By Kate O’Neill
Universidad de los Andes in Colombia invited UC Santa Cruz and Purdue University to participate in a grant proposal and were awarded joint funding for the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund grant to support undergraduate student international research internships. The grant will fund two Colombian students for a research internship at both UC Santa Cruz and Purdue and will fund one student from both UC Santa Cruz and Purdue to Colombia for an internship.
The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund is a public-private sector partnership between the U.S. Department of State, Partners of the Americas, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators. The grants dispersed by the fund fuel university partnerships to enhance student exchange and training programs throughout the Americas.
“This project supports meaningful international collaboration, and provides students with the opportunity to consider the important relationships between design and research from global perspectives,” said Angus Forbes, assistant professor of Computational Media.
UC Santa Cruz will host two Colombian undergraduate students during winter 2020 who will spend one quarter working at the Creative Coding Lab under the guidance of assistant professor Angus Forbes. Universidad de los Andes will host one student from UC Santa Cruz during summer 2020. In Colombia, UC Santa Cruz students will work at the School of Architecture and Design under the direction of professors Andrés Burbano and Hernando Barragán.
UC Santa Cruz and Universidad de los Andes hope to formalize a student exchange as an outcome of this grant funding. Currently, UC Santa Cruz does not have any formal partnerships in Colombia, so this would be the first to develop between UCSC and a university in the country.
With the addition of the international research internship exchange program, UC Santa Cruz has expanded its growing list of study and research abroad opportunities available to students. Research collaborations like this empower students to gain academic and career-focused international experiences during their studies at UC Santa Cruz. Collaborations such as the one established by Forbes, are integral to growing the institution’s international partnerships and global reach.