MSU international partnerships receive support from 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund

October 04, 2017

September 29, 2017


Contact: James Carskadon

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Grants from the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund will support three international partnerships at Mississippi State University.


With the grants, MSU will strengthen exchange programs in Mexico, The Bahamas and Colombia in the fields of engineering, precision agriculture and coastal science. The latest round of grant funding was announced this week by the U.S. Department of State, Partners of the Americas and NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

The Innovation Fund provides higher education grants which strengthen institutional capacity for exchange programs, increase student mobility, provide more student training opportunities, and enhance regional education cooperation and collaboration throughout the Americas. The grants are $25,000 each.


“I am very appreciative of MSU faculty who have tremendous connections in the Americas, and their willingness to share their passions with students,” MSU Associate Vice President for International Programs and International Institute Executive Director Rick Nader said. “The catalytic impact of these small grants can lead to more robust student awareness and engagement in less commonly traveled destinations, making these experiences very transformative for students and attractive to their future employers.”


In Mexico, Instituto Tecnológico de Chihuahua II will expand its study abroad program in collaboration with MSU by creating a program to equip low-income students with cultural literacy to compete in the globalized workforce. ITC II and MSU will engage students to participate in learning experiences that closely connect their English/Spanish knowledge to the field of engineering on an international scale. The grant will allow ITC II to formally establish an International Programs Office to develop strong, lasting, bilateral relationships. Students will collaborate on a final project for a virtual manufacturing training cell and will assist professors in simulation laboratories before presenting results to employees at the manufacturing company. This grant is funded by Fundación Televisa.


In Colombia, MSU and SENA Centro Acuícola y Agroindustrial de Gaira will develop a bilateral exchange to implement MSU’s first faculty-led, credit-bearing study abroad program in Colombia. The initiative advances the field of precision agriculture by comparing the two distinct geographical and agricultural environments where Mississippi soybeans and Magdalena bananas are grown. The program aims to increase students’ comparative knowledge of precision agriculture for decision-making by contrasting each respective region’s crop production techniques and promote creative thinking and joint research ideas among students and faculty in this field. Students and researchers will utilize distance technologies to promote language acquisition, appropriate curriculum and to facilitate technology transfer via extension in both countries.

In The Bahamas, MSU will work with the University of the Bahamas and the University of West Indies to develop a bilateral exchange study abroad program that advances coastal and climate sciences. The partnership will enhance existing MSU faculty-led study abroad programs, establish the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network—a climate citizen science program—and create pathways for students to gain deeper understanding of global climate and marine environmental changes and how those processes affect coastal communities.

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About 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund
The Innovation Fund is the public-private sector collaboration between the U.S. Department of State, Partners of the Americas, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, corporations, foundations, regional governments, and Embassies working together to inspire U.S. universities and colleges to team up with universities and technical education institutions in the Western Hemisphere to create new student exchange and training programs.  Innovation Fund grants build institutional capacity, increase student mobility, stimulate regional education cooperation, and contribute to workforce development.  Since January 2014, the Innovation Fund has awarded 126 grants to teams of 246 higher education institutions from 25 countries in the Western Hemisphere region.  Innovation Fund grants facilitate partnerships between universities and community colleges in the United States and  higher education institutions in the Western Hemisphere to increase student exchange and training opportunities and to strengthen connectivity and collaboration between higher education networks throughout the Americas. Learn more at


About Partners of the Americas
The mission of Partners of the Americas is to connect people and organizations across borders to serve and to change lives through lasting partnerships. These partnerships create opportunity, foster understanding, and solve real-life problems. Inspired by President Kennedy and founded in 1964, under the Alliance for Progress, Partners is a non-profit, non-partisan organization with international offices in Washington, DC.  Learn more at or via Twitter @partnersamerica.


With 10,000 members worldwide, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the largest non-profit professional association dedicated to international education program and policy.  Learn more: and or via Twitter @NAFSA and @ConnectOurWorld.


About Fundación Televisa
The main objective of Fundación Televisa is to promote access to better education and to improve the quality of life for the largest number of people possible. It targets its social investments to reach the largest number of people possible, using their media assets to achieve this goal. Fundación Televisa is engaged in a variety of initiatives aimed at improving the lives of Mexico’s people, and believes that working with companies, non-governmental organizations, and the federal government allows Fundación to combine resources and multiply its effect for the economic, social, and cultural development of México.