An international partnership is expanding a gateway of cross-campus collaboration while opening avenues for West Virginia University students to travel, conduct research and explore a global perspective.
Fernando Mezzadri, professor in the department of physical education and pro-rector (provost) of planning, budget and finance at Universidad Federal do Parana in Brazil, will meet this week with representatives from the WVU College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences and Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources to foster opportunities for student and faculty partnerships.
“The development of partnerships with international institutions is important to the expansion of a 21st century university, helping us to grow our brand beyond the borders of the United States. As a college, CPASS values these collaborations greatly,” Jack Watson, CPASS interim dean and professor, said.
Mezzadri will also talk with Gonzalo Bravo, associate professor, sport management, to discuss possible funding opportunities for a research project in sport governance and policy. Next spring, a doctoral student from UFPR will come to WVU to work with Bravo.
Additionally, he will connect with Fernando Lima, associate professor in the department of chemical and biomedical engineering, and chair of the WVU Brazilian Steering Committee, to explore a possible collaboration between the Statler College and UFPR.
“The goal is to hopefully recruit some of the students from Brazil to come and study at WVU and to give opportunities to those students and help UFPR set up their Ph.D. program in chemical engineering,” Lima said.
“The potential collaboration with the chemical engineering department is important, also helping to expand their College of Engineering is key for this initiative because there are a lot of common problems between Brazil and the United States in energy, sustainability and in chemical engineering and we could work together there,” he added.
Lima, a native of the state of São Paulo, Brazil, currently has two Ph.D. students from the University of São Paulo studying in his lab. He hopes this visit will establish a pathway for strengthening future collaborations and ultimately result in more research efforts between WVU and UFPR.
In 2017, WVU and UFPR signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which was channeled through CPASS. Although initially intended to open opportunities for CPASS faculty and students, the agreement was left open to create possible partnerships and benefit to other colleges and departments on campus.
The integrative role between CPASS and Statler College has the potential to further expand the agreement and the impact this collaboration and partnership could have on both colleges. Previously, representatives from UFPR met with CPASS, the Statler College, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design and WVU Teaching and Learning Commons to discuss international online learning initiatives.
“I think it is great that this MOU has also sparked the attention of faculty outside of CPASS,” Bravo said. “That’s the way it is supposed to be with these types of institutional partnerships. It is One WVU.”
Although there are approximately 2,000 institutions of higher education in Brazil, UFPR is one of only 36 institutions that receives funding through the Institutional Program for Internationalization, a federal program that provides support for Brazilian universities to pursue initiatives with colleges overseas.
CONTACT: Kimberly Cameon
College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences
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