Date: February 25, 2008
Department: News & Public Information
Participants in the announcement included Congressman Barney Frank, State Sen. Marc Pacheco, D-Taunton; State Rep. Michael Rodrigues, D-Westport; State Rep. Antonio Cabral, D-New Bedford; UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Jean MacCormack; Bristol Community College President Jack Sbrega; and Fall River Business leader Fernando Garcia. The February 15 - 22 trade mission was designed to strengthen educational, cultural and economic ties between the South Coast and islands.
Under a multi-faceted partnership agreement signed by Chancellor MacCormack and University of the Azores President Doutor Avelino de Freitas Meneses, UMass Dartmouth and the University of the Azores will develop student and faculty exchange programs related to marine science, nursing, business and Portuguese Studies with the overarching goal of expanding economic and cultural links between southeastern Massachusetts and the Azores. The UMass Dartmouth Claire T. Carney Library, the library at the University of the Azores, and the leading library in the Azores also agreed to share materials. There were also high-level discussions about expanding tourism, export opportunities, and cultural exchange.
"The trip to the Azores was very useful, and I look forward to working with the delegation from Southeastern Massachusetts to follow up on the valuable work we have begun," Congressman Frank said.
UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack said, "Our University and our region have already been enriched by the culture, the literature, the art and music, the traditions of the feasts, and, of course, the entrepreneurial business sense and strong work ethic that Portuguese people have brought to Massachusetts. We saw a new dynamic and developing Azorean community, and I am confident that our mission to the Azores will help us sustain and expand our relationships in ways that benefit the Azores, our University, and our region of Massachusetts."
Senator Marc Pacheco, D-Taunton, who chairs the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change, said: "The universal problem of global warming and climate change demand worldwide solutions. Creating cross-Atlantic partnerships between Massachusetts and the Azores will spark innovation, generate awareness, and facilitate communication on this critical issue. As part of this global approach, studying the impacts of climate change on the North Atlantic today will provide key findings in developing the solutions of tomorrow."
Rep. Michael Rodrigues, D-Westport, who is House chair of the Legislature's Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure said, "We set out with a goal of strengthening the educational, scientific, business and cultural links between our region and the Azores, and I believe we succeeded. A strong foundation has been set for years of meaningful collaboration."
Rep. Antonio Cabral, D-New Bedford, House chair of the Legislature's Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight, said, "Southeastern Massachusetts and the Azores share a great deal of history. With the partnerships established over the past week, we now have a stronger bond with which to build a prosperous future together."
Bristol Community College President John J. Sbrega said, "I have been impressed by the generous hospitality and the dynamic progress being achieved in the Azores. Bristol Community College can make a valuable contribution by continuing to work in partnership with the Azorean people to maintain and cultivate partnerships that will bring our two cultures even closer together. In fact, during our visit we have arranged for three specific activities: a working partnership in healthcare, an art exhibit at BCC, and a book launching event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the tragic volcanic eruption in Faial."
Fall River businessman Fernando Garcia, who organized the private sector participation in the trade mission, said, "The activities of the past week have opened a new pipeline of commerce between our community and the Azores. I am optimistic that more business people in both this region and the Azores will recognize the benefits of working together."
The trade mission included the following activities:
- Meetings with top Azorean officials including President Cesar to discuss potential partnerships with southeastern Massachusetts and UMass Dartmouth.
- Meetings with leaders of the University of the Azores focusing on potential research and teaching collaborations.
- A major conference focusing on the challenges and opportunities in the following areas: Energy and Environment, Agriculture and Fisheries, International Business, Logistics, Marketing, Finance, Entrepreneurship, Tourism, and Health Care.
- Visits to the U.S. air base on the island of Terceira; the Azorean Regional Assembly, the islands' legislative body; the University of the Azores Fisheries and Oceanography Department, and the islands' geothermic power station.
- A commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Capelinhos Volcano eruption, which touched off a major immigration movement from the Azores to America.
Included in the UMass Dartmouth-related agreements:
Research and Development Partnerships
- A joint center or institute for academic and research cooperation in activities concerning marine science, maritime affairs and ocean policy, and with a particular focus on climate change impacts on socio-economic development of the Atlantic region and the globe, to be located in the Azores and tentatively named the Joint North Atlantic Climate and Socio Economic Modeling Center (NACSEM). A team of faculty and administrators from both institutions will develop a comprehensive framework for creating this Institute. The team will seek funding from external organizations and institutions. Among the anticipated activities and concerns for the NACSEM are (a) marine science and maritime affairs, including oceanography, climate monitoring, deep ocean geophysics, and the sustainable use of living marine resources; (b) programs including culture, communication, implications and impacts of climate change, international policy and its implications at the local scale; and (c) education focused on the development of the human capacity required for the sustainable use of the ocean.
- The UMass Dartmouth Department of Fisheries Oceanography held successful discussions with the Department of Oceans and Fisheries at the University of the Azores exploring new ways of understanding the fish stocks in the Azores and Cape Verde.
- Projects in economic and social development, including research and development in the areas of logistics and supply chain management, sustainable island/coastal and eco-tourism, branding of the Azores, and import/export opportunities and business development.
- Nursing and healthcare academic and development exchanges. Ideas to explore include having University of Massachusetts Dartmouth faculty work with Azorean nursing academic leaders and faculty to develop advanced academic programs for nursing education, giving University of Massachusetts Dartmouth nursing students opportunities to have hands-on healthcare experience in the Azores, and working to explore nurse licensure for Azorean nurses to become registered nurses in the United States.
- The Claire T. Carney Library of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and the Library of the University of the Azores the Regional Library in Ponte Delgardo will provide electronic delivery of library materials to each other.
- The Claire T. Carney Library and the Public Library and Regional Archive of Ponta Delgada also agree to develop a partnership agreement for exchange related to archival research. The partnering libraries agree to make accessible library materials to each other through electronic delivery and will engage in discussions on ways to further collaborate on information organization, access, and utilization.
- The Regional Archive of Ponta Delgada and the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives will establish a connection that would allow each to have access to other's digitized materials related to immigration that might not be available online due to copyright restrictions but would be available on CD or DVD.
- UMass Dartmouth students of Portuguese language, culture, and society, who are majoring in the Department of Portuguese but also in fields like Art History, History, Political Science, and Sociology/Anthropology, will be sponsored by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures of the University of the Azores to study for an academic semester or summer. Similarly, students in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures of the University of the Azores, especially those studying English and Portuguese, will brought to UMass Dartmouth of an academic semester.
- A plan will be developed for students at the UMass Dartmouth Charlton College of Business and the Department of Economics and Management of the University of the Azores to study for an academic semester or summer in an exchange program.
- The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and the University of the Azores agree to engage in mutual planning to create student scholarships for exchange student travel, living expenses, and special program expenses.
- Special efforts will be made to create student internship opportunities both in the Azores, Portugal and the United States.