Global View; CASNR hosts Haiti visitors in hopes of academic collaboration
Striving toward a goal of sustainability, Reginald Cean, the director of the agriculture program at the Learning Center Fritz Lafontant (CFFL) in Corporant, Haiti, visited Texas Tech University on Thursday (Sept. 12) to meet with the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources administration officials to discuss opportunities for future collaboration.
“We’re looking to develop relationships between universities,” Cean said. “When students graduate from our school, we want them to go develop something to improve the quality of their lives and the community. To do that, we need strong partnerships in education.”
The initial connection with the community-based, non-profit vocational school was made in June when faculty representing Tech’s International Center for Food Safety Excellence visited CFFL to seek opportunities for collaboration. The group of multidisciplinary professionals and researchers included Tech faculty members Todd Brashears, Mindy Brashears, Leslie Thompson and Sam Jackson.
Following their return to the United States, they were joined by David Weindorf, B. L. Allen Endowed Chair in Pedology in Tech’s plant and soil science department, who worked with Cean and CFFL in his previous position at Louisiana State University.
Similar to the EARTH University model in Costa Rica, CFFL was created in 2012 with three programs and 75 students. CFFL is the first school of its kind in Haiti and focuses on learning by experience. The school currently offers three degrees in the areas of agriculture, construction and woodworking.
“We have an abundance of resources that can assist the school as they work toward long-term agricultural development and sustainability for Haiti,” said Todd Brashears, an associate professor in Tech’s Department of Agricultural Education and Communication. “We will send our students there to develop a sense of responsibility and humanitarianism, and we will host their students and faculty here as needed for training.”
CASNR faculty and students will begin traveling to Haiti as early as May 2014 to provide courses for students and train Haitian instructors in areas where they need assistance and expertise. Brashears said CASNR will look to develop human capacity by training CFFL faculty where needed, while providing teaching resources where appropriate. Instruction via distance technology will also be provided on a regular basis.
Written by Faith Jurek
CONTACT: Todd Brashears, associate professor, Department of Agricultural Education & Communication Texas Tech University at firstname.lastname@example.org
0921NM13 / CAPTION: (L-R) Todd Brashears, Mindy Brashears, Reginald Cean and David Weindorf