Mexican Leadership Arrives At University Of Arizona

Published: Monday, February 11, 2019 - 5:00am
Updated: Monday, February 11, 2019 - 5:05am
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Rodrigo Cervantes/KJZZ
Elena Centeno is a geology researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and director of UNAM's Center for Mexican Studies at UA

MEXICO CITY — For three years, Mexico’s biggest university has had an office at the University of Arizona UA. The new leadership in the Mexican institution’s office in Tucson expects to have an impact in the community and bilateral relations. 

Elena Centeno is a geology researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and was appointed as the new director of its Center for Mexican Studies at  UA, where she obtained her PhD degree in Geo Sciences.

“I’m just so excited to go back to Arizona, I miss the desert!” Centeno said.

Centeno wants to strengthen the ties between both colleges and nations. She said she wants to build binational labs and centers to study the problems shared by Mexico and the U.S.

“We have the goal to strengthen student exchange programs, research collaborations and cultural events,” said Centeno.

Some of the multidisciplinary projects addressed on studies may address health, water or environmental mining.

“We need to provide our governments with information that is based on research and knowledge,” the researcher said.

Centeno said her office will also create social programs to help migrant Latinos integrate and develop a sense of belonging to Arizona.

The UNAM-UA Office expects to benefit at least 100 students and to develop 30 to 40 cultural activities and four research projects, according to Centeno.

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