Northern has received a $220,000 federal grant for an exchange program to prepare U.S. and Brazilian students for highly skilled 21st century jobs requiring expertise in entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility and sustainable economic development. The four-year grant will allow NMU to collaborate with Western Illinois University and two Brazilian institutions—Universidade Federal Rural da Amazonia and Universidade Federal de Lavras.

            Ray Amtmann, professor in the NMU College of Business, is the project director. He will work with NMU colleagues and WIU faculty to develop a program titled “A Brazilian and U.S. Partnership for People, Planet and Profits:  Fostering Socially, Environmentally, and Economically Sustainable Entrepreneurship.”

            Amtmann said the first year of the grant will be used to formalize relationships between the participating universities and develop online courses for combined classes of U.S. and Brazilian students.

            “An exciting feature of the program is that it provides scholarships for our students’ study abroad and language immersion,” he added. “NMU students will learn Portuguese, develop international skills, work with international students in their classes, participate in internships and have a semester abroad in Brazil. This will place our graduates at a distinct advantage when they compete for jobs and it will help to develop the College of Business entrepreneurship program into one of the leading programs in the country.”

            About 20 students from the United States and 20 from Brazil (10 from each university) are expected to participate in the program.

            “This is very good news for Northern Michigan University,” said Rajib Sanyal, dean of the College of Business. “The grant will enable us to provide rich and lasting cross-cultural learning experiences to our students in Brazil, a rapidly developing country with enormous opportunities for Michigan’s businesses and residents. Students from Brazil will also come to Northern. This important grant is a fitting recognition of NMU’s focus on entrepreneurship and preparing students for the global economy, and we thank Congressman Bart Stupak for his assistance in making this opportunity possible.”

              Stupak recently announced funding had been obtained for the program, which is jointly administered by the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education and CAPES, the Brazilian Ministry of Education.

Prepared By
Kristi Evans
News Director