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Nov. 4, 2010

MSU launches Brazil Partnership Program

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- In a move designed to strengthen research collaborations and educational resources, Michigan State University, Federal University of Para and Federal University of Bahia have launched The Brazil Partnership Program.

The program involves more than 50 faculty and administrators from multiple disciplines. It will focus on three areas: global development and bioeconomy; global environmental change; and human health and the environment. Degree programs, faculty hiring and external funding proposals will also be part of the initiative.

"World leaders have come to recognize that the global extent of our social, economic and environmental challenges require global solutions based on global partnership," said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon. "MSU, in collaboration with our Brazilian colleagues, is uniquely situated to make important contributions in this regard."

Language study will be a primary area of focus, and the institutions will offer Web-based courses.
"The partnership will enhance our ability to blend our teaching, research and outreach activities in Brazil in ways that are relevant and important in today's global context," said Sherman Garnett, dean of MSU's James Madison College.

An initial project for The Brazil Partnership Program is Globalization: Socio-economic, Political and Environmental Interdependence, an education and research exchange led by Cynthia Simmons, associate professor in geography. The project, which earned nearly $500,000 from the U.S. Department of Education and Brazilian Ministry of Education, brings together experts from MSU, Kansas State University, Federal University of Para and Federal University of Bahia to offer students a certificate program.

It is anticipated that other MSU partners in Brazil, such as top MBA institutions, will join the program.

MSU has been engaged in Brazil for more than 60 years, said Jeffrey Riedinger, dean of International Studies and Programs. During the 1950s and 1960s, MSU was involved in projects leading to the creation of three Brazilian business schools.

"Brazil's history and contemporary importance illustrates the power of democratic change, and provide a compelling laboratory for viewing the economic and social processes that accompany global integration," Riedinger said. "The partnership offers a real opportunity for MSU to help write a new chapter in hemispheric collaboration in global higher education."

MSU colleges and units that are currently engaged in The Brazil Partnership are James Madison College, College of Agriculture and Natural Resource, College of Arts and Letters, College of Osteopathic Medicine, College of Social Science, Department of Geography, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and MSU Institute of International Health.

For more information on MSU's strategic international partnerships, visit International Studies and Programs