UTPA hosts International Week, Nov. 15-19
Posted: 11/12/2004
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The University of Texs-Pan American Office of International Programs will host International Week Nov. 15-19 with various speakers, workshops and sessions highlighting the annual event that features the theme "International Peace and Security."

International Week at UTPA is one of many activities that will be going on worldwide as part of International Education Week 2004, which is supported by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education. This marks the fifth year the weeklong celebration has been held worldwide.

In a statement released by U.S. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell on the International Education Week 2004 Web site at, he said the weeklong celebration "provides an opportunity to highlight the benefits of international education and exchange; to express appreciation for students and scholars who study and teach here; and to commend the millions of people who build and strengthen bridges of international understanding by organizing and participating in exchange programs."

International Week at UTPA will offer the University community and public a series of academic and cultural activities related to international education and also provide an opportunity to learn about different cultures and issues facing the world today.

Among the highlights of this year's event is the UTPA Distinguished Speaker Series, which will feature Oscar Arias Sanchez, former president of Costa Rica and 1987 Nobel Peace Laureate. Arias will speak at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Theater Monday, Nov. 15. The former Costa Rica president is known as a champion of issues for human development, democracy and demilitarization. He has also traveled the globe spreading a message of peace and applying the lessons garnered from the Central American Peace Process to topics of current global debate.

In addition to the speaker series, an opening ceremony and reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the Library Gallery featuring a photo exhibit on India, Greece, Turkey and Italy.

Throughout the week, special session lecture presentations will be held at various locations on the UTPA campus with lecturers representing UTPA and the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León.

Yoshihiko Kamo, consul general of Japan in Houston, will be speaking on "Japan's Foreign Security Policies in a New Light" Tuesday, Nov. 16 at noon in Social and Behavioral Sciences Building, Room 101. Also, for those interested in learning about Japanese culture and language, an Introductory Japanese Class will be offered at 3 p.m. in the UTPA Student Union, Mesquite Room (second floor).

A Provost's Awards in International Studies Luncheon will be held Wednesday, Nov. 17 at noon in the University Ballroom. During the luncheon, six UTPA faculty members will be the recipients of this year's Provost's Award in International Studies that recognizes faculty for their outstanding accomplishments in the promotion, teaching and research of international studies.

Other topics that will be presented throughout the week include "Understanding the Muslim Religion," "Existential Risk Hazards Toward Bioterrorism," an "Introduction on the Peace Corps" and a debate on the "War in Iraq" with Dr. Samuel Freeman, UTPA political science associate professor, 5:30 p.m. at the Social Behavioral Sciences Building, room 101.

Concluding International Week, Friday, Nov. 19, will be an International Food Tasting fair held at noon in the Library Lobby. The food tasting, sponsored by the International Students Association, will offer different foods from around the world. Students, faculty and staff will be preparing food to sample during this event. In addition, a documentary film on the Island of Cuba, "Island of Music," will be shown in the UTPA Library, Room 310 at 4 p.m.

For more information or a complete listing of the events for International Week, log on to or call 956/381-3572.