Campus: San Diego State University -- May 19, 2004

Sempra Energy Sponsors Baja California's Future Business Leaders at SDSU

Innovative Leadership Program will support and encourage SDSU international business majors from Baja California cities.

SAN DIEGO, May 19, 2004 -- Sempra Energy will sponsor an innovative program at San Diego State University to identify and support Baja California’s future business leaders. The International Business Leadership Program, could sponsor as many as 43 students over a four-year period with grants from Sempra Energy that could total approximately $500,000 to help SDSU international business majors from Tijuana, Ensenada, Rosarito, Mexicali and Tecate pay for tuition, living expenses, books, a summer camp, mentors and internships.

“This is an incredible gift that will help us prepare future business leaders in Baja California,” said Steven Sacco, chair of SDSU’s international business major. The students will be selected based on their academic qualifications, career goals and demonstrated leadership skills.

A leader in transnational degree programs, SDSU offers MEXUS, in which students spend two years at the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC) or Centro de Enseñanza Técnica
y Superior (CETYS) in Baja California and two years at SDSU. Since MEXUS was launched ten
years ago, more programs have been added such as CaMexUS with schools in Mexico and Canada, and most recently TransAmerica, with Mexico and Chile.

“We were very impressed by MEXUS and want to provide opportunities for Baja California students who have exhibited leadership skills and an interest in international business, to benefit from this innovative program during their junior and senior years in college,” said Sempra Energy International President, George Liparidis. “Our partnership with SDSU reflects Sempra Energy’s support of future leaders of the region. ”

To ensure success, each Sempra Energy international scholar will be assigned two mentors, one who is an upper division international business student, and the other a graduate of SDSU’s international business program.

Dean Gail Naughton of the SDSU College of Business said “this partnership is a great fit because Sempra Energy recently ranked among the top five on Fortune magazine's yearly list of America's 50 Best Companies for Minorities. We not only educate a diverse student body, but many of our students are the first in their families to attend college.”

“This program will give more students the opportunity to earn this valuable degree,” added
Paul Wong, dean of the SDSU College of Arts and Letters, which co-sponsors the international business major with SDSU’s College of Business. “The international business program’s success lies in the combination of rigorous language and regional studies courses offered by the College of Arts and Letters, balanced with essential business courses in a variety of disciplines offered by the College of Business,” he added.

The international business major at SDSU enrolls approximately 750 students and is among the largest undergraduate programs of its kind in the country. Ranked #11 by U.S. News & World Report, it operates under the auspices of SDSU’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER). The center is currently funded in part by $1.5 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Education.

When applications for the fall semester of 2005 go out in August, two respected business leaders from Baja California will be added to the application review team. President of “DEITAC”, an organization in Tijuana dedicated to industrial development and promotion, Fernando Cervantes Condé and Jonathan Díaz Castro, director of the school-to-work committee of “CDEM”, the economic development chamber of Mexicali, are both looking forward to joining the scholarship award selection process.

In addition, they’ll be selecting candidates to participate in a one-week summer international business camp, which will be held in 2005 at SDSU for 15 Baja California high school students. The students will take a one-week intensive class followed by a six-week paid internship position with a company working in the international arena.

College students from Baja California who are interested in applying for SDSU’s International Business Leadership Program for their junior or senior years in college and students in “preparatoria” interested in applying for GlobalBiz 2005, should contact: Patricia Torgerson, academic coordinator, at

“During recent years, we’ve seen interest in international studies increase, due to the effects of globalization, around the world. Universities find it imperative that their students understand other cultures if they are to develop leadership and decision-making abilities. Universities need to broaden opportunities for more students to participate in international experiences but resources are limited. On behalf of young students, we appreciate Sempra Energy’s efforts and partnership in preparing future leaders,” noted Frank Villalba, Director of Business Studies at CETYS University.

More information on the International Business Major at SDSU can be found at

Contact: Shelley Herron, 619/594-4501,

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