UTEP College of Health Sciences Welcomes University of Costa Rica Faculty
The UTEP College of Health Sciences invited faculty members from the University of Costa Rica (UCR) in mid-February to discuss possible collaborations between the two institutions and to tour the college’s state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories.
Catalina Smith and Judith Umaña are physical therapists in UCR’s School of Health Technologies in San Jose, Costa Rica. The Central American university recently opened a new building for its allied health science programs. It will house research laboratories that are similar to those in the College of Health Sciences.
During their weeklong visit to UTEP, Smith and Umaña toured the kinesiology department’s Virtual Reality and Motor Control Research Lab and the Stanley E. Fulton Biomechanics and Motor Behavior Lab. They also visited the rehabilitation sciences laboratories in the Campbell Building to learn more about the physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language pathology programs.
Smith and Umaña will use the feedback they received to strengthen their own research facilities at UCR.
Their visit also was an opportunity to discuss future research collaborations between the two institutions, said Gabriel Ibarra-Mejia, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in UTEP’s Department of Public Health Sciences.
Ibarra-Mejia visited UCR last summer to discuss ways to enhance the existing relationship between UTEP and UCR. Since 2005, UTEP students have been traveling to UCR as part of the college’s Minority Health International Research Training (MHIRT) Program.
Funded by the National Institutes of Health – National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, MHIRT provides short-term international health disparities research opportunities for Hispanic undergraduate and graduate students.