Cross-Border Challenges and Opportunities: Focus of UNT's 2015 Conference on Education and Culture

Secretariat and Dr. Jerry Thomas

The ceremonial exchange of signed agreements of the collaboration between UNT and the Secretariat of Education of Jalisco

The University of North Texas collaborated with the Secretariat of Education of Jalisco, Mexico, and the Consulate General of Mexico in Dallas in hosting the Conference on Education and Culture at the UNT Gateway Center on May 1, 2015. The conference, which was attended by more than 150 faculty and students, opened with welcoming addresses by Jerry R. Thomas, Dean of UNT's College of Education; Teodomiro Pelayo, Coordinator of Teacher Preparation and Development, Jalisco Secretariat of Education; and also Nancy Nelson, UNT's Meadows Chair for Excellence in Education, who served as conference organizer.

Conference topics included cross-border collaborations, intercultural communication, academic writing in global context, transnational and transcultural mariachi, the retornados, heritage language learning, intercultural bilingual education, and indigenous permaculture. Featured speakers were Ulla Connor, Director of the Center for Intercultural Communication at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and José Octavio Tripp Villanueva, Consul General of Mexico in Dallas. Other speakers were from the UNT College of Education, UNT College of Music, UNT-International, and UNT-Sustainability, and also from the Secretariat of Education of Jalisco in Mexico, the University of Guadalajara, the Institute for Superior Studies of Research and Education for Teaching, in Zapopan, Mexico, and SuBiré Business School, also in Zapopan. Ushering for the event was provided by UNT's Bilingual and ESL Education Organization (BESO), and a special performance was presented by UNT's Mariachi Águilas.

Dr. Lya Sanudo and Ruth Perales
Presenters Dr. Lya Sanudo, Researcher, Secretariat of Education of Jalisco, and Ruth Perales, doctoral student at the Institute for Superior Studies in Education for Research and Teaching

The Conference on Education and Culture, which was held this year for the sixth time, has rotated sites between Denton and Guadalajara. It is one facet of the collaboration between UNT and the Secretariat of Education of Jalisco, which was recently formalized in December 2014 by a memorandum of agreement signed by Neal Smatresk, President of UNT, and Francisco de Jesús Ayón López, Secretary of Education of Jalisco, Mexico.