Fresno State receives grant to support Portuguese exchange program

Fresno State receives grant to support Portuguese exchange program

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(March 7, 2016) - A nearly $50,000 grant to Ag One will provide Fresno State with seed funding to forge a new international relationship in support of agricultural education.

Lisbon-based Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD) gave $49,000 to launch a partnership between Fresno State and the University of the Azores, which will open educational and research opportunities for students and faculty at both institutions.

“This incredible grant from FLAD provides the startup support necessary to cultivate an international partnership with a region of the world that has significant economic and cultural ties to the Central Valley and the Jordan College,” said Dr. Sandra Witte, interim dean of the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology. “This support paves the way for an ongoing partnership that will benefit agriculture both the Central Valley and the Azores for years to come.”

FLAD president Dr. Vasco Rato, along with fellow executive board member Dr. Michael Baum and director Miguel Vaz, will join Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro and other University officials for a reception and gift announcement at 4 p.m. today in the Fresno State winery.

The partnership is expected to offer a two-way exchange, creating opportunities for Fresno State students to study in Portugal, as well as for faculty and students from the University of the Azores to learn about agriculture, government relations and Portuguese-American culture in the Central Valley.

“FLAD is happy to contribute to this new exchange program that will indeed be important for the bilateral relations between Portugal and the United States in an area that is so important to the Azores and the Central Valley: agriculture,” said Rato.

Since its founding in 1985, FLAD has supported projects involving scientific institutions, universities, the business community and other organizations from Portugal and the United States. With a focus on economic and scientific cooperation between the two nations, as well as on promoting Portuguese language and culture in the U.S., Fresno State offers an opportunity to connect to the deep agricultural ties of the Portuguese community in the Valley.

“We greatly appreciate the vision and leadership of Dr. Rato and FLAD toward furthering the relationship between Fresno State agriculture, Portuguese-Americans in the Central Valley and the Azores. As a native of the Azores myself, this is an especially amazing day,” said Alcidia Freitas Gomes, executive director of Ag One and senior director of development for the Jordan College.

Efforts are underway to raise additional support to further fund the partnership between Fresno State and the University of the Azores. The two institutions are expected to finalize their agreement this summer.

For more information or to discuss support opportunities for this program or the Jordan College, contact Alcidia Freitas Gomes at 559.278.4266 or alcidia@csufresno.edu.