Nelson and González-Carriedo travel to Mexico through UNT faculty abroad seminar

View more photos from the 2014 Faculty Abroad Seminar.

Nancy Nelson and Ricardo González-Carriedo from the Teacher Education & Administration department were among a select group of UNT faculty and staff who traveled to Mexico for an enriching time of discovery and professional growth through the 2014 Faculty Abroad Seminar (FAS). FAS, a 10-day professional development seminar, is sponsored by UNT-International in collaboration with the Office of the Provost and the Office for Faculty Success. Gabriel Carranza, Assistant Vice Provost for Global Engagement and Adjunct Research Professor in Biological Sciences, and Amanda White Bennett, Assistant Director for Global Engagement, led the program and were instrumental in bridging the unique disciplines represented by the faculty participants listed below:  

Nelson Gonzalez-Carriedo

The full itinerary included scheduled visits to Panamerican University, United States/Mexico Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchanges (COMEXUS), National Autonomous Univeristy of Mexico, the Center for Engineering & Industrial Development, University of Guanajuato, Center for Mathematics Research (CIMAT), Autonomous University of the State of Mexico, and the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, to name a few.  To make the most effective use of their time, several faculty arranged meetings with university contacts prior to departure to discuss possible research projects, teaching opportunities, and study abroad experiences for students. "E-mail exchanges with one Mexican professor formed the basis for our three-hour meeting at my hotel in Mexico City. In one project, we plan to investigate the effects of judicial reforms on foreign direct investment (FDI) in different Mexican states," says Glen Biglaiser, Associate Professor of Political Science.

Through a host of well-planned, culturally rich activities, participants not only forged strong research collaborations and expanded their understanding of Mexico's history, culture, and people, they developed strong relationships with UNT colleagues.  Since returning from Mexico, UNT FAS alums have met several times and initiated collaborative projects across disciplines. Laying the groundwork to join individual research areas to leverage fundraising opportunities is also underway. "The faculty clearly enjoyed the company of one another and are already planning collaborations both on campus and with outreach to Mexico. It was refreshing for all of us to have a large collective of engaged and dedicated faculty," says Victor Prybutok, Regents Professor of Decision Sciences and Associate Dean of the Toulouse Graduate School. 

Collaborative efforts such as these benefit students, faculty, and more globally brand UNT. "I was positively impacted by the cultural heritage of Mexico. I loved the sound of the language, the friendliness of people and the example of Spanish conquerors becoming partners in teaching, in research and in community engagement," says Nandika D'Souza, Associate Chair for Research and Outreach Department of Mechanical & Energy Engineering.

Learn more about the Faculty Abroad Seminar at UNT International.

Originally published by UNT Faculty Success.
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