESCYT (Secretaría
Nacional de Educación Superior, Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación). The contract was specific to the Yachay project for 12 Ecua
dorians previously mentioned.
Finally, the delegation spent a day at Universidad San Francisco de Quito, where Menking was a professor and administrator from 2001-2007. USFQ’s President,
Carlos Montufar, and Chancellor, Santiago Gangotena, both spent time with the group and discussed collaborative opportunities. Two strong areas of interest are biology and culinary arts. USFQ maintains campuses on the Galapagos Islands and in the Amazon Basin and invited NMSU to make use of those facilities as part of our partnership. USFQ’s Dean of Culinary Arts, Mauricio Cepeda, and Ana Teresa Perez, USFQ Professor and Sommelier, also received the delegation and gave them an introduction to the university’s programs. NMSU and USFQ recently signed a general exchange agreement and it is expected that students will soon begin to travel between the two universities.