The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund has selected Polk State College and Mexico’s Instituto Tecnológico de Merida (ITM) to receive a grant from the U.S-Mexico Innovation Fund Competition for Financial Inclusion and Agricultural Sustainability for Inequality Reduction.
Polk State and ITM have partnered to prepare business management students to become business leaders and entrepreneurs in today’s shifting political and economic landscape. In two, week-long training sessions at Polk State and ITM, students will work with local businesses to complete project-based learning activities focused on comparative analyses leading to reduced inequality, increased financial inclusion, and enhanced cross-cultural understanding.
“We encourage our students to take advantage of every opportunity to learn about and to understand different cultures, environments, and ways to communicate to be most effective and have the greatest opportunity for success.”
Dr. Angela Garcia Falconetti
President, Polk State College
“As Polk County’s largest institution of higher education, Polk State serves an increasingly diverse student population,” said Dr. Angela Garcia Falconetti, President of Polk State College.
“We recognize that our graduates must be prepared to work and thrive in an economy that has global reach, and we encourage our students to take advantage of every opportunity to learn about and to understand different cultures, environments, and ways to communicate to be most effective and have the greatest opportunity for success.”
The Innovation Fund supports the U.S. Department of State’s hemispheric-wide education initiative, 100,000 Strong in the Americas, to increase partnerships between higher-education institutions in the U.S. and the rest of the Western Hemisphere to provide students with access to new models of academic exchange and training programs. The Innovation Fund inspires U.S. universities and colleges to partner with higher education institutions in Latin America to develop partnerships and build capacity.
The proposal from Polk State and ITM, “International Business Study Abroad Alliance,” reflects the goals of this Innovation Fund grant competition to create partnerships between Mexico and the United States that will provide students with new opportunities to work in teams through academic exchanges and gain technical skills in areas, such as financial inclusion, economic development, agricultural sustainability, and inequality reduction.
The Innovation Fund project will allow both institutions to increase the number and diversity of students participating in study abroad experiences to reduce inequality in learning opportunities.
“The International Business Study Abroad Alliance provides the opportunity for Polk State College and Instituto Tecnologico de Merida to develop a strong partnership that offers study abroad and internship opportunities for students,” said Dr. Herb Nold, Polk State Professor of Business.
“Thirty-two low-income and minority students from both schools will have the opportunity to participate in a short-term exchange and training program focused on business management and administration.”
“The International Business Study Abroad Alliance provides the opportunity for Polk State College and Instituto Tecnologico de Merida to develop a strong partnership that offers study abroad and internship opportunities for students.”
Dr. Herb Nold
Professor of Business, Polk State College
Polk State students who are interested in this opportunity should email Dr. Nold at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students will be exposed to native Spanish or English language, Mexican or American culture, and business and administrative-technical training through internships and work-based learning experiences in Mexican or American businesses.
“This partnership provides a unique opportunity for students to work on projects that may result in a direct positive economic impact in their communities,” said Dr. Herbert De Jesus Diaz, Director of Instituto Tecnologico de Merida.
“We are thrilled to be a 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund grant awardee and we are grateful to the Partners of the Americas for their consideration and support,” President Falconetti said. “We have also benefitted from the support of the Central Florida Development Council and Port Tampa Bay, which have encouraged our students and institution to explore opportunities outside of our community. We are also most appreciative of our partnership with Instituto Tecnologico de Merida, for without them, this project would not be possible.”