UST President Richard Ludwick Visits with Mexican Consul General Kerber to Forge Partnership Alliances
One of the four pillars of the University of St. Thomas-Houston's new strategic visioning plan, "Greater Things," is strengthening its global relationships. Recently, UST created the Office of International Relations and Engagement to enhance its partnership alliances worldwide. UST appointed Dr. Hans Stockton, former director of its Center for International Studies as its associate vice president for International Relations and Engagement.
"UST has long had a relationship with Houston's Consular Corps, which provides an invaluable network of ministries of foreign affairs, education, and commerce at the consulates of more than 90 countries," Stockton said. "Each represents opportunities for mutual support, programming, grant prospects, and student services."
One of the initial visits for UST President Dr. Richard Ludwick was with the Consulate General of Mexico, The Honorable Alicia Guadalupe Kerber Palma, to discuss a wide range of ongoing and potential projects.
Deepening ties between UST, a Hispanic Serving Institution, and the Mexican Consulate, the largest Consulate in Houston, will create various mutually beneficial opportunities for education and community engagement.
"Thanks to the long-standing efforts to building bridges with Houston's Mexican-American community by Associate Professor of International Studies and Director of the Latin American Studies Program Dr. Ulyses Balderas, the doorway to close relations has been open for many years," Stockton said. "With the renewed focus on global impact and awareness that stem from the strategic vision, Greater Things, we look forward to accelerating such relationships."
Some examples of successful engagement with Mexico include:
- The Consulate will provide up to 50 laptops to Celts in need during an event on Nov. 6, 2022, at the Consulate that will feature a lecture by the Consul General to UST's Latin American Studies Program on "Diplomatic and Consular Law."
- A newly proposed project involves UST developing new pathways to assist the Consulate in educating immigrants about the college application and admissions process, particularly pathways to education at UST.
- The Consulate also supported the Food Security course taught by Dr. Ulyses Balderas (International Studies) and Dr. Jo Meier-Marquis (Psychology) last summer.
- Plans are in the works for the Department of International Studies & Modern Languages to host a visiting faculty member in fall 2023 from UST's newest Mexican sister school, UPAEP, in Puebla, Mexico.
According to Balderas, "UST students have already benefited from different programs sponsored by the Mexican Consulate including the Mentorship program for Migrant Women.”
In addition to leveraging international partnerships, the three other pillars in UST’s “Greater Things” plan are:
1) UST will be a model for Catholic Higher education and considered one of the top Catholic universities in the country
2) UST will be a premier place and an integral part of our greater Houston community
3) UST will be financially stable