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Professor Ileana Vargas Jimenez, dean of the College of Education at Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica (UNA), will be welcomed as a guest lecturer by Auburn University's College of Education on Wednesday, Oct. 1.
Jimenez's visit stems from a collaborative academic and research partnership formed by the colleges last year for the purpose of faculty exchanges, doctoral program development, mutual program enrichment, joint research projects and the enhancement of Auburn's outreach and research activities.
Jimenez will address the topic of Costa Rican education in a 10:30 a.m. lecture in Room 2225 of the Auburn University Student Center. The event is open to AU faculty and students, as well as the general public. She will discuss the structure of Costa Rica's educational system, as well as the factors that have led to the nation having one of the highest literacy rates in the world (94.9 percent, according to the United Nations Development Programme Report of 2007-08).
Jimenez will be joined on her visit by two fellow UNA faculty members -- Dr. Carlos Alvarez, director of International Affairs, and Jorge Salazar, professor of health.
UNA, Costa Rica's national university and its second-largest institution of higher learning, compares to Auburn with regard to its focus on research and scholarly outreach in education, engineering and agriculture. Felipe Araya, a UNA faculty member and Auburn University doctoral student in exercise physiology, proved instrumental in the development of the academic and research partnership finalized in June 2007.
The agreement enabled the formation of individual research relationships from multiple departments within the College of Education. Faculty members in the Department of Educational Foundations, Leadership and Technology and the Department of Kinesiology have already developed close ties with UNA. Among those who have already served as lecturers or consultants to UNA are Dr. Jose Llanes, head of the Department of Educational Foundations, Leadership and Technology, Dr. Mary Rudisill, Wayne T. Smith distinguished professor and head of the Department of Kinesiology, and Dr. Peter Grandjean, director of the TigerFit program.
While AU College of Education faculty members have formed a strong connection to Costa Rica, students have a similar opportunity. The College of Education offers study abroad opportunities in Costa Rica in the form of semester-long teacher education international internships through the Consortium of Overseas Student Teaching (COST) and short-term, course-based service-learning placements.
Last Updated: Jun 17, 2011