An Array of Partners
Since 1975, LASPAU has administered Fulbright Program grants for Latin American and Caribbean faculty members, professionals, and researchers. Fulbright programs have provided academic opportunities for university faculty from 26 countries, environmental scientists from the Amazon region, and Central American undergraduates, among others. These programs would have been severely affected by the federal budget cuts of 1996 had it not been for the efforts of Fulbright commissions, USIA, and LASPAU to attract a number of new financial partners.
The following recent efforts demonstrate the growing array of partners that enhance the Fulbright Program. Each new program provides advanced training in the United States for individuals in specific disciplines or from targeted regions. LASPAU assists with program development and promotion and with grantee selection and helps grantees gain admission to academic programs and successfully complete their courses of study.
- Emerging Markets A new effort of the Colombian Fulbright Commission and the Suramericana Group (a union of 120 industrial and service companies based in Antioquia, Colombia) will assist member companies to be competitive in the global market. Ten professionals from companies in the Suramericana Group will begin studies in business-related fields in September 1999.
- Economic Journalism Colombian journalists will have increased opportunities for advanced training through the Economic Journalism Program, a joint effort of the Coca-Cola Company and the Colombian Fulbright Commission. Grantees are selected based on their potential to improve and lead economic journalism in Colombia upon completion of their programs of study. The initiative is also expected to develop productive relations between the print media in the United States and Colombia.
- Industrial Development The Fulbright Commission in Brazil and the FederaÃ§Ã£o das IndÃºstrias no Estado de Minas Gerais-Instituto Euvaldo Lodi (FIEMG-IEL), an industrial federation in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, have established a program that will enable 20 Brazilian professionals to pursue master’s degrees in fields critical to the industrial development of the area. FIEMG-IEL will also provide practical training for grantees who wish to travel from their U.S. institutions to Brazil in order to identify strategic issues in the Minas Gerais industrial sector for their thesis projects.
- Educational Television Turner Learning, the educational wing of Turner Broadcasting System, recently began a joint venture with the Roberto Marinho Foundation and ten major Brazilian organizations. The project, entitled TV Futura-The Knowledge Channel, will enable the broad dissemination of information and foster new teaching methods and practices such as distance learning. As part of the project, Turner created the Fulbright-Turner Program, which will provide training for Brazilian master’s candidates who will later be able to lend their talents to TV Futura. Grantees will study for six months at a U.S. university and train for six months at Turner Learning in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Art and Design The Fulbright Commission in Mexico has increased the number of grants available for the Fulbright Faculty Development Program through funds from the Programa de Mejoramiento del Profesorado (PROMEP), the faculty development program of the Mexican Secretariat of Education. Up to 15 grants per year will be awarded for master’s or doctoral study in the areas of art and design.
LASPAU is a nonprofit organization affiliated with Harvard University and governed by an independent, inter-American board of trustees. For further information, call 617-495-5255 or visit the LASPAU web site at www.laspau.harvard.edu.
Ned D. Strong is the Executive Director of LASPAU.
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