Pima awarded 100K Strong grant


Pima Community College has been awarded a grant to help students study abroad at the Instituto Tecnológico de Hermosillo (ITH).

The grant is provided by 100,000 Strong in the U.S., an innovation fund that seeks to “fuel strategic new partnerships among higher education institutions in the United States and the rest of the Western Hemisphere to create innovative and sustainable student exchange and training programs,” according to the Grant.

Six students will be chosen to study theoretical and proven practices in the field of clean energy and sustainability from March 9-18. During their stay, the students will have the opportunity to launch a learning campaign to educate the community on energy-saving tools.

Pima also will recieve six ITH students who will be studying similar topics and launching campaigns here in Tucson.

“We hope that PCC students and teachers can learn and work together with the ITH,” said Rebecca Rivera-Penunuri, mobility and student exchange coordinator for ITH. “We hope that this will be the beginning of a long and lasting alliance.”

The program will cover students’ travel, accommodations, in-country transportation and most meal expenses. PCC students will be housed in rooms at the Eventos Partenon, a hotel near the ITH campus.

“I’m really excited at the opportunity to offer Pima students the experience of studying abroad,” said Daisy Rodriguez Pitel, Pima’s associate director of global engagement and student services. “It would be great if Pima could someday have their own study abroad office where we offer 30 different opportunities every year across the globe.”

During the fall 2017 semester, Pima had 230 full-time international students go abroad.

“My experience in China was amazing,” said Haven Scheiderer, a Pima student who spent a semester in Zhuhai, China. “I met so many wonderful people, learned a lot about the language and culture, tried new foods, saw new places, and studying abroad grew my interest in learning the language. I hope one day to become fluent.”

The program was “the experience of a lifetime,” said Cheryl Sanchez, a general education major whose only complaint was that her stay was too short.

“Everyone should travel to inner-Mexico. It was safe, the city was clean and the people make you feel warm and welcomed,” she said.

“Experiencing first-hand how different cultures live and work isn’t just exciting, it can also help everyone solve issues facing society,” said Michael Esser, the teacher who will accompany the students to Hermosillo. “Governments and cultures often have different approaches to climate change so sharing ideas and best practices makes sense. Plus, I hear Hermosillo has an entire plaza of Sonoran dog vendors, 24/7.”

If you are interested in joining a study abroad program, go to Pima’s study abroad page at www.pima.edu/current-students/advising/study-abroad.html. Students have access to many different programs, including some offered through University of Arizona, Arizona State University or Northern Arizona University.

You also can contact the West Campus Center for International Education and Engagement at international@pima.edu.

Photos courtesy of Rebeca Rivera-Penunuri, A statue of a deer on ITH’s campus adorns an outdoor lawn for students to enjoy.

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