PUC Rio Celebrates 12 years of the Fulbright U.S. Studies Distinguished Chair

Acting Consul General Michael Yoder, Prof. José Ricardo Bergmann, and Special Advisor to the President, Prof. Danilo Marcondes (Photo:USConGen-RJ)

On June 18, 2015, the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) hosted a special event to celebrate the 12th anniversary and conclusion of the Fulbright Distinguished U.S. Studies Chair at this institution, the first program of its kind in Latin America.  U.S. Consulate General and EducationUSA representatives, and thirty PUC-Rio graduate students and academics, including Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Prof. José Ricardo Bergmann, and the Special Advisor to the President, Prof. Danilo Marcondes participated in the event.

Acting Consul General Michael Yoder opened the event highlighting the importance of the longstanding relationship between the university and the Consulate, and discussed the participation of the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in the establishment of the first Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Latin America.  He stressed that throughout its twelve years of existence, the Chair was responsible for extensive educational exchange, scientific research, and academic publication.  The current and former directors of the Fulbright Chair, Professor of History Marco Antônio Pamplona, Professor of Philosophy Danilo Marcondes, Professor of Sociology Angela Paiva shared their experiences in working with U.S. Fulbright scholars and positive results of this cooperation.  During the 12 years of Fulbright Distinguished Chair in PUC-Rio, 11 senior academics, from U.S. higher education institutions including Vanderbilt University, Columbia University, UCLA and Colby College, exchange their expertise with their Brazilian counterparts in areas of History, Literature, Law, Social Studies, Sociology, Political Science, Afro-descendent, and Latino Studies.  The PUC-Rio professors concluded that the Chair was a unique opportunity for the development of bilateral academic, scientific, and cultural cooperation that included professor and student exchanges, several books, collections of essays, and academic papers based on joint research, and new interdisciplinary graduate course.

Dr. Nancy Erbe
Dr. Nancy Erbe

The last PUC-Rio Chair, Dr. Nancy Erbe, Professor of Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding at California State University Dominguez Hill, concluded the program with the lecture “An Inspired Vision: Social Inequality, Urban Studies and International Relations.”  In her remarks, Prof. Erbe discussed the importance of a multidisciplinary approach that links urban studies, international relations and mediation to address the challenges of the 21st century conflicts.  At the cocktail reception that conclude the event, Acting Consul General Michael Yoder stressed that the topic that Prof. Erbe presented is not only timely, but also supports priority goals and objectives established by the U.S. Diplomatic Mission for U.S.-Brazil bilateral relations.