During the week leading up to Easter, a St. Thomas delegation met with colleagues at the Universidad de Concepción in Chile to build a new university-wide partnership, enhance academic programs and create student opportunities. St. Thomas’ School of Education began collaborating with Universidad de Concepción last year to help provide teaching practicums in the Minnetonka Public School District, ISD #276.

Tim Lewis, PhD, St. Thomas’ senior international officer, organized the exploratory meetings in Chile this April to help build more opportunities for St. Thomas students in South America.

“International partnerships such as these are crucial to St. Thomas in its role preparing students for the highly interconnected world we live in,” Lewis said. “There is no better way to appreciate another culture than to immerse oneself in it. Concepción offers a beautiful coastal setting with a modern and diverse university.”

School of Education: The trip was Dean Kathlene Campbell’s, PhD, first to Chile; she met with Universidad de Concepción administration and faculty to explore expansion of the partnership that her school spearheaded through their teaching practicums.

College of Arts and Sciences: Dean Yohuru Williams, PhD, along with Associate Dean Mark Stansbury-O’Donnell, PhD, worked to identify the potential for a South American version of the popular Rome Empower Program. Dan Tight, PhD, chair of modern and classical languages, met with individuals and discussed opportunities for Spanish language students as well as partnerships for the new Latin studies program.

School of Engineering: Camille George, PhD, associate dean, met with the dean of engineering and faculty members in the engineering fields of civil, electrical, mechanical, materials, and informatics to discuss potential for partnerships.

School of Law: Cristina Calderón, director of global outreach, explored partnerships by meeting with faculty from the legal and social sciences departments as well as the director of the Universidad de Concepción European studies program.

Deans from Universidad de Concepción plan to visit St. Thomas again next fall.

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