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NCC Chosen for Obama's 100,000 Strong in the Americas Initiative

Northampton Community College is one of the first four colleges and universities in the country selected to receive grants in the program, which aims to increase study abroad between the United States and Latin America and the Caribbean.

Northampton Community College Chosen for Obama's 100,000 Strong in the Americas Initiative Credit Patch File Photo
Northampton Community College Chosen for Obama's 100,000 Strong in the Americas Initiative Credit Patch File Photo
Northampton Community College is one of the first four colleges and universities in the country selected to receive grants as part of President Obama's 100,000 Strong in the Americas Initiative, according to a release from the college.

The program, which aims to increase study abroad between the United States and Latin America and the Caribbean, will give students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics at Northampton the opportunity to participate in a summer study program in Peru devoted to bringing sustainable energy systems to a remote area.

NCC will partner with Universidad Nacional de Trujillo in Peru.

NCC was the only community college on the list in the first round. Also selected were the University of Arizona, the University of Texas and the University of Rhode Island. 

The announcement was made earlier this month following a news conference at the State Department. At that announcement Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry spoke about the importance of international partnerships to foreign policy and to economic development.

Northampton Community College President Dr. Mark Erickson and Dr. Manual Gonzalez, director of international programs at Northampton, were at the State Department for the announcement, along with Dr. Orlando Velásquez Benites, the president of the Universidad Nacional de Trujillo, according to the release. 

NCC's program will expand on a project from last summer in which NCC students and staff helped build a wind turbine in Peru. NCC said the program could provide a model for other community colleges looking to enrich the educational experience of science, technology, engineering and mathematics students and to provide more international experiences for their students, the release said.

The goal of the 100,000 Strong in the Americas program is to increase the number of U.S. students studying in Latin America and the Caribbean by 100,000 and the number of students from those regions studying in the United States by 2020.

More than 100 proposals from the nine eligible countries were received in the first round of the grant competition. 

 "We are honored and excited to be selected," said Northampton Community College President Dr. Mark Erickson, in the release. "Our proposal rose to the top of 114 applications from some of our nation's finest colleges.  It fosters sustainabilty, enhances service learning, and encourages STEM students to study abroad.  It aligns perfectly with our strategic priorities. Expanding global engagement is important for students and for the nation."

The 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative is a joint endeavor by the U.S. Department of State, Partners of the Americas, and NAFSA: the Association of International Educators.

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