News Release

Southeastern first U.S. public university to receive prestigious Latin American award

Contact: Rene Abadie


Mario Marenco, Aristides Baraya, Randy Moffett, John Crain, Teresita Garcia

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SOUTHEASTERN RECEIVES PRESTIGIOUS HONOR -- Southeastern Louisiana University was awarded the Ibero-American Council for Excellence in Education Award presented by a consortium of 18 agencies in Latin America for excellence in educational programming and relationships with Latin American nations and organizations. The award was presented in September in Panama City. From left are Mario Marenco, director of academic research for the council; Aristides Baraya, director of the Latin American Business Development Initiative for the Southeastern College of Business; Southeastern President Randy Moffett; John Crain, Southeastern provost and vice president for academic affairs; and Teresita Garcia, council board member.

     HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University became the first public university in the United States earlier this month to be recognized for its Latin American programs by the Ibero-American Council for Excellence in Education, a consortium of 18 ministries of education in Latin America.

     Southeastern President Randy Moffett and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs John Crain received the Ibero-American Award in Honor of Educative Quality at the group’s annual meeting in Panama City. Also attending the event was Randy Settoon, dean of the College of Business, and Aristides Baraya, instructor in business and director of the College of Business Latin American Business Development Initiative.

     At the event, Moffett was awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of his support of Southeastern’s programs in Latin America; Crain received an honorary master’s degree in Ibero-American Education Management; and Baraya was presented the Medal of Honor for outstanding results in the management of Latin American programs.

     The award, which has been offered since 2004, is given to educational institutions in Latin America, Spain and the United States that are recognized for delivering exceptional programs that foster unique learning experiences for Latin American people and that have a demonstrated excellent relationship with governments, non-profit organizations and universities in Latin American countries.

     Southeastern receives multiple award nominations from Latin American nations. The nomination, evaluation and award process takes approximately nine months. Nominees are evaluated and measured against specific criteria. Southeastern was recognized for its academic excellence on its campus and in its Latin American programs, excellence in services, community service, instructional indicators, social contributions to the Latin American community and excellence in governmental and business relations with Latin America.

     “We are extremely proud to accept these honors from our friends and colleagues in Latin America,” Moffett said. “Over the years, we have worked diligently to establish strong relationships with these nations, their governmental agencies, universities and a wide range of other educational and economic development organizations.

     “These programs promote international education and cultural exchange opportunities for our community, faculty, staff and students and provide valuable opportunities for exposure to a wide variety of diverse people, ideas and cultures,” he added.

     “The exchanges with Latin American business coalitions and chambers of commerce have also helped stimulate economic development and trade opportunities that contribute to the economic wellbeing of the state of Louisiana,” said Baraya, who has been at the forefront of developing Latin American relationships with the Southeastern College of Business.

     In addition to traditional study abroad programs for its own students, Southeastern offers numerous educational programs for Latin American businesses that include seminars and workshops for business leaders and entrepreneurs, artisans, attorneys and elected officials covering a wide range of business, telecommunications, marketing and economic topics. Southeastern is currently working on educational partnerships with the National University of El Salvador, The Univeridad Libre in Colombia and the National University for Distance Education is Costa Rica.

     “We are pleased that we have been able to develop so many working alliances with governments, educational institutions, and non-profit agencies that have enabled us to expand our educational offerings for Latin America,” Baraya explained.

     The Ibero-American Council for Excellence in Education, which is headquartered in Peru, promotes changes in educational systems designed to promote excellence in education through exchange programs. In addition to the ministries of education, the council is supported by UNESCO, the Center for Ibero-American Studies and Culture, Catholic University of Manizales in Colombia, the Latin American Association for Integration, and the Association of Higher Education of Brazil.

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