College Wins Grant to Support International Exchange Opportunities

Students and faculty from TC3 and global partner at the TC3 Fram

Thanks to a $25,000 grant from the 100,000 Strong in the Americas (100K) Innovation Fund, Tompkins Cortland Community College is collaborating with Universidad Federico Henríquez y Carvajal (UFHEC) in the Dominican Republic on the creation of reciprocal educational exchange opportunities for underrepresented students in the field of Sustainable Farming and Food Systems. As part of the grant, a two-week intensive English program for UFHEC students is underway at Tompkins Cortland, with a focus on holistic exploration of farming and food systems through intercultural experiential learning.

The 100K Innovation Fund is a public-private sector collaboration between the U.S. Department of State, AgroAmerica, U.S. Embassies, Partners of the Americas, corporations, and foundations working together to stimulate new higher education partnerships between the United States and the rest of the Western Hemisphere. Tompkins Cortland’s grant was one of twelve awarded this year as part of the 100K Innovation Fund goal of inspiring U.S. universities and colleges to partner with regional higher education institutions to design and implement new models of academic exchange programs for underserved students throughout the Americas.

Tompkins Cortland’s project is called CRESE - Cultivating Reciprocal Education through Sustainable Exchange. It endeavors to increase the number of college graduates in the United States and the Dominican Republic with the linguistic, intercultural, and technical skills needed to make an impact in their respective fields. To achieve this goal, Tompkins Cortland and UFHEC are establishing reciprocal educational exchange opportunities to allow students from both institutions to learn about the different regional and cultural approaches to sustainable agriculture in their host countries. The hope is that as they move into their professional careers, this partnership will allow graduates to advocate for sustainable development from a global perspective.

The current visit involves seven students and three faculty from UFHEC spending two weeks on the Tompkins Cortland campus and visiting various locations in the region. In addition to taking intensive English classes, students have visited Cornell University’s Homer C. Thompson Vegetable Research Farm, Van Noble Farm in Trumansburg, Agricultural Consulting Services and Dairy One in Ithaca, Northland Sheep Dairy in Marathon, and Food Venture Center, New York State Integrated Pest Management Program, and Cornell AgriTech in Geneva. They participated in a workday on the TC3 Farm, a tour of the College’s culinary arts center and restaurant Coltivare, and visited with City of Ithaca Director of Sustainability Luis Aguirre-Torres as part of their experiences in New York State.