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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Center connects UA and Mexico through international partnership


Arnoldo Bautista, the relations and management secretary for Centro de Estudios Mexicanos – Tucson, stands with the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico flag for a photo in the new Center for Mexican Studies building on the UA campus Monday, Oct. 5. The new center is part of UNAM’s mission to strengthen ties with host universities in the U.S. and other countries.

In June, the UA partnered with UNAM, to create a Center for Mexican Studies in Tucson.

UA President Ann Weaver Hart announced the plans for the center while Gov. Doug Ducey was on a business trip in México.

UNAM is a research university in México City and is currently the largest university in Latin America. According to UANews, the director of the center, Claudio Estrada, and four other representatives are currently on staff, working for the center at 939 N. Tyndall Ave.

Last month, the UA set up a week of events for the new program to promote the unveiling of the new Center for Mexican Studies. From Sept. 25 to the day of its unveiling Sept. 29, various events took place across the UA campus in celebration of the new collaboration.

Lectures were held in the Student Union Memorial Center and various buildings on the UA campus regarding the partnership between the universities, as well as Latino social issues, such as immigration, Mexican pop culture and art.

A dinner was held at Old Main to introduce the Advisory Committee of the new center Sept. 28. Among those in attendance were UNAM Institutional Development Secretary Dr. Francisco Trigo, Hart and Estrada. On Sept. 29, the center had its grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Madeline Jewell, early childhood education freshman, explained her thoughts on the new center and what it brings to both the UA and UNAM communities.

“I think that it will add openness and a better relationship with the community,” Jewell said. “It could also reflect well on the [UA] too.”

While the Center for Mexican Studies is a new program that the two universities have recently collaborated on, the partnership between the two has been established for over three decades.

Since 1980, the two universities have worked together in many different academic studies including the sciences and the arts.

Mike Proctor, vice president of global initiatives at the UA, explained the long-standing collaboration and what this new project can bring to the universities.

“This was a strong next step in bringing the relationship closer together,” Proctor said. “It gives the UA another opportunity to build a stronger academic relationship and research opportunities.”

In 2007, the UA established an office at the México City campus to improve relations between the UA and businesses in México. In the same year, the UA also launched the Office of Western Hemispheric Programs to establish stronger collaboration between the UA, UNAM, Canada and other Latin American countries.

Eden Medina, an English sophomore, praised the new center and reflected on its benefits.

“I think that there are a lot of benefits that can come from it,” Medina said. “I think it helps people stay in touch with their culture.”

Follow Lauren Renteria on Twitter.

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