Connections a West Virginia University professor made while on a Fulbright-sponsored visit to Paraguay have laid the foundation for an upcoming visit from a delegation from one of the South American nation’s premiere universities to finalize an exchange agreement with the University.

Scholars from the Universidad Nacional de Asuncion in San Lorenzo will visit Morgantown June 10-13 to finalize an exchange agreement with the Mountain State’s land-grant university.

The idea for the partnership germinated during a Fulbright-sponsored visit to Paraguay by Gerard D’Souza, director and professor of WVU’s agricultural and resource economics program in WVU’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design.

D’Souza came back to WVU with a new appreciation for Paraguay – and even went so far to say that it could be considered the green energy capital of the world by 2020.

“It’s a well-kept secret. It’s a very young and economically vibrant country in the heart of South America. It is politically stable and without some of the security concerns that characterize other countries,” said D’Souza, who has been at WVU for nearly 30 years.

D’Souza cited WVU’s strategic goal to advance international activity and global engagement as an impetus for creating the relationship with Asuncion. The exchange agreement, coordinated with the Office of International programs (OIP), will allow faculty and students from each institution to study and pursue research at the other. D’Souza said that the program would be of interest across the university, but particularly to scholars in energy, environmental, economic and business disciplines.

Jose ‘Zito’ Sartarelli, WVU’s chief global officer and Milan Puskar dean of the College of Business and Economics, described Paraguay as “an important country located in the heart of Latin America.

“In our aim to extend and expand the global footprint of WVU, it’s imperative to build relationships all over the world,” Sartarelli added. “This visit from the Paraguayan delegation will allow for deeper opportunities for exchange of all kinds between our two institutions.”

During their visit, the Paraguayan delegation will visit with WVU’s Office of International Programs, Sartarelli, and WVU President E. Gordon Gee.



CONTACT: David Welsh, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.