College Wins Innovation Fund Grant

K. Patricia Bouweraerts
SENATI Guest Luncheon Image

Ricardo Angulo, Servicio Nacional de Adiestramiento de Trabajo Industrial (SENATI), third from right, is treated to a tour and lunch with TMCC faculty and administrators.

The U.S. Department of State, Embassy of Peru, Partners of the Americas, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators, have announced the latest Innovation Fund grant-winning teams sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, SEMPRA Energy and CAF: the Development Bank of Latin America.

Truckee Meadows Community College has been selected as a winning institution, and will create the TMCC-SENATI International Student Exchange Program in partnership with Servicio Nacional de Adiestramiento de Trabajo Industrial (SENATI) in Lima, Peru.

With support from public-private sector collaboration, this Innovation Fund grant competition will facilitate 13 new higher education partnerships designed exclusively for universities and colleges in the United States, and institutions in Peru. TMCC is the only two-year institution selected for the grant program, and is the only college from the state of Nevada.

“I enthusiastically believe that international students help local students gain global perspectives and cultural intelligence, and provide an element necessary to campus excellence,” says TMCC President Karin Hilgersom, PhD.

Innovation Fund grant awards are $25,000 each, with grant-winning teams contributing additional resources on average one-and-a-half times more, to leverage the grant and implement new student exchange programs between the U.S. and in the rest of the Western Hemisphere.

Grant-winning teams will create new student exchange and training opportunities in the fields of environmental science, water resource management, science, engineering, and mathematics.

“TMCC had a great opportunity to take part in the Governor’s Trade Mission last summer, which helped make valuable connections to partner with SENATI Peruvian technical colleges,” Hilgersom added. “This international grant provides funding for student and faculty exchanges. Although the grant is relatively small, it marks the start of strategic international connections that can deepen our knowledge of worldwide educational best.”

The new partnership between TMCC and SENATI will allow four students and one faculty member from SENATI to participate in a month-long customized training program provided by TMCC’s Applied Technology Center Staff in the summer of 2018. TMCC will draw on its existing connections to Panasonic Energy of North America and TESLA, Inc. to equip students with advanced manufacturing skills provided in the Panasonic Preferred Pathway (P3) course modules. The partnership between TMCC and SENATI will give opportunities to study abroad to underrepresented students; such as first-generation, low-income, minority, and underserved populations.

The 27 higher education partnerships between Peru and the United States announced this week will provide groundbreaking exchange programs that will give students opportunities to work on teams in both countries, gain technical and linguistic skills, and become more competent for today’s global workforce. Peru will enter the top five countries in this hemispheric-wide signature education initiative, with a total of 20 Innovation Fund grant-winning teams between Peru and the United States since January 2014. To date, a total of 15 U.S. states and eight Peruvian states will benefit from Innovation Fund grant partnerships.

Since January 2014, the Innovation Fund has awarded 147 grants to teams of 288 higher education institutions from 25 countries.