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Brazil Gateway News


The third BRASCON (Brazilian Students and Scholars Conference) was held at Ohio State on June 23 – 24, and was a great success! Previous hosts of the conference were Harvard (2016) and University of Southern California (2017).

Opening remarks were given by Gifty Ako-Adounvo, PhD, assistant vice provost for global strategies and international affairs at Ohio State. Ako-Adounvo emphasized Ohio State’s internationalization efforts and highlighted the importance of the Global Gateways, including the Brazil Gateway, whose team helped bring BRASCON to Ohio State.

The first day included three keynote speakers sharing their experience in industry, innovation and science. José Pires, innovation leader, led participants through an engaging activity; Duilia de Mello, PhD, vice provost at the Catholic University of America, talked about her experience working at NASA; and Joana Felix, PhD, from Harvard, told her emotional and inspiring trajectory to overcome prejudice and poverty. There was also a panel discussion on ways to bridge leadership, entrepreneurship and science, with Marcio Resende, PhD, associate professor at the University of Florida, and Roberto Alvarez, PhD, executive director of the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils, of which Ohio State is part.

“I met amazing people! In particular, two great women scientists inspired me with the impact they are having in the world: Joana Felix and Duilia de Mello," said Paula Dalcin Martins, PhD, Ohio State alumna and BRASA’s (Brazilian Students Association) president. “It’s incredible to see resilient, passionate and determined women doing what I want to do when I am a professor! Thank you BRASCON for the opportunity to work with you all!"

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Clovetta CallenderClovetta Callender is an undergraduate student from College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University.

This past spring, I had the privilege to participate in the “Higher Education in Brazil” education abroad program sponsored by the College of Education and Human Ecology (EHE) and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI). My time in Brazil was life-changing. In addition to serving as my first time on an airplane, this trip gave me the opportunity to immerse myself in a culture that had strong historical ties to my own, while forming lasting friendships and memories.

Prior to traveling to Brazil, my classmates and I attended several pre-departure meetings which introduced us to the Afro-Brazilian culture as well as the educational facilities in the country. Before applying for this trip, I was unaware of the racial makeup of Brazil nor the African roots and beliefs deeply engraved in the culture.

Clara Ramos, served as our host while in Brazil. Throughout our stay we had the opportunity to witness the true diversity of the country by staying in beautiful hotels, and dining in traditional restaurants while in Salvador, in addition to exploring the communities and neighborhoods where the majority of Afro-Brazilians reside. On our second day in the country, we attended DeVry University (Area 1) and were given the opportunity to interact with the students. During this time, we were given a first-hand account of their culture as well as many of the students’ educational goals. Over the course of our stay, we visited multiple educational facilities including the Engineering and Technology Institute, Escola Aberta (a community school for the youth) and Steve Biko’s College Preparatory Program for Afro-Brazilian students.

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The Brazilian Graduate Students and Scholars Conference (BRASCON) promotes activities to enable integration, communication and professional development for the Brazilian scientific community. This year BRASCON will take place June 23 - 24 at The Ohio State University.

Registration is available online.

Confirmed speakers include:

José Pires, Excellence & Innovation (E&I) leader, Andeavor Corporation; Duilia de Mello, vice provost, The Catholic University of America; Joana D'arc Felix de Souza, associate professor and coordinator, State Technical School Professor Carmelino Correa Jr.; Ulisses Mello, director of research, IBM Brazil; Marcio Resende, associate professor, University of Florida.