Statement on Recent Natural Disasters in Latin America, the Caribbean and the United States

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, September 20, 2017- Laspau is fortunate to work with an amazing community of talented individuals and institutions across the Americas. Over the past month, natural disasters such as hurricanes in the Caribbean and the southern United States and the earthquakes in Mexico have taken a heavy toll on many of our colleagues and friends. We have been deeply saddened to learn of the destruction, injury and loss of life suffered by residents in Mexico, the Caribbean, and parts of the United States. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by these disasters.

We encourage anyone interested in helping to donate to established organizations such as those found and rated on Charity Navigator:


Continued Partnership Between Laspau and INICIA Educación

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, July 18, 2017- Laspau is proud to be entering our seventh year of partnering with INICIA Educación, an impact investment fund focused on the improvement of the education system in the Dominican Republic. The organization catalyzes their mission through scholarship opportunities at a graduate study level as well as teacher education and educational innovation programs. Since 2012, INICIA Educación has granted scholarships to over 20 individuals to pursue Master´s degrees in education related fields at top-ranked programs in the United States and beyond. The INICIA Educación scholarship program will be accepting applications again in summer of 2017; a second application will open on a later date for studies in Latin America.

Please  check the INICIA Educación page on our website for detailed information on how to apply.

Learn more about INICIA Educación and their initiatives at

Read the press release (in Spanish)

Scholars at UC Berkeley Making an Impact

BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA,  July 7, 2017- On a recent trip to the west coast, the Laspau Executive Director Angélica Natera visited the University of California, Berkeley and met scholars from five Latin American countries pursuing graduate studies at the renowned Bay Area campus. The inaugural meeting brought together scholars from different scholarship programs administered by Laspau. Though studying on the same campus, this was the first opportunity the scholars had to meet in person. They exchanged their learning experiences from the scholarship application process to the benefits and challenges of pursuing graduate studies in a new country.

During the conversation, they also shared their motivations, the importance of the role of the family and friends in their lives, and their dreams for the future. “Everyone is studying in the fields that are critical to their home countries. It gives me a sense of optimism and hope that Latin America will be even stronger when these professionals return home with new knowledge, skills, and experiences. When opportunities are opened, especially in the area of education, young people dream high and begin making an impact early on”, says Natera.

The Laspau-administered scholars studying at UC Berkeley are pursuing diverse areas of research that are sure to positively impact the region:


  • Catalina Vanoli – Master’s degree candidate in Transportation Engineering
  • Luciano Felix Rosso – Master’s degree candidate in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research


  • Daniela Valente Andrade – PhD candidate in Biological and Biomedical Sciences (Infectious Diseases and Immunity)
  • Gabriel Mendes Borges – PhD candidate in Social Sciences (Demography and Population Studies)
  • Luisa Mayumi Arake de Tacca – PhD candidate in Biological and Biomedical Sciences (Comparative Biochemistry)
  • Raissa Estrela Curado – PhD candidate in Biological and Biomedical Sciences (Molecular & Cell Biology)
  • Rubens Golçalves Salsa Júnior – PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering


  • Carlos Orozco Rios – PhD degree candidate in Engineering (Structural Materials)
  • Jessica Camacho Amado – Master’s degree candidate in Architecture (City Planning)
  • Juan Felipe Carvajal Vinasco – PhD degree candidate in Civil and Environmental Engineering


  • Jose Tinoco Ochoa – PhD candidate in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning


  • Rosa Jimenez Barrios – PhD degree candidate in Biological and Biomedical Sciences (Integrative Biology)

Look out for their success stories, as well as those of other Laspau-administered scholars, in future editions of eNews!

Laspau and UNISAL host the Fourth Annual STHEM Consortium Conference in Brazil

LORENA, BRAZIL, July 7, 2017- Laspau, in collaboration with the Salesian University of São Paulo (Centro Universitário Salesiano de São Paulo – UNISAL), carried out the fourth annual STHEM Consortium Program Conference on May 22-26, 2017. The event marked the start of a yearlong training on innovative trends in higher education which involved professors and academic leaders of 47 public and private universities in Brazil. This is the fourth cohort of professors and leaders to participate in the program.

Photo courtesy of STHEM Brazil

Comprised of a series of intensive workshops, the program was led by professors from universities such as Olin College, Tecnológico de Monterrey and Université du Québec à Montréal. These experts shared different teaching methodologies with Brazilian professors to improve classroom content development, assessment, and learning management.

Photo courtesy of STHEM Brazil

The STHEM Consortium was established in 2014, led by Laspau and UNISAL, with the participation of a pioneering group of public and private higher education institutions in Brazil. It works to incorporate academic innovation into participants’ institutions, and has done so with great success.

Though this is a year-long program, professors from the participating universities continue implementing changes after they complete the program, incorporating methodologies in their teaching practice that reflect student-centered learning as well as creating communities of practice in their respective universities. Participants also remain connected to a broad network of experts in this area, exposing them to a variety of approaches to teaching and learning that are geared toward producing leaders in STEM-related practice and research.

For more information on the STHEM Consortium, please read about Fabio Garcia Reis, one of the Consortium founders, or  visit the STHEM Brasil website (in Portuguese).

For more information on University Innovation programs like the STHEM Consortium, please contact our Program Manager for Academic Innovation, Colleen Silva-Hayden.

Laspau, Microsoft and U-Planner Lead Summit on Trends of High-Performing Universities

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, July 7, 2017- A new initiative led jointly by Laspau, Microsoft Corporation’s Higher Education Division and U-Planner, a Chilean entity that develops technology solutions for the education sector was launched in March. The initiative, Summit on Trends of High-Performing Universities brought together presidents and academic deans from universities across Latin America to discuss active learning and new teaching techniques, and the use of big data and advanced educational technology in their universities.

Speakers included:

  • Laspau Trustee and Ford Foundation Professor of the Practice in International Education and Director of the Global Education Innovation Initiative and of The International Education Policy Program at Harvard University, Fernando Reimers
  • Laspau Trustee and Executive Director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University, Ned Strong
  • Laspau Executive Director, Angélica Natera
  • Executive Director of Active Learning at the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) at Harvard University, Anas Chalan
  • Senior Lecturer in the Department of Physics and Associate Director of the Experimental Study Group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Peter Dourmashkin
  • U-Planner Executive Director, Juan Pablo Mena
  • U-Planner Strategic Advisor, Jorge Yutronic
  • Director of Public Sector Markets (LATAM) at Microsoft, Guillermo Almada
  • President of Telefónica, Claudio Muñoz
  • CEO of Fundación Chile, Marcos Kulka
  • CEO of CORFO, Patricio Feres

The first event took place on March 22-23 at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University, and subsequent events were held in Chile and Mexico. Altogether, 30 universities participated in the summit. Within the framework of this event, participants were also able to meet with members of the U-Planner to learn and exchange specific strategic goals of universities through intelligent solutions designed for higher education.

For more information on U-Planner, visit

Laspau Attends the NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, May 28-June 2, 2017- In May, Laspau attended the NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo, an event that brings together world leaders in higher education to discuss pressing topics, exchange ideas and explore new horizons in international education. The conference took place in Los Angeles, California. This year, our coordinator of academic program operations, Brianna Swenson, and program advisor Josaba Uribe presented an informational poster titled, “Return on Cost-Share Investment: Laspau Sponsored Students”, in which they demonstrated how sponsored student programs benefit university campuses across the country and strengthen international networks.

During the week of the conference, Laspau nominated Pennsylvania State University, University of Arizona, and University of Texas-Austin for the 2017 Laspau University Award in recognition of their outstanding support for Laspau-administered scholars. “We value their commitment to supporting exceptional educational opportunities for scholars from Latin America and the Caribbean and for going above and beyond expectations”, stated Laspau Executive Director, Angélica Natera. Last year, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and The University of Kansas shared this important award during the conference held in Denver, Colorado.

For more information about how your institution can collaborate with us, please contact our Program Development and Manager, Ana Paola Cueva at

A new collaboration between Laspau and the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Peru

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Laspau has begun a new program with the CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, April 3, 2017- National University of San Marcos (Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, UNMSM in Spanish), a top-ranking institution in Peru, which is among the oldest in the Americas. The aim of the program is to build core competencies as creators, leaders, problem-solvers, effective communicators and collaborators with a global awareness. Additionally, the program exposed the participants to numerous teaching assistant models with the intention of these participants to become the first undergraduate teaching assistants at San Marcos.

Over the next few months, more than 100 students, professors and institutional leaders will participate in the program in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The program includes seminars, workshops, and interactive sessions with faculty, educators, lecturers from local universities such as Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Boston University, among others. Participants will be exposed to best practices in teaching and learning and work on interdisciplinary teams to create solutions for local challenges in Peru. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][mk_image src=”” image_size=”medium” frame_style=”single_line”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Bringing Technology-Enhanced Active Learning to Costa Rica

Peter Dourmashkin

Peter Dourmashkin of MIT presents on higher education and society at SINAES in Costa Rica.

SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA, November 1, 2016 – Peter Dourmashkin, an MIT physicist and mathematician, founder of the Technology Enhanced Active Learning (TEAL) Lab and frequently collaborator with Laspau’s University Innovation programs recently visited Costa Rica. With Laspau’s help, Professor Dourmashkin was a featured speaker in the 8th annual meeting of the National System for Accreditation in Higher Education in Costa Rica (SINAES) to discuss higher education in the context of society. 

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New IGIP Certification for Engineering Educators is Open for Registration

Certification offers engineering educators an internationally recognized qualification in teaching methodologies for their field.

MAYAGÜEZ, PUERTO RICO, September 27, 2016 – Laspau, in collaboration with InnovaHiEd, the University of Puerto Rico and several regional and international research centers, is launching a new international certification for engineering educators in Spanish. The certification program offers an internationally recognized qualification for teaching and learning methodologies in engineering, science, math, physics and related disciplines. Participants completing the course will be able to add IGIP.Ing.Paed to their title.

The inaugural program, offered for the first time in Spanish, will launch on January 23rd, 2017 at the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez Campus. The program will run over a period of six months and will include online and in-person components. More information on curriculum and registration can be found at: 

Laspau Celebrates 50th Anniversary with Gabriela Montero in Concert

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, October 1, 2016- Laspau is celebrating fifty years of providing individuals and institutions with quality higher education opportunities across the Americas. In order to commemorate this important milestone, Laspau is pleased to feature the world-renowned pianist and Latin Grammy Award winner Gabriela Montero in concert at Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre on Monday, October 17th at 4pm.

Ms. Montero is celebrated for her ability to improvise, composing and playing new works in real time as well as for her sustained efforts to advocate for human rights, as evidenced by her 2015 appointment as the first “Honorary Consul” of Amnesty International. She is the recipient of the 2012 Rockefeller Award for her contributions to the arts and played at Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential Inauguration.

“Laspau is honored to be able to celebrate this momentous occasion with such an accomplished artist who also has a deep commitment to Latin America.” notes Angélica Natera, Laspau’s Executive Director.

Laspau started in 1965 as a bold educational experiment to bring 39 Colombian students to pursue undergraduate degrees at universities in the United States. Since then, the organization has helped open educational opportunities for thousands of individuals from Latin America and the Caribbean and built a network of over 1,000 institutions, 17,000 scholars and 5,000 educators devoted to building knowledge-based societies across the Americas. The organization focuses on scholarship management, admissions testing, and university innovation. Each year, Laspau helps universities across the region to improve their quality and effectiveness by connecting them with the pioneering faculty.

Laspau collaborates closely with governments, foundations and educational institutions across the Americas including partners such as the Fulbright Program of the U.S. Department of State, the Organization of American States, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.