December 6th, 2013
Advantages Along the Border
The college recently celebrated International Education Week by hosting the U.S. and Mexican Consuls General. Not surprisingly, both expressed our college’s ability to impact education on both sides of the border—in what is now being branded as the CaliBaja Binational Mega-Region.
Remedios Gomez Arnau, consulate general of Mexico in San Diego, and Andrew Erickson, U.S. consul general in Tijuana, promoted the international exchange of students through President Obama’s 100,000 Strong in the Americas. Currently 14,000 Mexicans go to college in the US, while only 4,000 U.S. citizens go to Mexico for education. The Mexican government’s goal is to increase those numbers to 100,000 and 50,000, respectively.
Joining the consuls general were English Composition Professor Francisco Bustos, Center for International Trade Development Director Victor Castillo and Southwestern College Graduate and successful businessman Bernardo Andrade. Each spoke of the successes they have had in creating partnerships on both sides of the border.
Cross-border partnerships have grown exponentially over the last two decades through the North American Free Trade Agreement, Gomez Arnau said in a second visit to our campus this week. NAFTA has created 6 million jobs in Mexico and 25 million jobs in the United States, she said.
As the only public institution of higher education along this border, Southwestern College can play a key role in preparing the workforce, Gomez Arnau said. The U.S. and Mexican governments are already strengthening the infrastructure on both sides of the borders to attract business and investors to the CaliBaja region (www.calibaja.net). New and improved border crossings, along with a new pedestrian crossing into the Tijuana International Airport, will make for seamless travel between the two countries.
The eyes of the world are watching our region, and Southwestern College has the intellectual capital to take advantage of the opportunities coming to this area.
Think Globally, Act Locally
In this season of giving, we have many opportunities to make the holiday season a little brighter for our students and community. Several clubs on campus are holding toy, food and blanket drives. Community organizations offer the opportunity to sponsor a needy family.
I encourage you to consider an investment in our students by participating in the Southwestern College Foundation’s annual giving campaign. The foundation is instrumental in funding scholarships for the Students of Distinction Awards. Funds also are distributed to student and faculty activities. The contribution can be made effortlessly through a payroll deduction.
Another local organization that mirrors our values of open access and holistic well-being is the South Bay Family YMCA. Their annual giving campaign ensures children and families who cannot afford memberships and activities receive scholarships. As a YMCA board member, I have seen the Y’s impact in making healthier communities throughout the South Bay.
While the Foundation and the South Bay Family YMCA improve our immediate school community, there are any number of organizations that could benefit from your support.
Welcome Lynn Solomita
We welcome back Lynn Solomita to our Human Resources department as we conduct a search for a permanent replacement for Vice President Dr. Albert Roman.
It’s been a while since Lynn helped us out last time, but we look forward to her expertise over the next few months.
Welcome aboard, Lynn.