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NAFSA Welcomes Cuban Scholars to 2016 Annual Conference

New NAFSA Research Provides Evidence that Institutional Grants are an Effective Tool to Grow Study Abroad

NAFSA Cuba Engagement Initiative provided travel grants for the four scholars to attend the conference

 WASHINGTON, May 25, 2016 – NAFSA: Association of International Educators welcomes four scholars from Cuba’s University of Cienfuegos to “Building Capacity for Global Learning”, the 68th Annual Conference and Expo at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colo., May 29 – June 3, 2016. The NAFSA-sponsored Cuban scholars’ attendance is part of NAFSA’s ongoing commitment to creating sustainable partnerships between U.S. and Cuban academic institutions through the NAFSA Cuba Engagement Initiative. This initiative consists of two interconnected projects aimed at building a more globally engaged United States: the Cuba-U.S. Higher Education Dialogue Project and the Educators for Cuba Campaign.

The University of Cienfuegos scholars are:

  • Juan Bautista Cogollos MartinezPresident
  • Dictino Díaz GonzálezProfessor, Advisor to the Vice Chancellor of University Extension
  • Dayni Diaz MederosCoordinator, International Academic Relations, International Academic Programs
  • Lourdes PomaresDirector and Associate Professor, International Relations Office

At the conference, the Cuban scholars will participate in two sessions from the Cuba-special focus track of the conference program. Forging Productive Educational Partnerships between Cuba and the United States, Tuesday, May 31, focuses on the successful strategies the University of Cienfuegos has deployed to create and develop programs that promote learning in a globalized context with partner institutions around the world. The Cuban Higher Education Landscape: Opportunities of Engagement for International Education, Thursday, June 2, is an overview of higher education in Cuba, as well as the opportunities and possibilities for increased international linkages.

“Thanks to the recent easing of U.S. restrictions on Cuba by the Obama administration, we have the pleasure of adding these sessions and guests to our annual conference program. At NAFSA, we believe travel is inherently educational and a human right, and we have worked tirelessly over the past 10 years to include Cuba,” said NAFSA Executive Director and CEO, Marlene M. Johnson. “NAFSA is proud to welcome our colleagues from the University of Cienfuegos and encourage the beginnings of new relationships and partnerships. We remain committed to providing higher education colleagues from throughout the world opportunities to meet and consider ways to broaden international education destinations for students and scholars wishing to explore the world. We also remain committed to urging Congress to act to lift remaining trade and travel restrictions with Cuba and to make permanent the changes made by the administration.”

The NAFSA Annual Conference and Expo is the world’s largest gathering of professionals in international education with an expected 10,000 attendees from over 100 countries. With more than 200 concurrent sessions, 50 training workshops, eight faculty development colloquia, as well as plenary addresses by distinguished world leaders, networking receptions, and informal meetings, the conference offers countless opportunities for the scholars to engage with their peers on common issues, objectives, and program ideas.


Sample tweet: 4 Cuban scholars to participate in #nafsa16 world’s largest gathering of #intled in hopes of creating U.S.-Cuban academic partnerships.

About NAFSA: With more than 10,000 members, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the world’s largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education. Visit us at To learn more about our advocacy efforts on behalf of international education, visit and @ConnectOurWorld on Twitter.

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