UDLAP Faculty Member is Named Editorial Committee Member of an Asian Architectural Magazine

Dr. Iván Oropeza Pérez, Research and Graduate Coordinator at Universidad de las Américas Puebla, was named member of the editorial committee of Architecture and Design Review, a magazine based in Singapore. He is the only Latin-American member of this committee.

“Thanks to a direct proposal from the Architecture and Design Review magazine, I was invited to participate in the editorial committee, informing me of my obligations and rights. After some negotiation, we agreed that on August 2019 I would become a member of the editorial committee,” explained during an interview the UDLAP faculty member.

Architecture and Design Review is an open access magazine edited in English. It is about architecture, design, urban planning, urban design, and sustainable architecture. “It is published every three months, with at least one special issue per year about a specific topic,” commented Dr. Oropeza. He also highlighted that the magazine is based in Singapore wishing to be a space of international collaboration, with an editorial committee made up of people from Algeria, Malaysia, Turkey, Iran, India, the United States, the UAE, and Spain.

The main responsibilities for the UDLAP faculty member are to maintain the quality of the magazine and to review all articles to guarantee their merit to be published. “There are magazines such as these everywhere in the world, but the idea is to be of good quality, be read more widely, and to maintain its impact, which in the end is the objective of science” he affirmed.

On the other hand, he commented: “I am committed to submit a work on my research topic by next year at the latest, and to participate actively in the international meetings that they have on different proposals to improve the quality of the magazine”.

Finally, regarding the benefits obtained for teaching, he expressed that professors must seek research that trickles down to the students, and that one of the reasons why universities like UDLAP remain in the vanguard and maintain their quality is that the knowledge offered to students is not only basic information but also new one; and in this case being part of the committee has advantages because it gives him access to everything that is new in real time and the experience acquired is very extensive.

UDLAP Graduate Obtains the Charles Darwin Award in Psychology

Havana, Cuba. Angélica Castro Méndez, a recent graduate from Universidad de las Américas Puebla, presented her thesis on metabolic syndrome before the experimental psychology group of the Inter American Society of Psychology (ISP), earning the Charles Darwin Award for young researchers in experimental and compared psychology.

A few months ago, the UDLAP graduate went to San Diego, California to present the first advances of her thesis, about morphological changes in different parts of the brain due to metabolic syndrome in animals, before the world’s most important congress on neuroscience. Then she attended the XXVII Interamerican Society of Psychology congress to present the second part of her project, which will be transcendental due to the results.

“We analyzed the CA1 hippocampus, dentate gyrus and prefrontal cortex layer 3 for their implication in memory, attention, and decision-making. We found that there is a decrease in arborization of the dendritic length when comparing obese and healthy [animal models],” explained Angélica Castro, who added that samples were taken of three strains: one diabetic and obese, the other with predisposition to both syndromes, and one that was relatively healthy.

With this project, the UDLAP Honor’s Program graduate earned the Charles Darwin Award by demonstrating that there is cognitive damage in memory, attention, and decision-making deficiency in living beings who are obese, an important result for the world. “I am very happy, satisfied and proud, as well as thankful to all the people who have been involved and have supported my project”, expressed the former UDLAP Clinical Psychology student.

This award was given during the XXVII ISP Congress, where Castro Méndez gave a ten-minute presentation before a jury of international members who gave their verdict due to the validity and importance that it has for the psychology field. Besides the award, this encounter with colleagues allowed her to meet people from all over the world and propose different projects. “Among the people I met were several doctors and post-docs. For example, I met a student of neuropsychology from Brazil and several presenters from Chile. This created an environment of collaboration that may lead to a stay in their labs or to carry out joint research”, she said.

It is important to mention that this work is a team effort with noted researchers like Dr. Rubén Vásquez-Roque and Dr. Julio César Penagos Corzo, both UDLAP faculty. This is the second occasion that a graduate from Universidad de las Américas Puebla receives the Charles Darwin prize for young researchers. In 2017 Sofía Navarro Báez achieved it in the pre-graduate category for her work Mindfulness Effects in Amplitude and Latency of P1 During Affective Priming Tasks.

The Licenciatura in Nanotechnology and Molecular Engineering is Internationally Accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry

The Licenciatura in Nanotechnology and Molecular Engineering at Universidad de las Américas Puebla has been accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry. We are the only institution in the world to have received this accreditation for a nanotechnology program, confirming the top-level education that we provide, graduating young professionals who are prepared to face all types of challenges.

“This accreditation is an international recognition for the Licenciatura in Nanotechnology and Molecular Engineering; it was awarded by the Royal Society of Chemistry for five years,” commented during an interview Dr. Eugenio Sánchez Arreola, Academic Director for the Department of Chemical Biological Sciences at UDLAP. He explained that such accreditation is granted to universities that have programs with relevant areas of chemistry at the licenciatura or master’s level. “Only two institutions in Mexico are accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry; and UDLAP is the only one to receive this recognition for its nanotechnology program, which makes us the only program in the world to be accredited by this organization” added Dr. Sánchez.

For the Royal Society of Chemistry, one of the most important organizations in the field, to grant this award to Universidad de las Américas Puebla we had to meet high-quality standards in students, faculty, facilities, libraries, labs, information technology resources, and others. “We met the requirements by giving information regarding the study program, the way we teach classes and evaluate students, and the resources and infrastructure that we have,” explained the academic director.

Dr. Miguel Ángel Méndez Rojas, coordinator of the nanotechnology and molecular engineering program, and the person responsible for the accreditation process before the Royal Society of Chemistry, stated that the process was very rigorous and required the active work and collaboration of all members of the department for a period of six to eight months. Achieving this accreditation “is a recognition of the quality of the program, but mainly it allows us to access teaching and research resources through the Royal Society of Chemistry, which is one of the oldest and biggest scientific societies in the world. This accreditation will allow our students, after completing their licenciatura studies, to be accepted in the best graduate programs in the world.”

The Licenciatura in Nanotechnology and Molecular Engineering started in August 2006 and has 128 alumni in its nine generations, which makes it a pioneering program in Mexico and Latin America in this area. This accreditation reaffirms the university´s commitment to train young people who can propose innovative solutions to the needs of national and international industry and research centers.

UDLAP Faculty Members Participate in the Meeting of the Mexican Association of Professors of the German Language (AMPAL)

Ulrike Sperr and Patricia Lanners Kaminski, professors of the Languages Department at Universidad de las Américas Puebla, participated int he 14th Meeting of the Mexican Association of Professors of the German Language (AMPAL) at Universidad Autónoma de Chiapas (UNACH) in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, sharing their experience in teaching German.

 

In this edition, the Mexican Association of Professors of the German Language A.C., an NGO founded in 1992 to promote training and updating for German professors in Mexico, had as its main topic teaching German to children, young people, and adults in the digital era.  The UDLAP faculty members gave a lecture about the history of the Center for Language Learning (CAL), the use of apps, social networks, and websites for learning inside and outside the classroom.

 

“The lecture I gave with Patricia was on how German has been adapting to the new implications of the digital era.  I spoke about the history and purpose of the Center for Language Learning (CAL)” said professor Sperr who also remembered how CAL has evolved through the years in the way it teaches and works.

 

For her part, professor Lanners explained in this lecture the use of apps and how she has worked with them during her teaching career. “For example, we shared and showed our students how we use Blackboard, social networks and other apps, both inside the classroom and out.  Through social networks we see how to ask something or say something in specific dates, we talk about topics we saw in class and thus make them learn outside the classroom,” she added.

 

Professor Sperr, who has been a member of AMPAL for 18 years, and which she led for a time, also delivered a second lecture related to her research topics, but on this occasion it was about a case study on the difficulty of German for children who grow up bilingual in a Mexican environment.

 

Finally, professor Lanners expressed that these meetings are very important in the academic professional formation. “Academic meetings are really important. I usually go to several during the year, since it is a space to exchange ideas, learn new things or see if what you are doing is correct or not, and so you build a network with people who do the same thing that you do. That is priceless”.

 

The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund Announces New Grant Winners for Mexican and United States Institutions

The United States State Department, The United States Embassy in Mexico City, Partners of the Americas, and the Mary Street Jenkins Foundations announced the grant winners for the most recent Innovation Fund contest.

 

The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund is the flagship educational initiative of the American State Department in the western hemisphere. Its purpose is to maximize the benefits of the commitment made by the public and private sectors, regional governments, and higher education networks to increase academic mobility, student exchanges, training programs, strengthen regional cooperation in education, and foster the development of the work force in the American continent.

 

The Innovation Fund inspires universities and institutions in the United States to associate with higher education institutions in Latin America and create new exchange and training opportunities. The associations create links and provide students with vital access to new training programs to work in teams, acquire technical and language skills, solve real world problems, and be better prepared for the modern work force.

 

From its start in January 2014, the Innovation Fund has awarded 211 grants to teams from 385 higher education institutions in 25 countries and 43 American states.  Mexico is the leading country in this initiative, forming dynamic alliances with American institutions and universities to give students access to academic exchange programs in both countries. To date, 19 Mexican states and 24 American states benefit from these associations.

 

The winners of this first contest sponsored by the Mary Street Jenkins Foundation are eight new associations between sixteen universities and colleges in the United States and higher education institutions in Mexico. These alliances will offer exchange and training programs to students from both countries in social sciences, humanities, archeology, anthropology, technology, and education.

 

John Creamer, the Business Attaché at the United States Embassy in Mexico, said that “education exchanges and academic mobility are a fundamental element of our bilateral relations, best expressed as a collaboration to finance programs such as the Fulbright-Garcia Robles Scholarship and Jóvenes en Acción. What makes 100,000 Strong in the Americas work so well is the dedication that American and Mexican institutions put in working together to benefit students and professors in both countries, as well as the donations from the private sector, such as the Mary Street Jenkins Foundation, to give them the resources to succeed.”

 

Roberto Jenkins De Landa, representing the Mary Street Jenkins Foundation, stated: “Our family has followed during generations what my grandfather, Don Guillermo Oscar Jenkins, entrusted us, which is to continue contributing to support education in Mexico. We are proud to have joined this public-private effort, led by the United States Government, to make possible these international education experiences for students and Mexicans, through the support of the Innovation Fund. We will continue our commitment to this effort.”

 

The Innovation Fund grants are normally USD$25,000 each to implement new exchange and training programs for students.

 

The Innovation Fund grants sponsored by the Mary Street Jenkins Foundation will go to: Georgia Gwinnett College, in Georgia, USA and Universidad Iberoamericana, in Mexico City, Mexico; Salem State University, in Massachusetts, USA and Universidad de Guanajuato, in Guanajuato, Mexico; State University of New York (SUNY) Broome Community College, in New York, USA and Universidad de Celaya, in Celaya, Mexico; University of Alabama, in Alabama, USA and Universidad de las Américas Puebla, in Puebla, Mexico; University of Arkansas, in Arkansas, USA and Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla, in Puebla, Mexico; University of Illinois at Chicago, in Illinois, USA and the Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, in Morelos, Mexico; University of New Mexico, in New Mexico, USA and Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, in Puebla, Mexico; University of Northern Iowa, in Iowa, USA and Universidad Marista de Mérida-Yucatán, in Yucatán, Mexico.

UDLAP Students Obtain First Place at Congress in London

  • At the 28th Edition of World Congress on Nursing Education & Research three research projects were presented.

Rosario Guadalupe Ramírez Machorro and María del Rosario Ramírez Machorro, sixth-semester students of the Licenciatura in Nursing at Universidad de las Américas Puebla, participated in the 28th Edition of the World Congress on Nursing Education & Research, held in London. They presented three research projects related to nursing, and one of them obtained first place.

 

“At this congress, representatives from several countries participated to discover advances in health practices, management, and education.  Doctors, nurses, health professionals, professors, and students participated,” explained the UDLAP student Rosario Guadalupe during an interview. She also commented that the countries that were represented in this congress were Spain, Saudi Arabia, Italy, New Zealand, and “us, as the only Mexican representatives.”

 

Likewise, she mentioned that to participate in this congress they had to meet certain requirements: 1) Be university students; 2) The research presented had to be their own, under the supervision of an academic director, who in this case were Dr. Corina Mariela Alba and professor María de las Mercedes Nuri Reyes; and 3) Send an abstract of the research in November. They were accepted to attend the congress in January.

 

Regarding the research project that won first place at the 28th Edition of World Congress on Nursing Education & Research, María del Rosario said that it´s entitled A Group of Common Interest. A new teaching method. “This research comprised a meeting of a group of students whose interest was based on a specific nursing topic, either a scientific article or a poster. We thoroughly discussed it under the supervision of two UDLAP faculty members who also led, improved, and moderated the information,” explained María del Rosario, who also stressed that the reason this research won first place at the congress was because it raised the question among the participants about how students attended these sessions voluntarily.

 

Finally, both UDLAP students said they are proud to have participated in this congress, mainly because they won first place with one of their posters and because they were the youngest participants at the event. “The other people who attended had master’s or doctoral degrees,” mentioned Rosario Guadalupe.

UDLAP Faculty Member Takes Her Knowledge to Russia

  • She participated in the Ninth Fire and Explosions Seminar.

Dr. Adriana Palacios Rosas, a research faculty member of the Department of Chemical, Food, and Environmental Engineering at Universidad de las Américas Puebla, was invited to participate in the Ninth Fire and Explosions Seminar in St. Petersburg, Russia.

 

“The meeting I attended was the Ninth Fire and Explosions Seminar in St. Petersburg, Russia. I gave a lecture, which they deemed relevant, entitled Industrial Fires and Nuclear Reactors in which I explained how those two topics are related,” the UDLAP faculty member commented during an interview.

 

Delving into this topic, Dr. Palacios Rosas explained that this is a preventive measure to avoid accidents at nuclear plants. “What happens in reactors is that when they begin to have problems, they generate large quantities of hydrogen within the reactor, causing the tanks that contain it to be unable to hold it and exploding, thus producing accidents as fires or dispersion of radioactive materials into the atmosphere. Taking this into account, this project suggests ventilating the hydrogen tanks in a controlled manner using torches and thus keeping the tanks from becoming saturated with gas and exploding.”

 

She stressed that this prevention measure has not been used.  “It is still being studied. We joined what we know about fires with what we know about nuclear reactors. We took advantage of this seminar to present the project; there were different comments, especially that this course of action would be very costly because before ventilating the tanks, the hydrogen would have to go through membranes to remove radioactive products, which is expensive,” she stated.

 

Finally, Dr. Palacios Rosas said that this seminar is held every three years.  “I received the invitation because I belong to the Combustion Institute, which is an international organization. To attend this meeting, I had to send my proposed topic a year ago. They accepted the project and I had to send a detailed article, which was reviewed and finally selected.”

UDLAP Is Accredited by the Royal Society of Biology

  • UDLAP is the only university in the continent to have a Biology program with an International Advanced Accreditation granted by the Royal Society of Biology.

 

 “The Honor’s program of the Licenciatura in Biology at Universidad de las Américas Puebla obtained, for five years, the Advanced International Accreditation by the Royal Society of Biology, starting in August 2018,” stated Dr. Martín Alejandro Serrano Meneses, a faculty member of the Department of Chemical-Biological Sciences at UDLAP.

 

Regarding the requirements to achieve this accreditation, Dr. Serrano Meneses said that they concentrate on four areas: “Achieving the academic excellence levels demanded by the Royal Society of Biology, which are measurable through the education given to students as well as through an evaluation of the practices that students do in the lab; showing that students develop in an environment conducive to research; demonstrating that students have the facilities needed for their training; and finally, considering that students have such skills as understanding of physics, chemistry, and math in a biological context.” Likewise, he stressed that “universities can obtain this accreditation by meeting top standards in education, infrastructure, and research production that are measureable and provable.”

 

Dr. Serrano remarked that Universidad de las Américas Puebla is the only university in the continent to have a licenciatura program with an advanced accreditation level. “Outside the United Kingdom, only UDLAP and the University of Ghana have an Advanced International Accreditation.”

 

He said that this accreditation means three things: first, it is a recognition of academic quality since it helps to identify the best practices of the university; second, it allows for better student recruitment; and third, the university can review the study programs in depth and receive constructive criticism from professionals to improve those licenciatura programs.

 

Finally, the UDLAP faculty member expressed that the advantage that students have when belonging to an institution with this accreditation is that they have better job opportunities once they graduate. “We live in a very competitive world, especially in the biology area, and students need to show evidence that they are graduating from a university that has the highest academic excellence standards.  One of the tangible elements is demonstrating the skills required to carry out cutting-edge research.  Another benefit is that their degree is recognized internationally by other universities. In addition, when students from the Honor’s Program in Biology graduate, they get one-year free membership to the Royal Society of Biology, which allows them exclusive access to Society events to meet biologists who are dedicated to promoting research and biology at an international level.”

 

It is important to note that the certificate granted by the Royal Society of Biology was formally given to Universidad de las Américas Puebla April 24 in the House of Commons at Westminster Palace in London.

 

UDLAP Student Does Social Service at the Mexican Consulate in New York

Miguel Ángel Pérez Méndez, eighth semester student in the Licenciatura in Nursing, is currently doing social service, from March 1, 2019 to March 2, 2020, at the health counter of the Mexican Consulate in New York. “I am very excited and grateful for this opportunity, because I am the first Mexican nursing student to comply with his social service at this consulate”.

In an interview, the UDLAP student said that his interest in doing his social service requirement in a foreign country is due to his awareness of the difficulties and limitations that immigrants face when living in another country, regarding health topics. “With this initiative, I visited and talked with the health counter coordinator and proposed this project, which she liked.  Once I had that acceptance, I started all the paperwork in Mexico and at the university, and in October, 2018 an agreement was signed with the Secretary of Foreign Relations, which included the Nursing and Medical Surgeon majors to carry out their social service abroad, and thus help Mexicans who live abroad,” said Miguel Angel Pérez.

Then, he added that his social service is helping people who recur to the health counters, which is a program that was established by the Mexican Government in 2002, through the Institute of Mexicans Abroad and the Health Secretary, in order to provide health services to Spanish-speakers living in the United States, and to create a culture of prevention, education, and participation in improving the quality of their lives.

Regarding his activities, Miguel Ángel Pérez said that he works in different associations, community organizations, and clinics to educate and promote a culture of disease prevention, touching on subjects such as vaccines, diet, substance abuse, family violence, AIDS, TB, and all preventable diseases.

He ended the interview saying that health is a human right that needs to be emphasized: “Everything that we can do to improve the quality of life of people is good; I would like my classmates to continue with this project and promote wellbeing in people.”

UDLAP Students Participate in Congress Held at Harvard University

Four Universidad de las Américas Puebla students were guests at The Mexico Conference, held at Harvard University, in which economists and politicians discussed these two topics as well as security, immigration, and perspectives of the new Mexican government.

Diego Mendoza Martínez, Mariano Roberto Alcalá Molina, José Francisco Juárez Gutiérrez Sola, and Edgar García González attended this congress whose mission is to offer Mexican students living in Boston a new perspective about Mexico and its current political status. “We contacted the Association of Mexican Students at Harvard University to attend the event, which dealt with current topics addressed by experienced people who provide a comprehensive vision of what is happening,” explained the Economics student Diego Mendoza.

During two days, the second-year students attended lectures given by politicians, governors, members of Banco de México and Comisión Federal de Competencia Económica, and immigration support and cultural organizations, who discussed economic policy, the perspectives of the new president, security, commerce, and the Mexican artists who are conquering the world. “Personally, I liked the debate held between Javier Corral, Yeidckol Polevnsky, and Jesus Silva Herzog, because they talked about what to expect from this new government.  They helped me see the good, the bad, and that which needs work,” said Edgar García, a Banking and Investment student.

As well as taking advantage of the congress for their professional future, the UDLAP students had the opportunity to talk to other Mexican students living in the United States, the speakers, and people who work at Bank of America. “What I liked was the degree of expertise and excellence, both academic and professional, that each presenter had.  It helps us to think critically, questioning what is happening in our country and where we want to go”, said Francisco Juárez, a Banking and Investment student.

The Mexico Conference was held at Harvard University, as an initiative of Mexican students who are concerned about raising awareness in other students about what is currently happening in Mexico with a view from outside their country. They are trying to change paradigms towards Mexican politics in young people, removing stereotypes, and striving to change ideologies, as they are the ones who will govern and live here. For this reason, it is very important that the correct people instill the correct values to create a better nation. It is important to mention that not only UDLAP students participated. Giovanni Amador Olvera, an UDLAP Economics graduate was involved in the organization of the event.

“This experience can be separated in two: it is inspiring to see Mexican students who have excelled in order to study at these universities, as many of them do not have enough resources.  It also raises awareness that we are who will create change in a few years and it helps us to train ethically, with values,” stated Banking and Investment student Roberto Alcalá.