IES Abroad Staff Becomes Part of President Obama’s 100,000 Strong Initiative

IES Abroad Program Associate Hernando Sevilla-Garcia was recently accepted to be a reviewer of grant applications for the Competition #12 initiative of 100,000 Strong in the Americas!

In March 2011, President Obama launched 100,000 Strong in the Americas, an initiative aimed at increasing international study in the Caribbean and Latin America. The program’s goal is to increase the number of U.S. students studying in the Western Hemisphere to 100,000 and the number of Western Hemisphere students studying in the United States to 100,000 by 2020. By providing study abroad opportunities, 100,000 Strong aims to prepare a more globally aware and culturally competent workforce.

Competition #12 will strive to promote study abroad programs in engineering, physics, geology, and geophysics by providing grants to higher education institutions in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Guyana, Mexico, and the United States. With support from ExxonMobil Corporation and Colombia’s Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje, Competition #12 will encourage long-term institutional collaboration for increased study abroad opportunities both in the Western Hemisphere and in the United States.

At the NAFSA Region V Conference this past October, Hernando presented on the challenges and benefits of studying abroad in non-traditional locations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. He analyzed the role of organizations, such as NAFSA and the Obama administration, in increasing academic contact with the Western Hemisphere region, and emphasized the importance of mutual cultural understanding.

Hernando is excited to continue this work through  his role at 100,000 Strong and beyond. “I hope to continue to support this wonderful international education endeavor through my work here at IES Abroad,” he said.

Hernando has a B.A. in History and Political Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. While at U of I, Hernando studied abroad in five different countries: short-term, faculty-led programs in Costa Rica, Cuba, and China, as well as spending a semester each in Spain and Brazil. He was also a recipient of the Gates Millennium and QuestBridge scholarships.

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