Earlier this month, Chile’s soon-to-be president, Michelle Bachelet, selected University of Iowa alum Marcelo Mena-Carrasco to serve as the country’s undersecretary of the environment. His recent efforts to improve the nation’s air quality played a major role in his selection for the post.
During International Education Week (November 11-15), it is particularly important to emphasize the importance and wide range of the connections between Iowa and the world. Each year, hundreds of UI students go abroad to study for a few weeks, a semester, or a year. Faculty and staff interact daily with colleagues around the world to collaborate on critical research. And international students come to our campus for a world-class education, some staying in the U.S. after receiving their degrees to start businesses and create jobs, and some returning to their home countries to become leaders in science, business, industry, education and government.
Imagine that you live near a smog-filled city of six million people where, despite the best pollution prevention and forecasting efforts by city officials, residents often are mistakenly told to remain indoors on clear days and advised to go outdoors when the air is polluted. Some of us likely would stay put and endure the conditions, while others would move away to a different city. But UI alumnus Marcelo Mena-Carrasco chose a different path—he joined forces with UI colleagues as well as officials of the city of Santiago, Chile, to implement a dramatically improved pollution-forecasting model for the city of Santiago.
Marcelo Mena-Carrasco, a Chilean alumnus of the UI College of Engineering and advocate of socially responsible and sustainable environmental practices, has been named the winner of the 2013 International Impact Award. President Sally Mason and Associate Provost and Dean of International Programs Downing Thomas will present the award to Dr. Mena-Carrasco at 5 p.m., November 8, in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol Museum immediately preceding the taping of the television/radio/internet program “WorldCanvass: The Social Impact of Sustainability.” The public is invited to attend both the program and the following reception.
Trudy Huskamp Peterson, one of the leading archivists in the world and the 2011 International Impact Award recipient at the University of Iowa, will present two workshops on the UI campus. Both events are free and open to the public.