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MAY 2010

Mexico Center Bulletin

The Texas A&M University Center in Mexico (Mexico Center) is located in Mexico City and serves as the center of Texas A&M activities in Mexico. The Mexico Center Bulletin provides information about the Center’s programs and support services and explores topics of bilateral interest to the United States and Mexico.

International Conference in Mexico City, Food Labeling: Opening the Doors to the United States Market


The Texas A&M University Center in Mexico and the Office for Latin American Programs co-hosted an international conference with the support of Walmart. This timely conference, titled Food Labeling: Opening the Doors to the United States Market, took place March 25-26 in Mexico City and addressed the need for greater awareness of food labeling compliance to help Mexican food manufacturers and suppliers meet USDA and FDA standards for products exported to the United States. Technical presentations and real life examples as well as policy perspectives were presented in a format open for dialogue and interaction with experts in the field. Companies that provide U.S. label review consultation and services were also present at the event and set up stands.

Hernández, Undersecretary of Agribusiness in the Mexican Ministry of Agriculture (SAGARPA) spoke on the importance of food trade between the United States and Mexico. Dr. Joanne Lupton, Distinguished Professor at Texas A&M and holder of the William W. Allen Endowed Chair in Human Nutrition, spoke on front-of-pack labeling involving health claims, nutrient content claims and nutrient profiling. Dr. Alejandro Castillo, Associate Professor in the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M served as the conference facilitator and also presented a talk on behalf of Dr. Elsa Murano, Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science and President Emerita of Texas A&M, on policy perspectives for meat exports to the United States.

The conference featured speakers from the FDA, the food safety industry, Texas A&M University, as well as the Mexican government. Mr. Pedro Adalberto González

This conference is part of a broader effort of Texas A&M in the area of food hygiene and safety standards in Latin America.

GDMI Expands Consortium


Administrators, Professors in Mexico


Center Hosts Cyber Security Seminar


Alternative Spring Break in Mexico


Center External Board Meeting


Faculty Spotlight: Frances Gelwick


Gunn Leads Overseas Study Centers


TAMU-CONACYT Collaboration


Mexico Center Bulletin, May 2010

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GMDI Expands Consortium in Mexico Since 2007, the Global Manufacturing & Distribution Initiative (GMDI) has been working with Mexican government and industry on research consortiums and projects and professional development courses, as well as study abroad programs in Mexico. In 2008, the GMDI formed the Texas – Mexico Trade Corridor Consortium to study the global manufacturing and supply chain challenges of the region. During its first year, more than 20 manufacturers, distributors, logistics providers, and government and economic development groups joined the consortium, generating over $700,000 for research. To disseminate its findings, the consortium conducted a series of ‘Texas-Mexico Trade Competitiveness Conferences’ in the US and Mexico. The last meeting was held on January 13-14, 2010, in Mexico City and was attended by more than 100 government and industry members. The research for the second year of the consortium has begun, and the next meeting will be held on July 14-15, 2010, in McAllen, Texas. Recently, the GMDI signed a research agreement with Consejo Mexiquense de Ciencia y Tecnología (COMECyT), the science and technology council of the Estado de México, the Mexican state that borders the country´s Federal District. The purpose of the agreement is to help define the state’s ‘Strategic Plan for the Establishment of an Advanced Manufacturing Center.’ In addition, the GMDI offered professional development programs in Mexico in 2009 and 2010 pertaining to ‘Pricing Optimization’ and ‘Hydroforming’ and also led the Global Distribution Study Abroad Program in 2009, which took 18 Texas A&M students to Mexico to study border trade, manufacturing and distribution, sales, and marketing. The GMDI is led by Dr. Barry Lawrence and Dr. Jorge Leon from the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution at Texas A&M University. For more information, visit

Administrators, Professors Travel to Mexico On March 7-10, 2010, two groups of administrators and professors from the Texas A&M University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences traveled to Irapuato and San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, where they held meetings at CINVESTAV (Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional) and the University of Guanajuato. Accompanied by Dr. Mark Hussey, Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the College of Agriculture, and Dr. Jeffrey Seemann, Vice President for Research, one group participated in a day and a half workshop with researchers from CINVESTAV to present current research projects in the areas of plant pathology and microbiology, horticulture, and soil and crop sciences and to discuss areas for future collaboration between the two institutions. The other group met with faculty members of the University of Guanajuato at its campuses in Irapuato and Guanajuato, Guanajuato, and also traveled to San Miguel de Allende to visit the new Santa Clara study abroad and research facility currently being developed for Texas A&M faculty and students by Aggie Pablo Marvin ´66.

Cyber security Seminar Held at the Mexico Center

The Texas A&M University Center in Mexico hosted a cyber security seminar on February 17, 2010, with 26 representatives from Mexican banking institutions in attendance. Banorte, Banamex, Scotiabank, Grupo Financiero Inbursa, and Banco Azteca were some of the 12 leading financial institutions present at the event. Mr. Francisco Alcalá, Chair of the Mexico Center´s advisory board and former Chief Executive Officer of one of Mexico’s largest financial conglomerates, opened the event with welcoming remarks about Texas A&M University and the importance of the seminar. Dr. Valerie Taylor, Head of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M, talked about the department and its core and multidisciplinary research areas. Dr. Riccardo Bettati, Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, gave a presentation on the Texas A&M Center for Information Assurance and Security (CIAS) and also provided his expertise on traffic analysis and security, the vulnerabilities of privacy enhancing technologies, and security and privacy in wireless and other pervasive environments. Dr. Guofei Gu, Assistant Professor

of Computer Science and Engineering, gave the seminar´s final presentation about intrusion detection and prevention, organized and profit-driven malware attacks, internet malware detection, and the ways to defeat unwanted network penetrations and epidemic attacks. The participants were invited to contact Drs. Taylor, Bettati, and Gu for any future collaboration in cyber security.

Mexican banking representatives learn about cyber security at the Mexico Center

Texas A&M University Center in Mexico

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Alternative Spring Break Student Group Volunteers in Mexico Members of the Texas A&M University Alternative Spring Break student organization dedicated to service and volunteerism traveled to Mexico March 14-20, 2010, to participate in a week-long, community service program organized by the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey – Campus Cuernavaca. The group of nine Texas A&M undergraduate students spent time working and attending workshops in the rural community of Amatlán, located about 30 minutes from Cuernavaca,

Morelos. Students received training on community work, taught English to elementary school children, helped harvest coffee beans, cleared plant and tree debris from fire hazard zones, and participated in other volunteer activities as needed. Community members gave to the students as well by cooking organic meals for them every day and teaching them to prepare traditional dishes. They also provided the students with educational workshops on alternative medicine

techniques, organic agriculture, and the language of the Aztecs (Náhuatl). The Texas A&M Center in Mexico and OLAP made the contact with Tecnológico de Monterrey and the Center assisted with the initial planning of the program. The Center, which is located in Mexico City, is available to assist other Texas A&M student and faculty groups make appropriate contacts for academic, research, and outreach activities in Mexico.

Mexico Center External Advisory Board Meeting December 1, 2009, the Mexico Center External Advisory Board held its annual meeting at the Mexico Center. The Board discussed collaborative research and outreach in Mexico, strengthening institutional partnerships to support academic and student activities, and candidates for new membership, among other topics. Following the board meeting the Texas A&M delegation traveled to San Miguel de Allende to visit Mr. Pablo Marvin’s new facility for teaching and research, Santa Clara, which is currently under construction. While in San Miguel, the delegation held meetings at the Universidad de Guanajuato Cultural Extension Center in San Miguel and the Instituto Allende to discuss potential collaboration.

Texas A&M Alternative Spring Break Students with local school children.

Faculty Spotlight – Frances Gelwick Dr. Frances Gelwick, an Associate Professor in the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Science at Texas A&M, has been conducting research and consulting on aquatic ecosystems, and fisheries management in the Mexican states of Durango, Nuevo Leon, Quintana Roo, and Yucatán for the past ten years. Her work in Mexico began when she attended the Faculty Abroad Seminar in 2000 and met with a counterpart, Dr. Luis Zambrano with the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). Together with Dr. Thom DeWitt (WFSC) they applied for a CONACYT seed grant and were awarded US $25,000 to observe wetland and karst sinkhole (cenote) habitats in the Yucátan peninsula. Since then, Dr. Gelwick’s work has continued in Mexico. Currently she is a co-PI in a Texas A&M and CONACYT project in Monterrey, at the Universidad Autónoma en Nuevo León (UANL), with Dr. Juan Vidales (School of Agronomy) and Dr. Karim AcunAskar (Medical School) to study the fisheries, water quality, and bacterial fauna on fishes in La Juventud Reservoir, Marín, NL. This reservoir and its recreational park are managed by faculty and students at the School of Agronomy. Dr. Gelwick and Dr. Rich Woodward (TAMU, Agricultural Economics) and their colleagues in Mexican institutions of

rural development (INIFAP, Durango) and local universities (in Durango and Gómez Palacio), along with students and fishermen are exploring conservation of fish species and communities, issues of recreational and commercial fishing regulations, essential fish habitat, and biological indicators of ecosystem health and integrity in the small villages of El Palmeto, Las Delicias, and La Victoria that surround Lázaro Cárdenas Reservoir on the Río Nazas. This project aims to provide options to stakeholders to address problems of smallscale commercial fisheries and newly emerging tournament fishing interests, and aims to promote sustainable use of reservoirs and ponds in Durango (using the river-reservoir system as a model), to develop an integrated co-management plan for inland fisheries, and to develop indicators of aquatic resource integrity and sustainability. This project benefits not only local farmers and fisherman but students as well. Ten students in Mexico and four students at Texas A&M have been employed on these projects, and six have used their data for their undergraduate and graduate research theses and dissertations. As these activities show, Dr. Gelwick is one of Texas A&M’s faculty leaders in international engagement.

Mexico Center Bulletin, May 2010

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Dr. Martyn Gunn, Vice Provost for Academic Services As Vice Provost for Academic Services, Dr. Martyn Gunn is supporting development of international teaching and research opportunities for Texas A&M faculty and students. Texas A&M’s teaching and research facilities in Mexico, Costa Rica and Italy report to Dr. Gunn. In that capacity he is promoting the internationalization of our university and better recognition of the international options available to our students and faculty.

He is working with faculty on potential credit-bearing international course opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students and on promoting better recognition of international efforts offered through Texas A&M’s teaching and research facilities in these three countries. He also is working with government entities and universities in these countries so that they may

collaborate with Texas A&M to enhance the role of these unique facilities. Dr. Gunn joined the Biochemistry faculty at Texas A&M in 1976 and was promoted to Professor in 1985. He has served the university in various capacities including as Interim Head of Department, Chair of the Intercollegiate Faculty in Nutrition, Speaker of the Faculty Senate, and Dean of Undergraduate Programs.

Collaboration Continues Between Texas A&M University and CONACYT

Texas A&M University and Mexico´s equivalent to the US National Science Foundation (CONACYT) have worked together for over a decade in advancing science and technology and graduate student exchanges. Mr. Juan Carlos Romero Hicks, Director General of CONACYT and former governor of the state of Guanajuato, Mexico, visited Texas A&M on February 15, 2010 as the 2010 Lockheed World-Scholar-in-Residence. This program was endowed by the Lockheed Martin Corporation and established at Texas A&M University in 2001, for the purpose of inviting prominent international academic and business leaders and public policymakers to visit the university and to interact with faculty and students. During his visit, Mr. Romero Hicks and President Loftin signed a new Agreement of Cooperation regarding an Exchange Program for Visiting Student Researchers. The agreement is intended to lay the basis for cooperation in an exchange program for master’s and doctoral students which will involve specific laboratory, library or field research. The program will also enable participating students to pursue specialized training that advances the research of faculty members from both Texas A&M and Mexican universities. In October 2009, the Texas A&M University Center in Mexico hosted the annual Research Symposium funded under the Texas A&M – CONACYT: Collaborative Research Grant Program. This 5-year program was established in 2001 between Texas A&M University and CONACYT to enhance research opportunities in areas that are of importance to both Mexico and the U.S. Ten bilateral research teams presented their findings to representatives from CONACYT, Texas A&M´s Office of the Vice

Mexico Center Bosque de Ciruelos #140, int. 302-306 Col. Bosques de las Lomas Del Miguel Hidalgo C.P. 11700 Mexico D.F. Tel: 011-52-55-55-46-88-99 Tel: 979-862-7303 (dialing from the U.S.) Fax: 011-52-55-55-46-91-35 Fax: 979-862-7304 (dialing from the U.S.) Website: Director, Dr. Jennifer G. Sherwell-Brown

President for Research, and the International Programs Office. The teams also discussed their projects with a larger audience during a reception and poster session held at the Mexico Center. Mr. Juan Carlos Romero Hicks and Dr. Jeffrey Seemann, Vice President for Research at Texas A&M, provided opening remarks at the reception to the researchers and guests from industry, government, and academic institutions in Mexico. The 2010 call for proposals for the Collaborative Research Grant Program was released in April, and joint proposals must be submitted to the Office of the Vice President for Research by June 3. To be eligible for the program, projects must be jointly led by a principal investigator (PI) from a qualifying Mexican institution as well as Texas A&M. To date, 125 joint research teams from Texas A&M University and Mexico have received more than $2.6 million in seed funding under this program.

2009 CONACYT Research Symposium reception and poster session.

The Texas A&M University Center in Mexico (Mexico Center), created in 1992 and officially opened the following year, is now located in the Bosques de las Lomas area of Mexico City. The Mexico Center serves as the official institutional representation of Texas A&M in Mexico. It enables Texas A&M to further its research, education and outreach programs and activities in Mexico. The Mexico Center strengthens Texas A&M’s linkages with academic institutions and business organizations.


M AY 2 0 1 0 GDMI Expands Consortium 2 TAMU-CONACYT Collaboration 4 Center External Board Meeting 3 Gunn Leads Overseas Study Centers 4 Alte...