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UNC-Chapel Hill Hosts Delegation from Universidad San Francisco de Quito

November 13, 2019
UNC Global Affairs
Group of people posing in front of a UNC sign

USFQ and UNC-Chapel Hill partners from left, Mateo Sáenz Hinojosa (USFQ), Jill Stewart (UNC), Diego Quiroga (USFQ), Steve Walsh (UNC), Don Hobart (UNC), Melissa McMurray (UNC), Katie Bowler Young (UNC), and Phil Page (UNC).

On October 24 and 25, 2019, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill hosted two representatives from the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) in Ecuador to explore possibilities for academic and research collaborations and student engagement: Diego Quiroga, vice president for research, and Mateo Sáenz Hinojosa, director of international relations.

UNC-Chapel Hill and USFQ have developed a strong partnership over the last decade, primarily focused on research and academic opportunities for students and faculty in the Galápagos Islands. In 2011, the two universities dedicated the Galápagos Science Center, a joint facility for research and education on San Cristóbal Island. More than 150 UNC students have participated in study abroad programs in the Galápagos, and a number of graduate students have conducted research on or related to the islands. Among many UNC-USFQ research endeavors in the islands, NASA awarded UNC-Chapel Hill a three-year grant in 2017 to examine the effects of social and ecological factors on the sustainability of island ecosystems.

The delegation was welcomed by Vice Provost for Global Affairs and Chief Global Officer Barbara Stephenson. They also met with Vice Chancellor for Research Terry Magnuson, reviewed joint research priorities for the Galápagos Science Center with UNC faculty research directors, and discussed potential study abroad opportunities in both Quito and the Galápagos with staff from the Study Abroad Office. Other UNC-Chapel Hill participants in the visit included Don Hobart, associate vice chancellor for research; Katie Bowler Young, director of global relations; and Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld, senior associate dean for social sciences and global programs, and Jaye Cable, senior associate dean for natural sciences, College of Arts and Sciences

“The visit from Diego and Mateo will allow us to further strengthen and highlight the strategic partnership that UNC and USFQ have developed, especially related to the Galápagos Islands. We have also enhanced the capacity of the Galápagos Science Center to accommodate scientists from UNC, USFQ, and other partners around the globe,” said Steve Walsh, director of the Center for Galápagos Studies and UNC’s liaison for the USFQ partnership.


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