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International Partnerships: Consular Visits to new Sister University Agreements

The month of October produced important new strides for UST’s global partnerships within Houston and abroad.  From consular visits to UST to new sister university agreements, Greater Things 2030 continues to unfold thanks to the creative energies and support of administrators, faculty, staff, and students across campus. 

Pontifical University of  Mexico’s Rector, Fr. Alberto Anguiano.and Dr. Richard LudwickAgreement with Pontifical University of Mexico

On Oct. 6, Dr. Richard L. Ludwick, president of the University of St. Thomas, formalized a new sister university agreement with the Pontifical University of Mexico’s Rector, Fr. Alberto Anguiano.  “The driving force behind this initiative is the director of the Semillero Center, Associate Professor Fr. Dempsey Acosta,” Dr. Hans Stockton, associate vice president for International Relations and Engagement, said.  “The first phase of this agreement will grant new access for graduates of UST’s Semillero Center MA programs to the Ecclesiastical Diploma in Pastoral Theology from the Pontifical Dicastery of Education.  Access to this diploma provides an incredible incentive for learners throughout the Spanish-speaking world to pursue one of the UST Semillero Center’s two MA programs.”

Agreement with John Paul II Junior College (Belize)

In mid-October, UST formalized an agreement with John Paul II Junior College (Belize) in which Belizean students will enroll in online associate degree courses taught by UST’s Kolbe School of Innovation and transfer these courses into their own degree programs at home.  Through this partnership, John Paul II Junior College is now able to prepare their students to flourish in careers in networking and cybersecurity.  The first cohort of five Belizean students enrolled Kolbe classes this fall. Spearheaded by Dr. Mark Amelang, assistant professor of Business and chair of the General Business Program in the Kolbe School, this project demonstrates another inspirational intersection of UST’s Catholic mission and workforce preparation.

Dr. Richard Ludwick and Consul General of Mexico, The Honorable María Elena Orantes.UST welcomes Consul General of Mexico

On Oct. 12, Dr. Ludwick welcomed the Consul General of Mexico, The Honorable María Elena Orantes, to campus to discuss the university’s longstanding collaborations with the consulate and in Mexico on behalf of Mexican and Mexican - American students.  UST has partnered with the consulate in programs related to laptop computer donations to Celts, internships at the consulate, lectures about US-Mexico relations, and scholarship opportunities through Mexico’s government-sponsored scholarships.  A key contributor to this relationship has been Dr. Ulyses Balderas, associate professor of International Studies.

L – R:  Dr. Yao-Yuan Yeh, Mr. Rocky Lai, Dr. L, TECO Director General Yvonne Hsiao, TECO Director Andrea Yang, Hans Stockton, TECO Director Sean WeiUST welcomes Director General of the Taipei Economic & Cultural Office

The following week, Dr. Ludwick received Ms. Yvonne Hsiao, director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston.  Grants from Taiwan’s ministries of Foreign Affairs and Education enabled the launch of UST’s Taiwan Studies Program in 2017 and Mandarin Center in collaboration with Wenzao Ursuline University in 2020.  Under the new leadership of Dr. Yao-Yuan Yeh, professor and chair of International Studies and director of UST’s Taiwan outreach, UST has become one of the most active hubs for US - Taiwan scholarly and student exchange in the American southwest.

UST pursues Exchange Agreements in India, Italy, Mexico, South Korea, Spain & Taiwan

Negotiations for new academic and student exchange agreements with universities and colleges in India, Italy, Mexico, South Korea, Spain, and Taiwan were underway in October and are expected to bear fruit by the end of November.  Once concluded, these new sister institutions will provide additional student and scholar exchange opportunities and avenues to produce curricular and degree pathways to UST for students from these sister schools.