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Vedula Leads Partnership Forum and Planning Session

International Centers Make Presentations

Tuan Do, left, doctoral student in work environment from Vietnam, and Ramraj Gautam, visiting lecturer in nursing from Nepal, join Krishna Vedula at a forum on international partnerships.

By Sandra Seitz

UMass Lowell celebrated International Education Week with a renewed commitment to forging international connections for students and faculty.

Krishna Vedula, special assistant to the Provost for international partnerships, led an open forum on partnerships to share information on existing programs and develop strategic plans for expansion. Deans, research staff, graduate students and faculty gathered in Cumnock Hall for the morning’s exchange.

“We have many excellent initiatives across campus that range from individual efforts to major programs,” says Vedula, who himself leads the Indo U.S. Collaboration for Engineering Education. “A forum like this allows people to discover common interests and develop a synergistic vision, while also identifying needs for infrastructure and funding.”

Under the direction of Provost Ahmed Abdelal, a number of virtual centers have been organized to coordinate and nurture partnerships in various world areas. At the forum, presentations were made by leaders of the Centers for Latin and South American Partnerships, for Irish Partnerships, for Middle East Partnerships, for African Partnerships and for European Partnerships.

International partnerships also develop around particular technology and expertise that UMass Lowell can make available, such as: 

  • Researchers led by Prof. Susan Woskie in the Work Environment Department are working in both Ecuador and Thailand on pesticide exposure and other health and safety issues.
  • A group of undergraduate students organized a chapter of Nursing Students Without Borders and traveled to Ghana to present clinics and learn about health conditions.
  • The Center for Atmospheric Research, directed by Profs. Bodo Reinisch and Paul Song, has developed a global network of UMass Lowell-produced scientific equipment for atmospheric data collection ߝ an example of offering something people want and need.
  • The Assistive Technology Program is going international with student projects at two sites in India, led by Alan Rux, director of industrial technology in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.
  • Photographer Arno Minkkinen, professor of art, created the Spirit Level program in which he led students on traveling workshops to Finland, Russia and the Baltics, Italy and Mexico.