UHD Hosting Binational Conference Sept. 5 – 7
By Mike Emery
Scholars and students from the Mexican state of Tamaulipas are en route to the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) for this week's Binational Conference. Through a partnership with the Tamaulipas, Secretary of Education, UHD and more than 10 international institutions will exchange ideas on higher education and academic research.
The conference—“Building Bridges Through Academic Excellence”— will be held Sept. 5 – 7 at UHD.
Faculty and students from both UHD and public and private universities in Tamaulipas will deliver presentations on computer science, data science, information technology, logistics, supply chain management, and other academic disciplines.
To broaden the horizon of conference, the event’s keynote speaker is Efrèn Ordóñez Garza, noted Mexican writer, translator and publisher. His first novel, “Humo” (“Smoke”) was awarded with the Nuevo León prize in Literature in 2014. He authored the short-story collection “Gris Infierno” (“Gray Inferno”) and the children's book “Possum, a Story of a Tail.” He was the recipient of a grant from the State of Nuevo León Writer's Center in 2013 and from the Young Artists Program from FONCA in 2017. Garza taught literature and currently works as the chief editor at Argonáutica, a translation publishing house based in Mexico City. He also runs his writing agency Courier 12 Escritores.
According to Faiza Khoja, associate vice president for academic affairs, more than 100 academic professionals and students will participate in this event.
“Houston is a global community, and our institution is among the most diverse in the state,” Khoja said. “It is a natural fit to spotlight the talents of global scholars here on our campus. The Binational Conference will help UHD develop a symbiotic relationship with these international institutions and immerse our guests in the culture of our city and our University.”
Plenary sessions include:
Moderator – Dr. Gene Preuss, UHD associate professor of history
Dr. William Flores, UHD professor of social sciences
Dr. Salvador Salinas, UHD assistant professor of history, humanities and languages
The seeds for the conference were planted in November 2017 when a Tamaulipas delegation visited UHD to learn about the University. During this visit, UHD President, Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz and the Honorable Héctor Escobar Salazar, secretary of education in the State of Tamaulipas, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This MOU focused on supporting collaborations between UHD and institutions of higher education in Tamaulipas.
"To be an important university … a university that trains students to work anywhere in the world … you have to have a global presence in the world," Muñoz said at the signing. "This partnership will build relationships and sensibilities that are in our students' best interests, UHD's best interests and the world's best interests."
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.