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Center for Academic Excellence hosts speaker series event March 29
By Gail Fagan, Public Affairs Specialist
381-2741
Posted: 03/27/2007
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The Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) at The University of Texas-Pan American will host the second speaker in its Global Security Studies and Leadership Speaker Series Thursday, March 29, 5:30 p.m. in the UTPA Engineering Building Auditorium, Room 1.300.

The speaker will be Dr. Raul Benitez, a scholar from the American University School of International Service and previously a professor of international relations at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, where he earned his Ph.D. in Latin American Studies. Benitez, whose research interests include North American policy relations, national security and peace negotiation has authored several books and will speak on the topic – “Current National Security Debate in Mexico.”

“Last month’s speaker, Dr. Daniel Hernandez, a Mexican diplomat and another American University School of International Service scholar gave what I call an important national policy statement based on his research of Mexican and Canadian attitudes toward Fortress North America, a national security plan calling for the harmonization of American, Canadian and Mexican visa and immigration policies to create a North American security perimeter,” said Dr. Van Reidhead, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, where the CAE is housed and administered. “This month’s speaker will also address the spring 2007 series theme – ‘Understanding United States and Mexican National Security: Issues of Mutual Interest’ – and is among many scholars we plan to bring to talk about issues that affect people on both sides of the Rio Grande and around the world.”

The CAE was established at the University in October 2006 with the goal of educating the next generation of national security and intelligence leaders as well as leaders for the global economy at large. The center focuses on broadening the skill sets of students through research, team communication and advanced interdisciplinary studies. The CAE is scheduled to offer an undergraduate minor in global security studies and leadership fall 2007 and in fall 2008 a Master of Arts in interdisciplinary studies in global security studies and leadership.

The CAE will also offer UTPA students the opportunity to study abroad and attend a Leadership Academy in Washington, D.C. with expenses paid, to work as research assistants and with visiting scholars, and have access to paid government internships.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call Nick Weimer at 956/318-5342.