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SU delegation opens dialogue with Brazil

7/18/2012

SU group meets in Brazil to investigate educational opportunities

A delegation from Southern University, led by Chancellor Dr. James L. Llorens, recently went to Brazil to explore opportunities and establish a "memorandum of understanding" with two universities.

The delegation included: Llorens; Dr. Barbara W. Carpenter, Dean of International and Continuing Education; Dr. Donald Andrews, Dean of the College of Business; Dr. Ashagre Yigletu, Associate Dean of the COB and MBA Director; Louis Henry, President and CEO, Franchise Food Systems of Minnesota; Caranza J. (C.J.) Guidry, CEO, Rover Services of Baton Rouge; Agnes Andrews, owner, All-State Insurance Company; and Glenda D. Llorens, former businesswoman and wife of the Chancellor.

The opportunity to network with colleagues in Brazil originated during an earlier visit by Dr. Andrews through an educational tour with Indiana University in 2011. Southern's delegation was successful in signing formal agreements with the Rio de Janeiro State University in Rio de Janeiro and with Zumbi dos Palmares University of Citizenship in Sao Paulo. 

Rio de Janeiro State University is one of the largest universities in Rio de Janeiro and has an enrollment of approximately 23,000 students.  The university has 40 post-graduate programs, 38 master degree programs, two professional master degree programs and 23 doctorate degree programs.  In addition to the schools of law and medical sciences, the university promotes programs in humanities and social sciences, biomedical sciences, mathematics and computer and natural science. 

Zumbi dos Palmares University of Citizenship is the first university in Latin America that was founded for black students.  The university was founded in 2004 by its current president, Jose Vicente, and provides a unique program which includes evening and weekend courses for working Brazilian students. 

The university offers four-year degrees in business administration, with plans to add programs in history, literature, and education.  The history and literature programs will emphasize African-Brazilian culture.  Given the absence of black role models in Brazil, the university leadership at Zumbi dos Palmares University has looked to the historically black colleges and universities in the United States for inspiration and leadership.

The Southern partnership includes faculty and student exchange programs; shared research interests; and the exploration of possible opportunities for enhancing entrepreneurial activities between small businesses of both countries.  While in Brazil, the SUBR delegation met with various civic and community leaders as well as state governmental officials in Rio Janeiro and Sao Paulo. 

A highlight of the visit included presentations by students enrolled in the affirmative action /quota system for higher education in which Black Brazilians are afforded the opportunity to attend colleges with governmental assistance. With 44 percent of the country's 170 million people claiming African descent, Brazil has the world's second-largest black population after Nigeria.

There are large numbers of students who are unable to attend colleges in Brazil due to space limitations.  It is hoped that the partnerships between SUBR and the State University of Rio Janeiro and the partnership between Zumbi dos Palmares University will open the doors for mutual cultural understanding and increased student and faculty exchanges between universities. 

Henry and Guidry, both SU financial supporters, funded the educational collaboration.

To view an album from the trip, please to the SUBR Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Southern-University-and-AM-College-Baton-Rouge-LA/116700329566?ref=hl