Nineteen students from Brazil have joined the New Paltz community as part of the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program, a Brazilian government program that provides scholarships to undergraduate students in mostly STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) to study in the United States for one year.
The students were welcomed by President Donald Christian and Provost Philip Mauceri at a reception on Oct. 2. A keynote speech was given by Frederico Menino, coordinator of the Department of Educational Cooperation at the Consulate General of Brazil in New York. Sally Crimmins Villela, assistant vice chancellor of global affairs for SUNY; Bruce Sillner, dean of the Center for International Programs; and Connie Perdreau, director of the Haggerty English Language Program, also addressed the students. Each of the students also had an opportunity to introduce themselves and present a faculty member with a pin depicting the flags of Brazil and the U.S.
Participating students are here to study chemical engineering, electrical engineering, physics, computer science, mathematics, and graphic design. “At SUNY New Paltz, enrollments in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics have nearly doubled in the last five years, and we are pleased and proud that we are able to share the excitement of that growth with students from Brazil,” Christian said. “Much of the best science being done in the world today involves international collaboration, and programs like this will help prepare future scientists who are better equipped to deal with the complex challenges and opportunities that our world faces.”
The program is another way that New Paltz has been part of President Obama’s “100,000 Strong in the Americas” initiative, which aims to increase the number of cultural and educational exchanges from the United States to Latin America and the Caribbean and vice versa. Over the summer, 21 Mexican university teachers studied English and language teaching methodology in the Haggerty English Language Program at New Paltz.