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For Immediate Release (00-59)
Date: October 12, 2000
Contact: Steve Simon, 240-567-7952 (Pager: 301-930-2880)

Montgomery College Receives State Department Grant to Help
Foster Democratization in Dominican Republic and Initiate Academic Exchanges

Montgomery College, in partnership with the Latin American Social Sciences Faculty-Dominican Republic (FLACSO-DR), has received its first international grant from the U.S. State Department to strengthen Latin American studies at the College and initiate academic exchanges with participating institutions in both U.S. and the Dominican Republic, and in Puerto Rico.

The grant will be used to greatly enhance Latin American studies at Montgomery College. Key components include the spring 2001 launch of student exchange trips to the Dominican Republic and the establishment of the first international distance learning Web site to be accessed by both MC and Dominican students. Also, the creation of instructional modules and mini-Web sites within existing courses, and development of an intensive ESL course in research and survival skills for visiting Dominicans.

In conjunction with the grant, a series of six academic conferences was held in the Dominican Republic, to discuss the process of democratization in the Dominican Republic. Topics included better civilian-military relations, civilian empowerment in decision making in areas formerly under control of the military, the strengthening of civilian institutions, and the preservation of human rights.

The first U.S. conference featuring two internationally known scholars was held in early October at the Rockville Campus of Montgomery College. Professor Lilian Bobea, grant project director for FLACSO-DR, presented an overview of emergent democracy in the Dominican Republic within the Caribbean context. Dr. Reginald Wilson, senior scholar emeritus, American Council on Education, examined the topic of democracy, human rights and diversity in South Africa, Haiti and Brazil.

For more information, contact Dr. Roseli Ejzenberg, Montgomery College project director for the Latin American grant, at 240-567-7438.

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