CSU Stanislaus -- September 15, 2003
Azores Meeting Paves Way For CSU Stanislaus Exchange Program
California State University, Stanislaus students and faculty may soon be
participating in an exchange program with the University of the Azores in Portugal.
Linda Bunney-Sarhad, Director of the Office of Global Affairs, represented CSU
Stanislaus at an August meeting held in Ponta Delgada on Sao Miguel Island in the
Azores, to discuss plans for research and educational and cultural exchanges that
would involve five universities.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agriculture Service provided funds
for the meeting involving five American university representatives, five governmental
and Congressional staff members, and Azorean government and education leaders. The
other American universities include Auburn University, University of Hawaii,
Mississippi State University, and Stephen F. Austin University in Texas.
A historic treaty agreement between the United States and Portugal that was renewed
in 1995 to allow for use of Lajes airbase on the mid-Atlantic Azorean island of
Terceira included a provision to promote economic and social development in the
islands. That development is to be accomplished through cooperative research,
education, and cultural activities with the Azores.
Because more than 750,000 people of Azorean heritage call the United States home,
research collaborations and education programs developed in conjunction with
institutions in the Azores are expected to be beneficial to both countries. The
three counties surrounding CSU Stanislaus (Merced, Stanislaus, San Joaquin) have
an Azorean population of around 32,200.
To help carry out that economic and social development mission, the group of American
universities that include CSU Stanislaus have teamed with the University of the
Azores to form the Azores Collaborative Research Education Group (ACREG). The
coalition is expected to strengthen the cultural ties between Portugal and the
Portuguese-American community in the U.S. through the exchange of students and
faculty who can carry out educational activities and scientific research.
"The Portuguese community has been very supportive of and interested in our efforts
to strengthen ties with the Azores," Bunney-Sarhad said. "The ACREG project will
seek both to assist the development of the Azores and to enhance our students'
knowledge about this strategic region."
Bunney-Sarhad said CSU Stanislaus faculty will have the opportunity to join research
teams from other colleges and universities and to participate in teacher exchanges.
She said preliminary indications are that the Foreign Agricultural Service will fund
the program so that exchange programs can get started within the next two years.
Contact: Don Hansen (209) 667-3997