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Louisiana Tech forms partnership with Argentinian university, strengthens global ties

Professor Guillermo Badenes, head of the International Relations Office at the National University of Cordoba (UNC) in Argentina, recently visited Louisiana Tech University and brought with him a Memorandum of Understanding between the two universities, which was signed by UNC Rector Dr. Francisco Tamarit and Louisiana Tech President Les Guice.

From left: Dr. Ramu Ramachandran, Dr. Stan Napper, Dr. Terry McConathy, Louisiana Tech President Les Guice, Professor Guillermo Badenes, Dr. Pedro Derosa, Dr. Hisham Hegab.

From left: Dr. Ramu Ramachandran, Dr. Stan Napper, Dr. Terry McConathy, Louisiana Tech President Les Guice, Professor Guillermo Badenes, Dr. Pedro Derosa, Dr. Hisham Hegab.

The signing completed one more step in Louisiana Tech’s growing international connections and was the result of an effort initiated by Dr. Pedro Derosa, associate professor of physics at Louisiana Tech. Derosa participated in the quadricentennial celebrations of UNC in 2013 at the invitation of Rector Tamarit, along with Dr. Lee Sawyer, director of physics, chemistry, and nanosystems engineering at Louisiana Tech, and Dr. Ramu Ramachandran, executive associate dean for research in Louisiana Tech’s College of Engineering and Science.

“Strong and collaborative international partnerships like the one we’ve established with the National University of Cordoba offer unique and valuable opportunities for our faculty and our students,” said Guice. “Dr. Derosa has done an outstanding job of initiating and developing this partnership which will further advance Louisiana Tech as a nationally-recognized and respected research university.”

During his two-day visit, Badenes gave a talk to Louisiana Tech faculty and students in which he described the higher education system in Argentina and ways in which U.S. universities and Argentinian universities can effectively cooperate. Badenes was very impressed by what he saw at Louisiana Tech, particularly regarding the integration among disciplines.

Louisiana Tech President signs agreement with UNC Professor Guillermo Badenes.

Louisiana Tech President signs agreement with UNC Professor Guillermo Badenes.

“I am really impressed by the way in which the different disciplines are integrated at Louisiana Tech,” said Badenes. “This is a model worth imitating. I’m taking valuable experience with me and I am confident that the cooperation that we are starting now will be beneficial for our two universities.”

Badenes also met with Dr. Stephen Webre, professor of history and interim associate dean in Louisiana Tech’s College of Liberal Arts, who expressed his interest and that of his colleagues in a potential collaboration of exchange programs in Argentina, which could be an extension of current trips to Costa Rica and Spain where Louisiana Tech students travel every year to improve their skills in Spanish.

“We are very interested in this collaboration,” said Webre. “This will give our students the opportunity to be exposed to Spanish in an academic setting.”

Badenes’ visit was an important step in moving both universities towards joint programs, including students and faculty exchange programs and that will probably branch out into other specific agreements for further collaboration.