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Higher ed internationalization, climate change focus of 19th CONAHEC conference at NMSU

Representatives from 160 universities in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, along with a select group of institutions worldwide, will meet at New Mexico State University April 2-4 for the 19th North American Higher Education Conference, hosted by the Consortium for North American Higher Education Collaboration and the International and Border Programs office at NMSU.

Man gesturing while speaking
Rod McSherry, interim associate provost of International and Border Programs at New Mexico State University, talks about the upcoming North American Higher Education Conference. The conference is hosted by the Consortium for North American Higher Education Collaboration and the International and Border Programs office at NMSU. (NMSU photo by Josh Bachman)

Conference keynote speakers will be NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu and Kate O’Neill, Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Higher Education Department. As part of the conference, CONAHEC will also host the third North American Center for Collaborative Development Conference, which will focus on climate resilience and clean energy. The conference is open to non-members and students for a fee ($550 for non-members, $200 for students), as well as CONAHEC members.

CONAHEC is a trilateral nonprofit organization that was started around the same time as the North American Free Trade Agreement, which began in 1994. CONAHEC began as a way of increasing economic integration and cultural interaction to help higher education institutions collaborate and develop programs and educational opportunities.

The theme of this year’s main conference is strategic high education internationalization in North American, including successful practices and lessons learned.

The conference will also serve as an opportunity to showcase NMSU’s linkages to Mexico and Latin America, being the U.S. land grant university closest to the U.S./Mexico border, said Rod McSherry, interim provost of International and Border Programs at NMSU. Because of NMSU’s proximity to the border, it will be easier for representatives from Mexican universities and higher education institutions to attend the conference.

“It demonstrates that we are a U.S. university with a cross-border and international perspective,” McSherry said. “It fits with our strategic vision of being an agent of change on the border. Renewable energy and climate change are critical topics for us, so this is an opportunity to put on stage, literally and figuratively, the kinds of research that we do here.”

The conference will also provide opportunities for NMSU faculty, staff and students to meet representatives of other universities to discuss student mobility, which includes exchange programs, and to meet subject matter experts from other institutions.

The conference will take place at the Corbett Center Student Union. For more information, visit https://conahec.org/.