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International Programs Office

Spring 2010

International Focus


Dr. R. Bowen Loftin Confirmed as 24th President of Texas A&M University Page 3 Dr. R. Bowen Loftin Confirmed as 24th President of Texas A&M University Page 3 Dr. R. Bowen Loftin Confirmed as 24th President of Texas A&M University Page 3

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Dr. R. Bowen Loftin Confirmed as 24th President of Texas A&M University Page 3 International Focus


China-U.S. Conference Page 9

China-U.S. Conference Page 9

China-U.S. Conference Page 9

China-U.S. Conference Page 9 http://international.tamu.edu/focus

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Dr. R. Bowen Loftin Confirmed as 24th President of Texas A&M University

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r. R. Bowen Loftin was formally named the 24th president of Texas A&M University today (Friday, Feb.12.) He was selected as the sole finalist for the position last month after an extensive nationwide search and had served as interim president of the flagship university for more than six months. The nine-member Board of Regents of The Texas A&M University System unanimously approved Loftin’s selection during a special telephonic meeting after the statemandated 21-day period to officially name him president of the nation’s seventh-largest university. “The extensive and inclusive search process that we conducted to find the very best individual to lead the flagship institution of the A&M System resulted in the conclusion that we already had the right person in place. Today we have confirmed and formalized that decision,” said Board of Regents Chairman Morris E. Foster. “As the university deals with the realities of uncertain economic times, I can think of no better person to lead Texas A&M as we work tirelessly to maintain our firm commitment to ensure that students continue to receive a top-

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quality education at an affordable price,” Foster continued. “Dr. Loftin has a proven record as a visionary leader, and I believe that under his continued leadership, Texas A&M will not only remain a strong and resilient university, but will become even greater.” Loftin previously served for four years as a vice president and chief executive officer of Texas A&M University at Galveston, the institution’s marine-oriented branch campus, where he also is professor of maritime systems engineering. He was widely applauded for his leadership during Hurricane Ike, which resulted in moving the entire Galveston campus operation to the main campus in College Station – an effort believed to be unprecedented in higher education. “I am humbled and deeply honored to lead Texas A&M , my alma mater, and truly one of the top universities in the nation,” Loftin said. “I am extremely grateful for the extraordinary support of the Board of Regents, Chancellor McKinney and the entire Aggie family during my tenure as interim president, and I pledge to continue to do my very best to ensure that Texas A&M remains a great university.

“Of utmost importance as we move forward is that we must not waver from our firm commitment to our core mission of teaching, research and service, despite budget constraints facing universities around the nation, including Texas A&M,” Loftin continued. “Our efforts to maintain a culture of excellence as outlined in Vision 2020 remain our highest priority and will play an integral role in enhancing our national reputation. “This is an exciting time for Texas A&M — with record student enrollment, enhancement of our infrastructure with construction of several new buildings and major improvements to many others, and the significant contributions to our state, nation and world have never been greater. We will continue to attract many of the best faculty anywhere to teach our students and conduct important research and scholarship intended to help improve the lives and the economic vitality of Texas and the rest of the nation,” Loftin concluded. As a 1970 physics graduate of Texas A&M, Loftin joins the ranks of a select few individuals chosen to lead his alma mater. He also holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from Rice Uni-

International Focus


“Our students need to be prepared to lead the next generation into good international relations in both business and government and our faculty need the collaborations of international partners to conduct research that has global impact.”

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Dr. R. Bowen Loftin Confirmed as 24th President of Texas A&M University

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r. R. Bowen Loftin was formally named the 24th president of Texas A&M University on Friday, February 12, 2010. He was selected as the sole finalist for the position after an extensive nationwide search and had served as interim president of the flagship university for more than six months. to read more, click here

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International Focus


“Our students need to be prepared to lead the next generation into good international relations in both business and government and our faculty need the collaborations of international partners to conduct research that has global impact.”

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Brazos Valley Worldfest 2009

Investing in a future of cultural understanding Adapted from Batallion Article written by blankety blank blank

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nder the golden rays of the November sunrise, volunteers and participants began the early morning set up for the third annual Brazos Valley Worldfest. Hundreds of green volunteer shirts could be seen flocking to Wolf Pen Creek Park, which provided a beautiful backdrop for the brightly colored booths and cultural attire that filled the festival. The work and dedication of the volunteers was necessary for such a large undertaking. Kelley Nease, volunteer coordinator for the festival marveled at the efforts of students, families and citizens eager to volunteer, “Each year the volunteers have been the backbone of the festival. Every smile they give, every craft they make,

or every banner they hang--they are there because they want to serve this community and show people that the Brazos Valley is welcoming and excited about the unique variety of backgrounds, traditions and cultures of the families that live here.� By mid morning, the sidewalks were lined with booths and vendors and filled with attendees of all ages enjoying the atmosphere. Worldfest commemorated international appreciation with cultural displays, demonstrations, international cuisine, performances, children’s crafts, educational competitions, camels and many other activities. The event presented more than 45 cultural displays this year in addition to the other festivities. The International Focus


Confucius Institute/Chinese Students and Scholars Association won this year’s cultural display award with their brightly colored booth, followed by the Bolivian and Malaysian Student Associations. Stopping by the Ecuadorian cultural booth, attendees learned about the geography and animal life of the four main regions of Ecuador while getting a taste of its traditional clothing associated with the culture. Petroleum engineering graduate student Ruth Fernandez represented her native country as she excitedly welcomed attendees into her booth. “I am out here today to show what Ecuador is all about,” Fernandez said. “I so greatly enjoy Texas culture, and this is an opportunity for Texas to enjoy the culture of Ecuador.” Fernandez has participated in every Worldfest since its foundation and said she is amazed at the amount of growth the event has experienced. Since the festival’s inception in 2007, it has seen many changes, including the location, the participants and vendors, but its goals remain the same. Festival Coordinator Kim Fox said she believes breaking down cultural barriers and ridding the world of preconceived cultural notions is the main purpose of Worldfest. “International awareness is at the heart of Brazos Valley Worldfest,” Fox said. “As students understand world cultures, they break down cultural assumptions and develop understanding. Teachers, parents and students are together investing in a future of cross-cultural acceptance.” Brazos Valley Worldfest strongly embraces this mantra as it seeks to educate the entire community through activities, performances and more importantly interaction with international participants.

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The event served as a great environment for fostering community among Texas A&M international students, said aerospace engineering graduate student Reema Padia. “There are so many cultures here that I have never seen or learned about before,” Padia said. “This event is just as much of a learning opportunity for us as it is for American visitors.” The performances as well as the cultural booths provided an educational experience, as audiences watched Flamenco, Czech, Mexican dances and many more. New to the stage was the Kaminari Taiko, a group from Houston performing a Japanese dance accompanied by “large drums?” who left the audience breathless with their intense movements and beats. Also a newcomer to the stage was the Discovery School’s international fashion show which featured the traditional dress of women and men from all over the globe. This sparked interest from the audience as the history and purpose of each garment was highlighted. The participants exited the stage to find many words of appreciation and questions about their culture and life adjustments in Bryan-College Station. By the end of the festival, participants and performers alike shared in learning about others’ cultures. Texas A&M University and the city of College Station, organizers of the festival, enjoyed the success of the festival before beginning the plans for next year’s Brazos Valley Worldfest.

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Brazos Valley Worldfest 2009

Investing in a future of cultural understanding

Adapted from Batallion Article written by blankety blank blank

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International Focus


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nder the golden rays of the November sunrise, volunteers and participants began the early morning set up for the third annual Brazos Valley Worldfest. “International awareness is at the heart of Brazos Valley Worldfest,” Fox said. “As students understand world cultures, they break down cultural assumptions and develop understanding. Teachers, parents and students are together investing in a future of cross-cultural acceptance.” to read more, click here

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Eduardo Urbina honored with Don Quijote Award Tiffany Neal

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n Nov. 18, 2009, Dr. Eduardo Urbina, Professor of the Department of Hispanic Studies at Texas A&M University, was inducted into Sigma Delta Pi’s Order of Don Quijote, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society’s highest award that is conferred annually upon only approximately five people worldwide.

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Established in 1919 at the University of California, Berkeley, Sigma Delta Pi is the only honor society devoted exclusively to students of Spanish in four-year colleges and universities. The society is dedicated to advancing the study of Hispanic language, culture and history. With 567 chapters nationwide and its national office at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, Sigma Delta Pi is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies, the nation’s only certifying agency for college and university honor societies. Past inductees include renowned literary figures such as Carlos Fuentes, Carmen Laforet, Fernando Arrabal and Camilo José Cela, among others. The Don Quijote award recognizes exceptional and meritorious service in the fields of Hispanic scholarship, the teaching of Spanish, and the promotion of good relations between English and Spanish speaking countries. Professor Urbina’s exemplary record of scholarship has earned him this international distinction.

Urbina earned his Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley and is currently director of the Cátedra Cervantes at the University of CastillaLa Mancha. His research concerns the golden age of Spanish literature, bibliographic and textual studies, digital humanities, Spanish language and culture, and Hispanic studies. He is the author of Principios and fines del Quijote (1990), El sin par Sancho Panza: Parodia y creación (1991), Don Quixote Illustrated, ed. (2005), Electronic Variorum Edition of Don Quixote (2005-2007), Textual Iconography of the Quixote Archive (2003-2007), and La ficción que no cesa: Paul Auster and Cervantes (2007). He has published over 100 articles and book chapters. He is the Director of the Cervantes Project (http://cervantes.tamu.edu). Urbina is a Cornerstone Faculty Fellow in the College of Liberal Arts. He is a research associate at the Center for the Study of Digital Libraries. He teaches courses on Spanish literature and culture on both the undergraduate and graduate level. He is the editor of Anuario de Estudios Cervantinos, the director of the Graduate Program in Hispanic Studies department, and is certainly a worthy recipient of the prestigious Don Quijote Award.

International Focus


Engineering faculty part of $4 million NSF project

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r. Prasad Enjeti, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University, and two Texas A&M University at Qatar faculty members are part of a team leading a $4 million National Science Foundation project to design new materials with enhanced capabilities for efficient energy conversion. Enjeti, who is also associate dean at Texas A&M at Qatar, along with mechanical engineering professors Richard Griffin and Annie Ruimi, will collaborate with researchers from Texas A&M, Georgia Tech and the University of Houston for the development of the International Institute for Multifunctional Materials for Energy Conversion (IIMEC). The mission of the IIMEC is to create an active network of materials researchers between the U.S. and countries of the Middle East, North Africa and the Mediterranean. Using state-of-the-art laboratories, computational facilities and cyber infra structure, the IIMEC will research multifunctional materials that exhibit s t r o n g coupling among different fields. The three overarching themes o f the IIMEC are thermal/magnetic and mechanical coupling (smart materials and shape memory alloys); electrical and mechanical coupling (electroactive polymers, ceramics, hybrids); and optical/thermal and electrical coupling (photovoltaics, thermoelectrics, fuel cells). Enjeti, who holds the TI Professorship in Engineering, joined the Texas A&M electrical engineering faculty in 1988. He is the lead developer of the Fuel http://international.tamu.edu/focus

Cell Power S y s t e m s Laboratory and Power Electronics and Power Quality Laboratory at Texas A&M, and does consulting work in the area of power electronics, power quality and clean power utility interface issues. Enjeti’s research focuses on power electronics and power quality; advancing switching power supply designs and solutions to complex power management issues in the context of analog mixedsignal applications; exploring alternative designs to meet the demands of high slew rate load currents at low output voltages; power conditioning systems for fuel cells, wind and solar energy systems; and design of high temperature power conversion systems with wide bandgap semiconductor devices. Enjeti holds four United States patents, has licensed two new technologies in the industry, and has written six book chapters and more than 100 journal and conference papers. Enjeti was elected as an IEEE Fellow in 2000 and received a Ford Motor Co. Fellow award in 2001. Enjeti also received a TEES (Texas Engineering Experiment Station) Select Young Fellow Award in 1992 for research contributions and a Texas A&M University Faculty Fellow Award in 2001. He received a university-level Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching from the Association of Former Students of Texas A&M University in 2004. A registered professional engineer in Texas, Enjeti received his bachelor’s degree from Osmania University (India), his master’s from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Kanpur) and his doctorate from Concordia University (Canada), all in electrical engineering.

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Jeong Named Outstanding Young Investigator Jeramie Heflin

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he “Outstanding Young Investigator” award, recognizing outstanding research by a tenure-track Korean faculty member showing exceptional promise as a developing leader in chemical engineering, has been given to HaeKwon Jeong, assistant professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University. to read more, click here

Urbina honored with Don Quijote Award Tiffany Neal

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n Nov. 18, 2009, Eduardo Urbina, Professor of the Department of Hispanic Studies at Texas A&M University, was inducted into Sigma Delta Pi’s Order of Don Quijote, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society’s highest award that is conferred annually upon only approximately five people worldwide. to read more, click here

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International Focus


Murphy recieves Motohiro Kisoi Award Jeramie Heflin

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or the first time, the Motohiro Kisoi Award has been given to someone outside of Japan to Dr. Robin Murphy, Texas A&M Professor and director of the Center for Robot Assisted Search and Rescue and Raytheon Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. to read more, click here

Engineering faculty part of $4 million NSF project Jeramie Heflin

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r. Prasad Enjeti, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University, and two Texas A&M University at Qatar faculty members are part of a team leading a $4 million National Science Foundation project to design new materials with enhanced capabilities for efficient energy conversion. to read more, click here

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International Focus


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eld in Beijing on October 21-23, 2009, more than 400 registered participants took part in the fourth biennial China-US Conference, with discussions and presentations related to security, trade and economic recovery, technology and education, and issues related to energy and climate change. In describing the conference’s goals, Texas A&M University President Dr. Bowen Loftin noted that the conference affords participants with the opportunity to “dig below the surface to find areas in which our societies are already interdependent upon one another and to do the rewarding work of building relationships based on trust, commitment, and collaboration.� to read more, click here

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International Focus


Student Spotlight

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arah Luna, an applied exercise physiology major, was one of 26 students from Texas A&M University that served as a student delegate to the China-US Relations Conference in Beijing.

“The students are the ones who will be leading these countries in the next 20 to 30 years,” Sarah says. “I have a better understanding of the Chinese perspective, and my experiences in China gave me hope that we can find solutions that will work for both nations.”

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n the heart of Spain is a city that was once surrounded by walls and towers to protect its population. Today, Ciudad Real (the Royal City) is open to all who wish to learn from the city’s rich history and vibrant culture. This summer 24 students from the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering study abroad program visited the Royal City to see what it had to offer. After arriving in Spain May 25, the students spent a week in Toledo for an integration week, where they took morning Spanish classes and afternoon engineering classes with their civil engineering professors. This year, civil engineering students could choose a structural engineering track led by Dr. Luciana Barroso, associate professor of structural engineering, or a water resources track with Dr. Francisco Olivera, Wiley Developmental Professor. Barroso’s course combined concrete design with a capstone experience, while Olivera’s course included instruction on Geographical Information Systems (GIS). After integration week, the students and professors traveled to Ciudad Real for the remaining five weeks. There they took classes in the morning with their Texas A&M professors at the University of Castilla La Mancha’s main campus. After being split up by track in the morning, the students were reunited in the afternoon for a long lunch and a study

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session. At night, the students had free time to do what they pleased before going home to their host family or hotel. “I went from basic Spanish to almost intermediate in my time [with my host family],” said James Savage, a student on the structures track. “It was amazing to learn the language as fast as I did, and my host family would write me sentences everyday that I had to learn and be tested at dinner. It was great.” Each Thursday, the faculty took their students on a three-day trip to other areas of engineering significance throughout the region. Some of the scheduled trips included Segovia, Barcelona, Oporto (in Portugal) and Santiago de Compostella. While in Segovia, the students visited the Roman Aqueduct, a designated ASCE historic landmark. “[The aqueducts] were truly an amazing sight,” Savage said. “They towered about four arches high, all large stones, and ran for thousands of miles. We learned how they were structurally supported, how they may have constructed them, and what the purpose was.” In the end, the students left Spain six credit hours closer to graduation, but more importantly they came away with a summer and experience they will never forget. “I feel my experience makes me a better engineer,” said Coby Gee, a student in the water resources track, “by broadening my scope of what the needs of the rest of the world are and how they are going about facing these challenges.” Some students who participated in Texas A&M Engineering’s study abroad programs blogged about their experiences. Read their entries and watch their videos at http://thinkbig.tamu.edu/blog/.

International Focus


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Dr. Mannan and Dr. El-Halwagi, whom she describes as “the pillars of the department for me.” She says nothing could have been possible without the guidance, support, and sacrifice of her family. In the meantime, Katherine is doing a little “health and safety” work right here in Aggieland. As Internal Committee Chair for the Graduate Student Council’s Graduate Student Quality of Life Committee, she “investigates anything that relates the quality of life for all graduate students,” she says, “be it stipend issues, health and safety, child care--anything that relates either to education or the overall quality of life and enhancement of the educational experience for graduate students, married or unmarried, international or native.” Given the fact that Katherine sets such store in the wide range of opportunities offered by Texas A&M—in addition to serving on the Graduate Student Council she’s a long-standing member of Dhwani (meaning sound), a new student organization for musicians interested in Indian music—her message to fellow Aggies comes as no surprise, “The opportunities to complement a great education are out there, opportunities to hone your skills and constantly better yourself, whether it be musical talent or leadership. There are opportunities to do research and study abroad, don’t just stand along the sidelines; it’s extremely exciting to get involved! You shouldn’t wait until you graduate to give back to the University. The time to give back is now.”

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f there’s one thing Katherine Prem ’10 is passionate about, it’s safety. As a matter of fact, the petite chemical engineering doctoral student from Bangalore, India spends a good deal of her time—academic, professional, and personal—keeping folks safe and well. Not that she started her college career with an eye on health and safety, or Texas A&M, for that matter. Katherine had always wanted to study in the U.S. and when the opportunity arose, she began a computer systems design major in Phoenix, AZ, but realized the field wasn’t for her. Since chemistry and math were her favorite subjects, she looked into chemical engineering. Thanks to one of her professors, she also looked into Texas A&M. “The chemical engineering program here is one of the best in the world,” she enthuses, “and my group at the Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center, headed by Dr. Sam Mannan, is the only one of its kind. Thanks to my department and advisor, the experience we get— academic and industry experience—is incredible! People in the industry want to hire Aggies, because we’re technically sound. Another major consideration is the values we share at A&M. I notice when I travel, we’re more willing to help, and that sets us apart. We hold onto our core values. I don’t think you’ll find that combination of values and academic excellence at any other university.” Katherine does research in risk analysis and petrochemical process safety, specifically on, “how to prevent catastrophes,” she says, “that’s my particular area of research, and it’s meaningful to me, because I’m not just an engineer, it’s my job is to make sure people get home to their families at the end of the day.” Currently, Katherine is writing her dissertation with the help of her advisor. Through it she hopes to come up with strategies to prevent future catastrophes. She attributes her success to the mentoring of professors,

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Cassidy Thomas

Civil Engineering Students Enjoy an Educational Summer in Spain

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n the heart of Spain is a city that was once surrounded by walls and towers to protect its population. Today, Ciudad Real (the Royal City) is open to all who wish to learn from the city’s rich history and vibrant culture. This summer 24 students from the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering study abroad program visited the Royal City to see what it had to offer.

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to read more, click here International Focus


Spotlight on Katherine Prem Kathy Disanto

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f there’s one thing Katherine Prem ’10 is passionate about, it’s safety. As a matter of fact, the petite chemical engineering doctoral student from Bangalore, India spends a good deal of her time—academic, professional, and personal—keeping folks safe and well. Not that she started her college career with an eye on health and safety, or Texas A&M, for that matter. to read more, click here

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Former Texas A&M Architecture Student Designed Some Of World’s Tallest Buildings

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hen the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, officially opened in Dubai amid a flurry of fanfare, former Texas A&M architecture student Adrian Smith was among the honored guests. It was he who designed the shimmering spire that soars more than a half mile above the desert in the United Arab Emirates, rising to an official height of 828 meters, or 2,716.5 feet.

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International Focus


Khalid A. Al-Falih, ’82 Named 2010 Outstanding International Alumnus of Texas A&M University

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o Kahlid A. Al-Falih of the class of 1982, “once an Aggie, always an Aggie” is far more than a slogan. It is a way of life that develops students who come to know the strength of the Aggie bond. These are students who understand what it means to get a world-class education, get the ”other Aggie education” and become prepared to address the needs of an increasingly diverse population and global economy. Al-Falih received the 2010 Texas A&M University Outstanding International Alumnus Award presented on March 10 at the Clayton Williams, Jr. Alumni Center.

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Castles, Crepes and Co-ops

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he curriculum offers castles, crêpes, and cooperatives; not your typical Aggie fare. Each weekday, after a café latté and a croissant in the homes of their host families, Texas A&M students walk along 55 rue Rabelais to the Ecole Supérieure d’ Agriculture d’Angers. The Ecole Supérieure d’Agriculture, the equivalent to an American college of agriculture, is located in the Loire Valley outside of Paris. Located in Angers (pronounced on-jay), the Ecole Supérieure hosts Texas A&M University undergraduates and a visiting professor from the College of Agriculture, as well as groups from other American universities. Like everything in France, the school’s origin is embedded in history. After the French Revolution, Napoleon wanted to rebuild French infrastructure. He established the écoles or public schools, known for their practical training. Le Groupe ESA is a unique program offered by the Ecole Supérieure. The purpose is to introduce students to the French way of life and the rich heritage of French culture with concentrated looks at agriculture, agribusiness, viticulture, rural tourism and gastronomy. In return, Ecole Supérieure students attend Texas A&M during the year. “With the exchange arrangements, this program offers students the lowest cost opportunity to study abroad,” says Pascale Parker, program coordinator in the Study Abroad Programs Office of Texas A&M University. With 10, these Aggies make up the largest contingent of the several American universities in Le Groupe ESA. The curriculum is a combination of classes and field trips. In the mornings, students take a variety of courses, learning about agriculture policies in Europe or conversational French. Instruction is in English, but learning rudimentary French is encouraged so that students can embrace daily life and communicate with their host families. At midday, it is on to the bus for the tours. On the field trips, the Aggies hear, see, smell, touch and taste the specialties of French agriculture. These field trips give students an experience in France to compare and contrast their American-based knowledge of agriculture. “Our program shows students different ways of producing, creating, possibilities and niches. By seeing this they start to think creatively,” says Gaël Roul of Le Groupe ESA. In the next 48 hours, the students will tour a pig farm, an organic vegetable farm, a salt marsh, a distillery, and a chocolatier, and finally enjoy an exquisite meal. Christy Wick ’10, a double major in agribusiness and poultry science, is from Hallettsville, a Texas cattle town. On Wednesday, she stands in a wood-paneled salon of the Chateau La Poterie admiring its chandeliers. Christy notes that castles and chateaux, while impressive on the outside, are cold on the inside. So far this is her favorite, a comfortable temperature inside and it seems “almost livable.” Since arriving in France, she has satisfied a girlhood admiration for white fairy tale castles which speckle the Loire Valley and has developed a new fondness for crêpes, the French fast food. “I am glad my mother, a flight attendant who did lots of traveling, encouraged me to make this trip,” she says. After a ham and butter sandwich in the chateau park, it is on to Roland Reaute, an artisan chocolate-maker, for a International Focus


demonstration of molding and production, and purchasing the delicacies at the company store. On the way, Christy offers an observation on French life, inspired by an outdoor market around the corner from her host family that offers de-feathered poultry with heads still attached. “I wonder how food could be fresher in America. Maybe not that fresh, but something better than what’s in the average American convenience store.” The observation is just beginning to expand her thinking and will develop into a final paper comparing French and American small markets and food distribution. “I never thought about it before France, but now I am even open to working internationally,” Christy reveals with a pretty smile. On Thursday in Guérande by the coast, the bus pulls into the parking lot of Terre de Sel, a salt marsh. The full lot is proof that agriculture tourism thrives in France. The visitors are here to see how sea salt is hand-harvested. American students, raised on industrially produced, salt may have never imagined flavor or an ancient process like this. During the tour, the Paludier (salt maker) explains a particular detail: Grey salt is used for cooking, while the fleur de sel (salt flower) is used for flavoring at the table. “So depending on what you are cooking, the exact salt or particular blend could bring out the flavor?” asks student Jimmy Tran ’09. Jimmy, enthusiastic and driven, is a self-described “super senior” from Houston. Upon his return, he will graduate from the College of Architecture with a degree in global arts planning, design and construction. His focus is to take this experience and infuse it into his career, which he says “will definitely involve food.” For Jimmy, the study of French agricultural practices and production will refine his career, seasoning it with knowledge.

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The Paludier offers this closing remark to the American students: “I hope your visit will open your mind and your way of thinking, providing a bit of diversity, new ideas, new approaches.” After a requisite ham sandwich, the bus heads for the agricultural cooperative. The students hear about the business model of the organic cooperative, where members pay for the food in advance, guaranteeing them weekly products and giving the growers money and customers up front. The evening ends down a winding road as a vegetable farmer shows off organic production techniques. Jimmy is still paying close attention. After class, Friday’s first tour is the Cointreau (pronounced quan-tro) factory. This one has the students excited to visit. Since 1875, the Cointreau factory has distilled liquor that Texans know as an ingredient in the top-shelf margarita. The tour guide tells how distillation yields the intense orange flavor. At the museum displaying the century of international advertising campaigns used to market the Cointreau classic rectangular bottle, it’s serious business: No pictures allowed. At 11:30 a.m., the tour finishes at the reception area bar, where the students are offered a colorful “Cointreapolitan.” Returning to the école’s front gate, an announcement is made about the optional afternoon pig farm tour. The students joke about finally seeing the origin of their ham sandwiches. Conversation turns quickly to plans for dinner. “Are you going?” Jimmy asks the students and professors. Tonight several will gather at Le Savre D’Anne, a restaurant in Angers. Jimmy describes it as “a restaurant you absolutely cannot miss if you are anywhere nearby.” The cost will be about 85 euros, or more than a $100 per student, but despite the price, several are going. The reservation is late by American standards but is typical in France. At 9 p.m., with light still pouring over the whitewalled, blue-doored Angers, the students begin to arrive on foot. Le Savre is located in a limestone Angers house with a black slate roof. Instead of the typical dark blue front door, Le Savre greets the students with lime green entry. When it is time to order, each student decides how many courses he would like. Christy selects seven and Jimmy, who wants to try them all, orders 13. As the first course of lobster is brought to the students, the words traditionally offered in France before a meal are then spoken by all: “Bon Appétit.”

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Castles, Crepes and Co-ops

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he curriculum offers castles, crêpes, and cooperatives; not your typical Aggie fare. Each weekday, after a café latté and a croissant in the homes of their host families, Texas A&M students walk along 55 rue Rabelais to the Ecole Supérieure d’ Agriculture d’Angers, the equivalent to an American college of agriculture. Located in Angers, the Ecole Supérieure hosts Texas A&M University undergraduates and a visiting professor from the College of Agriculture, as well as groups from other American universities. to read more, click here

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I hope your visit will open your mind and your way of thinking, providing a bit of diversity, new ideas, new approaches.

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-Paludier (Salt Maker) Guerande, France

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National Science Foundation names Texas A&M member of Top 20 Research Performers

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exas A&M University excels in many areas, including outstanding student programs, national champion sports teams, and great engineering and business programs. The University also excels in academic research, as proven by the National Science Foundation’s ranking on the annual Top 20 Academic Research Performers in the U.S. The foundation is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity and welfare and to secure the national defense.” The federal government is the largest source of university research and development funding in science and engineering, and the foundation is no exception with an annual budget of about $6.06 billion. It funds about 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities. Each year, the National Science Foundation surveys 690 U.S. institutions and ranks them according to research and development expenditures in science and engineering. Texas A&M University replaced Washington University in St. Louis at the number 20 spot in Fiscal Year 2008 with expenditures totaling $582 million. Our school’s rank is joined by other prestigious institutions such as John Hopkins University, Duke University, Stanford University, MIT and University of California at Berkeley but is the only Texas institution to rank in the foundation’s Top 20 for 2009. According to Dr. Jeffrey R. Seemann, vice president for research at

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A&M, “it means that we have some of the best faculty in the world (nearly 3,000 of them) doing research that is vitally important in a whole variety of arenas. We are making gains all over the place, our environmental sciences program has shown enormous leaps and bounds, and engineering of course - we have one of the most spectacular sets of engineering programs in the country, in addition to our social sciences, agriculture, geo sciences and architecture arenas. We really have a lot to be proud of here.” “By joining the NSF Top 20, Texas A&M takes a significant step toward its goal of ranking among the Top 10 research universities in the United States,” Seemann said. “For A&M to continue moving up on the list we can’t let off on all of the important things that we are doing. Texas is doing a lot investing in higher education, so we must continue to hire great faculty and continue to give them the resources that they need to do cutting-edge research. We need to find new ways to bring everyone together around big concerns and issues, to attract those next big expenditures. And we need to continue to invest in this University in order to advance ourselves in this competitive environment.” In addition, the University has opened the Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building, a $100 million facility that will enable researchers to make what could be world-changing discoveries. With more than 30 lab facilities, the new building located next to Simpson Drill Field will be available to world-class scientists who are striving to make a difference through research.

International Focus


Hispanic Business Names Cepeda-Benito One Of “Top 100 Influentials”

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This recognition may speak more of the high reputation of Texas A&M University than on my own achievements

http://international.tamu.edu/focus

ispanic Business magazine has named Antonio CepedaBenito, dean of faculties and associate provost at Texas A&M University, to the publication’s 2009/2010 list of the nation’s 100 “most influential” Hispanics. The list also includes Hispanic leaders selected from the halls of power in Washington, the corporate world, information technology professionals, the health care sector, education, the media and other areas. “Obviously I’m honored and very happy with the recognition, as it is a nice feather on my hat and gives my kids some bragging rights and motivates them to feel proud of their ‘papá,’” Cepeda-Benito says about being recognized by “Hispanic Business.” “However, I’m mindful that this recognition may speak more of the high reputation and caliber of Texas A&M University than of my own achievements.” Cepeda-Benito, a member of the Texas A&M faculty for the past 15 years, holds the rank of professor of psychology and has served as associate dean of faculties and faculty ombudsperson since 2006. He was named dean of faculties in May and succeeds Karan Watson, who was recently promoted to vice provost and currently serves as interim provost and executive vice president for academics. “I feel fortunate to have been given the opportunity to serve this great university by assuming an important leadership role. I also

feel indebted to the many friends and colleagues who have supported and mentored me throughout the years,” Cepeda-Benito adds. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has a Ph.D. in psychology from Purdue University. His research connects the disciplines of behavioral neuroscience and clinical psychology to investigate drug addiction and eating disorders. He has published extensively and his research has been supported by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Texas Department of Health and the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology. He has served almost exclusively Spanish-speaking individuals and supervised students who also work with low-income, Spanish-speaking clients. Cepeda-Benito has received numerous awards while at Texas A&M, including Psychology Teacher of the Year, the Academic Inspiration Award, and various diversity service awards. He has received two National Awards of Excellence from the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse (NHSN), one for contributions in Public Service (2006) and the other for mentoring (2008). He is a founding member of the steering committee of the RED LatinoAmerica (REDLA) on drug addiction and the founding chair of the International Research Collaboration Subcommittee of the NHSN.

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National Science Foundation names Texas A&M member of Top 20 Research Performers

T

exas A&M University excels in many areas, including outstanding student programs, national champion sports teams, and great engineering and business programs. The University also excels in academic research, as proven by the National Science Foundation’s ranking on the Top 20 Academic Research Performers in the U.S. The foundation is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity and welfare and to secure the national defense.” The federal government is the largest source of university research and development funding in science and engineering, and the foundation is no exception with an annual budget of about $6.06 billion, funding about 20 percent of all federally supported research conducted by America’s colleges and universities. Each year, the National Science Foundation surveys 690 U.S. institutions and ranks them according to research and development expenditures in science and engineering. Texas A&M University replaced Washington University in St. Louis at the number 20 spot in Fiscal Year 2008 with expenditures totaling $582 million. Our school’s rank is joined by other prestigious institutions such as John Hopkins University, Duke University, Stanford University, MIT and University of California at Berkeley but is the only Texas institution to rank in the Top 20 for 2009. According to Dr. Jeffrey R. Seemann, vice president for research at A&M, “it means

that we have some of the best faculty in the world (nearly 3,000 of them) doing research that is vitally important in a whole variety of arenas. Our environmental sciences program has shown enormous leaps and bounds, and engineering of course - we have one of the most spectacular sets of engineering programs in the country, in addition to our social sciences, agriculture, geo sciences and architecture arenas. We really have a lot to be proud of here.” “By joining the NSF Top 20, Texas A&M takes a significant step toward its goal of ranking among the Top 10 research universities in the United States,” Seemann said. “For A&M to continue moving up on the list we can’t let off on all of the important things that we are doing. Texas is doing a lot investing in higher education, so we must continue to hire great faculty and give them the resources that they need to do cutting-edge research. We need to find new ways to bring everyone together around big concerns and issues, to attract those next big expenditures. And we need to continue to invest in this University in order to advance ourselves in this competitive environment.” In addition, the University has opened the Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building, a $100 million facility that will enable researchers to make what could be worldchanging discoveries. With more than 30 lab facilities, the new building located next to Simpson Drill Field will be available to world-class scientists who are striving to make a difference through research.

The National Science Foundation’s Top 20 Research Performers

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1. Johns Hopkins University 2. University of California, San Francisco 3. University of Wisconsin, Madison 4. University of Michigan 5. University of California, Los Angeles 6. University of California, San Diego 7. Duke University 8. University of Washington 9. University of Pennsylvania 10. Ohio State University 11. Pennsylvania State University 12. Stanford University 13. University of Minnesota 14. Massachusetts Institute of Technology 15. Cornell University 16. University of California, Davis 17. University of Pittsburgh 18. University of California, Berkeley 19. University of Florida 20. Texas A&M University International Focus


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Hispanic Business Names Cepeda-Benito One Of “Top 100 Influentials”

ispanic Business magazine has named Antonio Cepeda-Benito, dean of faculties and associate provost at Texas A&M University, to the publication’s 2009 list of the nation’s 100 “most influential” Hispanics. “Obviously I’m honored and very happy with the recognition, as it is a nice feather on my hat and gives my kids some bragging rights and motivates them to feel proud of their ‘papá,’” Cepeda-Benito says about being recognized by “Hispanic Business.” “However, I’m mindful that this recognition may speak more of the high reputation and caliber of Texas A&M University than of my own achievements.” Cepeda-Benito, a member of the Texas A&M faculty for the past 15 years, holds the rank of professor of psychology and has served as associate dean of faculties and faculty ombudsperson since 2006. He was named dean of faculties in May and succeeds Karan Watson, who was recently promoted to vice provost and currently serves as interim provost and executive vice president for academics. “I feel fortunate to have been given the opportunity to serve this great university by assuming an important leadership role. I also feel indebted to the many friends and colleagues who have supported

and mentored me throughout the years,” Cepeda-Benito adds. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has a Ph.D. in psychology from Purdue University. His research connects the disciplines of behavioral neuroscience and clinical psychology to investigate drug addiction and eating disorders. He has published extensively and has been supported by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Texas Department of Health and the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology. He has served almost exclusively Spanish-speaking individuals and supervised students who also work with Spanish-speaking clients. Cepeda-Benito has received numerous awards while at Texas A&M, including Psychology Teacher of the Year, the Academic Inspiration Award, and various diversity service awards. He has received two National Awards of Excellence from the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse (NHSN), one for contributions in Public Service (2006) and the other for mentoring (2008). He is a founding member of the steering committee of the RED LatinoAmerica on drug addiction and the founding chair of the International Research Collaboration Subcommittee of the NHSN.

Among the ranked were US Supreme Court Jusice Sonja Sotomayor, Senator Abel Maldonado, and Astronaut Joseph Acaba. http://international.tamu.edu/focus

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National Science Foundation Names Texas A&M Member of Top 20 Research Performers

T

exas A&M University excels in many areas, including outstanding student programs, national champion sports teams, and great engineering and business programs. The University also excels in academic research, as proven by the National Science Foundation’s ranking on the Top 20 Academic Research Performers in the U.S.

In addition, the University has opened the Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building, a $100 million facility that will enable researchers to make what could be world changing discoveries. With more than 30 lab facilities, the new building located next to Simpson Drill Field will be available to world-class scientists who are striving to make a difference through research.

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to read

The National Science Foundation Top 20 Research Performers 1. Johns Hopkins University 2. University of California, San Francisco 3. University of Wisconsin, Madison 4. University of Michigan 5. University of California, Los Angeles 6. University of California, San Diego 7. Duke University 8. University of Washington 9. University of Pennsylvania 10. Ohio State University 11. Pennsylvania State University 12. Stanford University 13. University of Minnesota 14. Massachusetts Institute of Technology 15. Cornell University 16. University of California, Davis 17. University of Pittsburgh 18. University of California, Berkeley 19. University of Florida 20. Texas A&M University

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International Focus


Hispanic Business Names Cepeda-Benito One Of “Top 100 Influentials”

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ispanic Business magazine has named Antonio Cepeda-Benito, dean of faculties and associate provost at Texas A&M University, to the publication’s 2009 list of the nation’s 100 “most influential” Hispanics. Among the ranked were U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonja Sotomayor, Senator Abel Maldonado, and Astronaut Joseph Acaba. to read more, click here

http://international.tamu.edu/focus

]

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