Peruvian deans' visit develops links across campus
Two deans from a new university in north-central Peru spent a month at the U of S earlier this year pursuing research and teaching links that could be the start of an important relationship for both universities.
U of S Collections Librarian Donna Canevari de Paredes says the visit of the two deans from Jan. 21-Feb. 19 was the first activity under an exchange agreement signed in late-2003 between the U of S and the Universidad Nacional Toribo Rodriguez de Mendoza de Amazonas, known as UNAT-A. It’s in the northern high plateau city of Chachapoyas.
Canevari de Paredes says when she and her husband, U of S Librarian Emeritus Eudoxio Paredes-Ruiz, were on a research trip to Peru in 2003 they realized co-operation between the U of S and UNAT-A would likely be beneficial to both universities. The U of S is looking for ways to increase its international involvement. And UNAT-A, just opened in 2000, is still constructing its campus and didn’t yet have an exchange agreement with any foreign universities.
By the end of 2003, an agreement was signed in which both universities pledged to “encourage direct contact and co-operation between their faculty and administrative staff, departments and research institutions”. With a focus on curriculum design, the agreement promotes staff research and training exchanges, exchange of library and research materials, joint research, and student exchanges.
By last fall, two UNAT-A deans were expressing an interest in visiting the U of S – Dean of Agro-Industrial Engineering Zoila Guevara-Munoz and Dean of Nursing Ana Goicochea-Bustamante.
Canevari de Paredes worked closely with U of S Global Relations Co-ordinator Rob Norris and with contacts Paul Stevens, International Liaison Officer in the College of Agriculture, and Assistant Dean of Nursing Peggy MacLeod, to put together an extensive program across the U of S campus for the deans’ visit.
She made the Library the strategic hub of their visit, providing offices, full Library privileges, and research support for the deans, who don’t yet have the same level of specialized collections and access to electronic resources at UNAT-A.
The deans worked on their research – on nursing curriculum development, community health, and the processing and marketing of the pitahaya fruit – they delivered seminars to faculty and graduate students – including one on tropical diseases of the Amazon region of Peru – they met with officials of the U of S Colleges of Agriculture and Nursing, the Department of Languages & Linguistics and the Centre for Second Language Instruction, and they met with the University’s Hispanic group.
“I think it was a very successful month,” Canevari de Paredes says. Links were made with people throughout the U of S, and common themes were recognized in many fields. While here, Dean Guevara-Munoz worked on a proposal for a joint U of S–UNAT-A grant proposal for work in both health and agriculture.
“From the Library’s perspective, I felt what we were doing was incredibly important,” facilitating such a rich international exchange, Canevari de Paredes says.