UDLAP Faculty Win First Place in their Category at the 2017 EFMD Case Writing Competition

They presented the work Kaizen in Public Service.  A case study in a Mexican public environmental organization.

Dr. Manuel Francisco Suárez Barraza, Dr. Francisco Rodríguez González, and Dr. Manuela Gutiérrez Leefman, Universidad de las Américas Puebla faculty members, were awarded first place in the category Continuous Improvement: the road to excellencein the EFMD 2017 Case Writing Competition, convened by the European Foundation for Management Development.

In an interview, Dr. Manuel Francisco Suárez Barraza, Academic Director of the UDLAP International Business Department, explained that they participated in this contest with the work titled Kaizen in Public Service.  A case study in a Mexican public environmental organization, “which was applied in a state secretary focused on the environment to improve processes and reduce internal red tape, obtaining good results and interesting achievements such as decreases in waiting times and in unnecessary activities in internal processes”, explained the UDLAP professor-researcher, who also highlighted the novelty of his project which applies continuous improvement techniques in the public sector, being also an educational case based on the philosophy of learning by doing. “Taking into account the aforementioned, I thank Dr. Gutiérrez Leefman and Dr. Rodríguez González, who participated in this project by writing the paper, making it understandable, and collecting teaching notes, as we also included how students can learn from this case”, stated the UDLAP International Business Department Director.

Regarding the contest, Dr. Suárez Barraza commented that it was divided into two categories, and they competed in the Continuous Improvement: The Road to Excellence, which is sponsored by the Saint Thelmo International Institute. “We shared the award with another professor from Pacific University in Stockton, USA;  that is, two cases won in this category”, he said.

Finally, he stated that winning this award is amazing, and they feel truly honored “especially because we were the only Latin Americans participating in this category and we won. We know that most participants were Americans, Africans, and Indians”.

It is important to mention that in the last thirty years EFMD has organized a yearly case writing contest with a wide selection of categories focused on specific world regions and topics. The objective of the EFMC competition is to encourage data collection and support writing about innovative cases.  Two evaluation criteria are the topic´s relevance and the ability to design a strong and interesting learning experience.

UDLAP Faculty Participates in Financial Risk Congress in Colombia

  • The International Congress on Financial Risk in Medellín, Colombia, gathers researchers, academics, professionals, and businesspeople from all over the world.
  • The research paper presented by UDLAP faculty was on financial risk of weather disasters.

Dr. Nora Gavira Durón, professor of the Licenciatura in Bank and Investments and Dr. Einar G. Moreno Quezada, academic director of the Department of Finance and Accounting at Universidad de las Américas Puebla, participated in the 2018 International Congress of Financial Risk in Medellín, Colombia.

The UDLAP professors presented in this congress – which is a platform for researchers, academics, professionals, and businesspeople for the exchange of ideas, research results, and new developments in the field of financial risk – the paper Economic Hedge Against Weather Disasters Through Archimedean Copulas in Veracruz, México. “This research focuses on the extent and seriousness of natural disasters, especially flooding, in that specific Mexican location,” said Dr. Gavira.

“An important feature of this congress is the ample use of mathematical tools; everything must be based on robust mathematical models, not descriptive statistics.  In that sense we worked with new distribution proposals, model validity, and a lot of technical issues to get on that stage”, expressed Dr. Moreno.

Due to the quality of work required in the International Congress of Financial Risk, Dr. Moreno and Dr. Gavira shared the stage with speakers like Dr. Vasicek, one of the most recognized gurus in the financial world regarding rate models. “Sharing the forum with such speakers is very satisfying”, said Dr. Moreno.

The research presented in the congress, held in May, is a working paper that represents the hard work carried out by faculty and researchers, and the start of a great project.  Regarding this, Dr. Moreno said: “This will allow us to forecast with a minimum margin of error and help in budgeting enough funds to face disasters. Every place is identifying the weather conditions that will cause either drought or flooding”.

Regarding the importance of this research at a national level, Dr. Gavira expressed: “The water problem is big in Mexico and the world, and natural disasters due to excess or lack of water cost money. Our country has to finance the repair of natural disaster damages through FONDEN, which allocates a certain amount of money for each entity.  Thus, we want to determine if the money that FONDEN has for certain areas is enough, or how much must have accumulated in the event of a natural disaster, so people can benefit from these funds to rebuild and restore economic activity, minimizing future losses.”

UDLAP professors, through these participations, have a presence at international events, making Mexico, represented by the university, a reference point in financial cutting-edge technology in Latin America, “Not regarding the past, but regarding the evolution of new stochastic models for current financial modeling” specified Dr. Moreno Quezada.

Finally, Dr. Moreno added that “An important challenge is continuity; like Dr. Gavira said, we are working on this, but every day the public demands more, and a new university policy regarding publications asks that we work on submitting quality papers that can be published in world-class indexed journals.”

UDLAP Will Host the ANUIES-TIC 2018 Meeting

“Mexico is one of the top 10 countries in the world with the most cyber security problems”, stated Hugo López Álvarez, director of Web Development and Social Media at UDLAP. This topic, along with others, will be discussed in the ANUIES-TIC 2018 Meeting on October 3-5 at Universidad de las Américas Puebla.  This is a meeting for of higher learning institution information technology coordinators and managers, and those experts and individuals who are interested in attending.

During three days, the technology experts of the 191 institutions that make up the National Association of Universities and Institutions of Higher Education (Asociación Nacional de Universidades e Instituciones de Educación Superior – ANUIES) will be able to interact, “sharing experiences, successes and failures, so the higher education institutions can advance quicker’” in topics related to information security and technology studies, stated Raúl González López, UDLAP Operations Director.  He is the person in charge of presenting the third edition of this meeting, which will offer workshops, lectures, and meetings with experts.

To delve into the dynamics that will be a part of the meeting, José Luis Ponce López, ANUIES Director of Information Technologies and Communications, explained that there will be panels with experts, 12 workshops, and two collaborative work meetings on cybersecurity and technology change management. Technology suppliers, who want to form alliances with universities and support their development, will be at a showroom in the premises. “The event is a meeting point where we can know the aspects of our needs and problems so we can have common opportunities to solve them”, said Mr. Ponce López

Likewise, he explained that the main theme of the event will be the collaboration strategies of the ICTs in higher education institutions, from the perspective of IT governance, information security, and IT acquisitions in universities. For this reason, it is an excellent opportunity to share ideas and devise joint solutions, through conferences to discuss the 4.0 industry, projects, and much more with people from the Mexican Space Agency, the Conference of Spanish University Presidents (Conferencia de Rectores de Universidades de España – CRUE), UNAM, and the Cyber Police.

Mr. Hugo López indicated that the ANUIES-TIC 2018 Meeting will be broadcast through the Universidad de las Américas Puebla webpage on October 3, 4 and 5.  He sent an invitation to the general public to “enjoy all the lectures since this is a topic not only for experts, but for owners of a mobile phone, since everybody is vulnerable to hacking.”

UDLAP Celebrates its 74th Graduation Ceremony

With seven thousand attendees, Universidad de las Américas Puebla held its 74th Graduation Ceremony, in which 1,496 proud graduates received their licenciatura and graduate diplomas, recognizing that they successfully finished their studies in one of the five academic schools that are part of UDLAP.

In the company of their friends and family, the 2018 graduates heard the president, Dr. Luis Ernesto Derbez Bautista, congratulate and thank them for the trust placed in the university to prepare them for their professional careers. “Welcome to the seventy-fourth Graduation Ceremony at Universidad de las Américas Puebla. Like every year, I start this message congratulating the families who are with us: this is a day of great joy for all of you, a day in which we jointly celebrate the graduates for obtaining their academic degrees and to whom I wish that this day may be the beginning of a road full of success and satisfaction”.  Dr. Derbez added that this ceremony symbolizes the end of the transformation of each graduate into prepared citizens to carry Mexico and the world towards a better future.

He finished his statement emphasizing that today it is necessary for citizens to understand that they must defend principles such as the balance between the branches of government, the separation of powers, and equality before the law as indispensable values, if we want to guarantee that Mexico has  equilibrium between liberty and equality for all people. “I have no doubt that you will successfully respond to this challenge and that, as of today, your everyday activities will shape a Mexico that will not only be a successful country, but also one in which plurality, tolerance, transparency, social justice, and democracy will prevail. I wish you a long and prosperous life and may happiness accompany you always”, affirmed UDLAP’s president.

Eduardo Ruiz-Healy, proud alumnus of Universidad de las Américas Puebla, delivered the commencement address to the UDLAP class of 2018,  and encouraged the graduates to trust their instincts to achieve success. “If there is one defect of formal education it’s that it kills the instincts. Trust your instincts and become fully aware that you will not take anything with you.  That day you will no longer be afraid of losing it all”, stated Ruiz-Healy.  He finished his speech with a list of recommendations: “Do whatever you enjoy and makes you passionate; learn to look for jobs – there are no unworthy or boring jobs; do not work for money, work for pleasure; enjoy what you have, set achievable objectives, fight against your demons and addictions, accept your failures and tragedies, be humble and seek love so you can love and be loved”.

During the 74th Graduation Ceremony, Universidad de las Américas Puebla recognized the academic merit and outstanding achievements of its graduates.  Cum Laude awards were bestowed on students who have a GPA above 9.7, Summa Cum Laude for graduates with a GPA of 9.9 or above, and the Medal for the Highest GPA for students from undergraduate schools and graduate studies who obtained the best GPA of their class. This honor was given to Eduardo Camarillo Abad from the School of Science, Adolfo Sánchez Monterrosas from the School of Business and Economics, Graciela Isabel Huerta Bedolla from the School of Social Sciences, Jessica Tecpanecatl Durán from the School of Engineering, Alejandro Iván Flores Chávez from the School of Arts and Humanities, and María Teresa Graciana Aguilar Nava from the Master in Organizational Psychology.

The most emotional moment of the ceremony came when balloons and confetti flooded the stage and stands, which was followed by hugs, photographs, and finally the meeting of graduates with their families.

It is worth mentioning that Universidad de las Américas Puebla graduated the Class of 2018 convinced that it is made up of well-educated citizens who are committed to society and able to work for a better Mexico and world.  This is the result of their potential and UDLAP´s academic excellence, as well as the projection and leadership that its students and alumni achieve.

Dr. Luis Ernesto Derbez Bautista is Named UDLAP President for the 2018–2023 Period

The Board of Trustees and Business Council of Fundación Universidad de las Américas Puebla appointed Dr. Luis Ernesto Derbez Bautista as president to continue leading UDLAP during the 2018–2023 period, with the rights and obligations that this position carries. “This period (2013-2018) presented great challenges that allowed us to reap a number of achievements and, thanks to that, I am convinced that we are a mature university with the ability to continue growing and strengthening our presence at a national and international level. I trust our community and know that together we will achieve the vision we have as an institution: to be the best in Latin America”, stated the UDLAP president.

During the ceremony to reappoint him at the helm of UDLAP for a third period, and after ten years of an administration full of achievements, Dr. Derbez Bautista thanked the members of the Business Council and the Board of Trustees of Fundación Universidad de las Américas Puebla “for sharing the vision of university transformation that I have outlined, and for providing their unquestioning support so that UDLAP continues to have significant achievements in national and international accreditations, such as the re-accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) for the 2015-2025 period, and the QS Stars distinction as the only one-campus university with five stars.”

During his speech at the investiture ceremony, the president of the Universidad de las Américas Puebla reported that “the university obtained the recognition of the National Register of Quality Graduate Programs for its emblematic lines of research, chosen as those that would impact the development of our country, so we can proudly say that UDLAP is firmly among the best private universities in Mexico according to different university classifications.”


Regarding UDLAP´s prestige as an international university, Dr. Derbez Bautista commented “we have strengthened our collaboration with the best foreign universities, promoting an international perspective in our students and faculty; more than four thousand students have taken courses abroad and there are usually on campus over sixty nationalities present.”

Regarding financial stability, the UDLAP president informed that “during this period´s administration we have achieved positive financial results which allowed us to invest over 418 million pesos to remodel, maintain, and build new facilities that benefit the teaching process and the well-rounded education of our students”.

Finally, he emphasized his satisfaction of achieving that Universidad de las Américas Puebla remains committed to its philosophy of social responsibility, maintaining and increasing its scholarship and financial aid programs to benefit each year about 70% of the student population. “We believe in the talent and creation of opportunities as a basic foundation of social responsibility”, affirmed Dr. Derbez Bautista.

Before the solemn investiture, Juan Pablo Vega Arriaga, president of the UDLAP Business Council stated “I invite you to join Dr. Derbez’s vision of making this the best university in Mexico, Latin America, and the world. Dr. Derbez: I recognize the work you have done during your tenure as president and I urge you to continue in this noble work with the ethics, leadership, and determination that characterize you, wishing you much success in this new period.” Then, he handed the presidential emblem to Dr. Cecilia Anaya Berríos, UDLAP´s Academic Vice President, who placed it, on behalf of the university community, on Dr. Luis Ernesto Derbez Bautista to become president of Universidad de las Américas Puebla for the 2018-2023 period. “As representative of the UDLAP Business Council, it is an honor to participate in the investiture ceremony of Dr. Luis Ernesto Derbez Bautista to be president of Universidad de las Américas Puebla for the 2018-2023 period. Congratulations”, concluded Juan Pablo Vega Arriaga.

It should be remembered that on April 1, 2008, Dr. Luis Ernesto Derbez Bautista became the eleventh president of UDLAP, to continue the commitment that Universidad de las Américas Puebla has with society, its students, and faculty.  Today he begins his third period leading this institution.

Consult the activities report here