Hands Across the Educational Borders: UC Davis Part of Graduate Student Exchange Program Between Brazil and United States
May 12, 2011
Jorge Almeida Guimarães, president of CAPES, Ministry of Education, will visit the UC Davis campus on Monday, May 23.
DAVIS--A distinguished Brazilian whose name is synonymous with higher education and furthering international cooperation in science and technology will visit the University of California, Davis campus Monday, May 23, to explain a graduate student exchange program between Brazil and UC Davis and to meet with Chancellor Linda Katehi and other university officials.
Jorge Almeida Guimarães, president of the Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES), Ministry of Education, will discuss the program at a public seminar from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m., in the Institute of Governmental Affairs (IGA) Reading Room (Room 360), Shields Library.
In his talk, “CAPES and Higher Education in Brazil,” he will also outline an agreement inked between Brazil and the United States when President Obama visited Brazil in March. The agreement, signed by Guimarães on behalf of Brazil and by U.S. Ambassador Thomas Shannon on behalf of the National Science Foundation (NSF), Washington, D.C., involves an exchange of students and scholars between the two countries.
Guimarães, president of CAPES since 2004, will discuss the organization’s main activities and show the increasing importance of international cooperation to promote high-level study among international centers of excellence.
The seminar, co-sponsored by the University Outreach and International Programs and the Department of Entomology, is free to the campus community and will be podcast.
Hosting the top official will be chemical ecologist/professor Walter Leal of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, who began developing a UC Davis-Brazilian exchange program several years ago. Leal will introduce Guimarães.
Host Walter Leal
A daylong series of 10 meetings is planned with UC Davis officials and the Brazilian consulate in San Francisco. The UC Davis delegation includes Chancellor Katehi; Vice Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Ralph Hexter; Vice Provost Bill Lacy and Associate Vice Provost Adrienne Martin, University Outreach and International Programs; Dean Jeffery Gibeling of Graduate Studies; and Robert Newcomb, assistant professor of Luso-Brazilian Studies, among others.
The meetings will include dignitaries Ambassador Bernardo Pericás Neto, Consul Consulate General of Brazil-San Francisco, Deputy Consul General Evaldo Freire, and coordinator Clelia Piragibe of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Brazil.
Also planned is a hourlong meeting with faculty, students and scholars with Brazilian linkages.
Guimarães’ visit will conclude with a dinner for UC Davis and Brazilian officilas at a local restaurant.
“CAPES is responsible for promoting and evaluating the entire graduate system of education in Brazil,” said Leal, a native of Brazil. “It supports many programs to improve quality in higher education and to promote research in science and technology in the country.”
“CAPES has no equivalent in the United States, as it is in charge of funding graduate education through scholarship and evaluating the program,” Leal said.
NSF is an independent U.S. government agency responsible for promoting science and engineering through research programs and education projects.
The CAPES/NSF agreement is aimed at promoting “development in the full range of scholarly disciplines in both countries and to develop activities in partnership for the Dimensions of Biodiversity program of research and associated infrastructure,” according to the agreement.
Its objectives include deepening the cooperation among Brazilian and U.S. academics and researchers to the benefit of the scholarly and scientific communities of both countries. Activities include exchange of students; exchange of scientists and scholars; joint research projects; university partnerships; seminars, workshops and conferences; and digitization of biological collections.
Leal, active in promoting student exchange programs, is currently involved with an undergraduate student program involving UC Davis, Pennsylvania State and two Brazilian universities, University of Sao Paulo and Federal University of Parana. The program is funded by CAPES and the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), Washington, D.C.
Guimarães holds a doctorate in biochemistry from Escola Paulista de Medicina in Brazil and has worked in academia in both Brazil and the United States. He served as a post-doctoral fellow in the United States with the National Institute of Health and is a top level researcher of CNPq, National Council for Scientific and Technological Development.
In addition, he has held teaching and research professorships in several universities in Brazil, including the Federal Universities of Rio de Janeiro, Federal Fluminense, and Rio Grande do Sul. He has supervised 30 master and doctoral students, mostly in the pharmacological biochemistry area, and authored more than 130 peer-reviewed publications.
In the United States, Guimarães was a visiting research fellow at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit; Cornell University Medical Center, New York City; and at the University of Arizona, Tucson.
Guimarães has held senior management positions in the science and technology, including scientific director of CNPq, national director and binational director Brazil-Argentina Biotechnology Center of Rio Grande do Sul. He chaired the Federal Secretariat for Policy Strategies and Scientific Development of Ministry of Science and Technology (MCT) and served two terms as president of the Brazilian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
An elected member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and the recipient of the Great Cross of the Order of Scientific Merit, Guimarães is a founding member and former vice president of Federation of Societies of Experimental Biology. He presided over the Technical National Bio-security Committee CTNBio (MCT)
For more information on the Brazilian visit, contact Parvin Damania, firstname.lastname@example.org, or (530-754-9707) of University Outreach and International Programs.
--Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology
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