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Special ‘Brazilian Day’ Event to Celebrate Successful Global Educational Initiative

February 1, 2013

By Dale Long, Director of Media Relations

Rose-Hulman celebrated the successes of its new global science and engineering exchange program with the Brazilian government during a special campus event, Saturday, February 9, 2013.

Brazilian Day

Brazil's Science Without Borders (SWB) program has brought 17 students from throughout the South American country to study on campus and participate in summer internships or research experiences. Eight students will complete the program later this month, while nine students are staying through the summer. Two new students are scheduled to begin the program in early March.

SWB is part of the Brazilian government's ambitious initiative to send up to 100,000 undergraduate and graduate students overseas to the best technology schools in the world by 2015. Approximately 2,200 Brazilian undergraduate students are currently studying in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields in the U.S.

"This has been a wonderful learning experience for these visiting Brazilian students and our campus community," stated Luchen Li, PhD, associate dean of global programs. "Rose-Hulman is becoming a globally-connected institution, and through hosting international students, we're giving our students more opportunities to experience the world and its diversity."

Before returning home, the SWB students decided to host the Brazilian Day event on February 9 to thank the campus and Terre Haute community for their generosity and support during the 2012-13 school year, while also educating people about the heritage and culture of Brazil.

Activities from 3:30-8 p.m. were held in the Sports and Recreation Center, beginning with opening ceremonies that featured Rose-Hulman President Robert A. Coons and Camila Mandel Barros, deputy consul for the Consulate General Office of Brazil in Chicago. Special declarations were made by Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett and District 42 Indiana State Representative Alan Morrison.

The students packed the afternoon with activities steeped in the full flavor of Brazilian culture, from a demonstration of Capoeira, the Brazilian martial art that combines dance and music, to Samba music from the Planeta Azul band, to a typical Brazilian dinner featuring Feijoada, a stew with black beans and fresh pork, and side dishes.

Brazil Students            
International Experiences: Students from throughout Brazil are enjoying a year on campus through the Science Without Borders program. (Photo by Chris Minnick)

Several SWB students attending other Midwest colleges and universities attended the evening event, as well as a special morning educational workshop, sponsored by General Electric and Tupy Foundry Corporation (which has production facilities in America and Mexico). Speakers included Paulo Dutra e Mello, sales and engineering director of Tupy American Foundry Corp.

"We want to show our appreciation to the support we have received from the Rose-Hulman administration, faculty, staff and students, along with the citizens of Terre Haute. We're leaving with some great memories and experiences," stated Luis Pelaez Covatti, an electrical engineering student and president of the Brazilian Day organizing committee. The Brazilian students have lived in residence-hall rooms with other Rose-Hulman students, participated on intramural teams, have had meals at homes of faculty and staff members, and fellow students have loaned them business suits for internship interviews. Several Brazilian students have also taken a spring break trip to Florida and have travelled to see Niagara Falls, New York City, and Washington, D.C. They were featured on a regional NBA television broadcast while waving a Brazilian flag to support former Indiana Pacers basketball player/Brazil native Leandro Barbosa.

"We expected this to be a good experience, but it has been much greater. Every day I'm impressed even more with the quality of Rose-Hulman and its caring atmosphere," said Danielle Cunha, a chemical engineering student. Learn more about global programs at Rose-Hulman here.