The College has welcomed 13 faculty and one student from colleges and universities from the Mexican state of Puebla to campus as part of its ongoing participation in the “100,000 Strong in the Americas” initiative, developed by President Barack Obama, Mexican President Peña Nieto and other Latin American heads of state in 2013.
The vitality of this cross-cultural partnership was the theme of a July 20 luncheon, hosted on campus for the visiting scholars and their New Paltz colleagues and sponsored by State Assemblymember Kevin Cahill.
“This is a terrific program, and I’m always grateful for the opportunity to come down to SUNY New Paltz and say hello,” Assemblymember Cahill said. “Ulster County is populated with many people from the Mexican state of Puebla, and many of the cultural attributes from the towns, villages and cities there have carried over and become part of the fabric of our community. So I’m glad that we’re able to give back to you as educators during your visit, and want you to rest assured that the folks who come here from where you come from are enriching our community.”
Many of the activities and development opportunities provided to the visiting faculty are arranged through the Haggerty English Language Program (HELP), an intensive language program housed in the SUNY New Paltz School of Education and designed specifically for non-native English speakers.
“I want to express how wonderful and important it is that you all are here,” said School of Education Dean Michael Rosenberg. “Not only for the skills, camaraderie and thoughtfulness that you are developing together, but also for what you contribute to our community. In running these types of programs we at New Paltz learn so much about teaching English as a new language, which is an incredible growth area here in the United States as it is in Mexico and in nations around the world.”
During the five-week program the visiting educators take 26 class and workshop hours per week and participate in special events on and off campus.
“I’m thankful to be here for this great experience, learning and improving my skills as an English language instructor,” said Carmela Ochoa Jiménez of Universidad Tecnológica de Tecamachalco. “These programs allow us to bring ideas and lessons back to our students, and help them find and apply for opportunities of their own in great places like New Paltz.”
More information about the Haggerty English Language Program at SUNY New Paltz is available online.
A detailed account of the “100,000 Strong in the Americas” program can be found at the State Department’s website.