La Salle University Oaxaca delegates strengthen SDSU partnerships

Thursday, March 21, 2024
A delegation from LaSalle University Oaxaca pictured with SDSU International Affairs officials
SDSU International Affairs hosted a delegation from La Salle University Oaxaca to explore binational programs.

Academic leaders from La Salle University Oaxaca spent this week at San Diego State University, meeting with deans, faculty, and staff to explore ways the two institutions can expand binational projects and international exchanges.

The six-person La Salle’s delegation included President Luis Ignacio Salgado Fernandez and Provost Sergio Estuardo Garcia Herrera, as well as deans of La Salle’s graduate school, College of Social Sciences and Humanities, College of Engineering and Architecture, and Center for Education and Languages.

A partner of SDSU since 2022, La Salle’s goal is to build new relationships and understand where additional collaborations across disciplines are possible that will benefit students and faculty at both institutions, said Rector Salgado Fernandez.

“In Oaxaca, young people want to know the world, but they want to stay in Oaxaca,” he said. “We must open opportunities for the youth of Oaxaca to know the world. We admire the quality of education at San Diego State University, so it is a unique opportunity for us, for students and professors.”

Last year, SDSU Professor Marva Cappello, director of the joint doctoral program for the College of Education, teamed up with La Salle’s head of postgraduate studies, Lorena Carina Broca Dominguez, for a project examining educational equity and social justice.

Delegation from La Salle University on SDSU's campus
Academic leaders from La Salle University Oaxaca visit SDSU's campus to explore partnerships.

After students from both universities worked together online, Cappello’s students traveled to Oaxaca to meet colleagues and present their research. Research papers from the project became part of a recently published bilingual English-Spanish book, “First Binational Research Seminar Oaxaca-San Diego: An Intellectual Space.”

The course opened the door to deeper connections between the two universities. It returned this year, with a second trip for students to Oaxaca planned in May.

“As educators, we are always asking ourselves how we can prepare globally conscious leaders who are ready for a global workforce,” said Cristina Alfaro, SDSU’s associate vice president of International Affairs. “This is how. We build trustworthy relationships with universities and individuals who share our values and vision. Our colleagues here from La Salle University Oaxaca are the kind of partners we want to create binational opportunities for our faculty and students.”

La Salle University Oaxaca is a private institution with about 3,100 college students. Established in 2007, it is part of a centuries-old worldwide network of 64 universities that cater to diverse and/or disadvantaged students.

More than a dozen Indigenous cultures and native languages are rooted in Oaxaca. In 2022, SDSU opened a Mesoamerican Studies Center in the region.  A delegation of SDSU deans will travel to Oaxaca early next month to further learn about opportunities there.

Hosted by SDSU International Affairs, the La Salle Oaxaca delegation are meeting with faculty from the College of Arts and Letters, the College of Education, the College of Sciences, the Fowler College of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Health and Human Services, and the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts. In addition, they have expanded their understanding of collaboration opportunities through SDSU Imperial Valley, Global Campus, and the Virtual Immersive Teaching and Learning (VITaL) Research Center. La Salle administrators also met  with SDSU President Adela de la Torre and Provost William Tong.

While still in the exploratory stage, potential collaborations between the two universities will  include faculty exchanges, joint research or integrated courses, said Garcia Herrera, La Salle’s Provost who oversees the academic portfolio at La Salle Oaxaca.

“When we return to Oaxaca, we will have a meeting with our group to see how we can move projects we discussed forward  with San Diego State University,” he said.

La Salle University officials stroll through campus on a recent visit to San Diego State University
A delegation from La Salle University Oaxaca on a walking tour of SDSU's campus.
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