Texas State dean shares insights
with Nicaraguan universities
By Billi London-Gray
Jaime Chahin, the dean of the College of Applied Arts at Texas State University, specializes in creating educational opportunities. His efforts — ranging from promoting the literacy aims of the Tomás Rivera Children’s Book Award to establishing the Center for Migrant Education at Texas State, which helps the children of migrant workers — have helped thousands pursue their educational goals. This month, Chahin visited Nicaragua, where he shared his insights about improving higher education with colleagues at universities.
Chahin’s trip was funded by a U.S. Speaker Specialist grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Information Programs. According to the IIP website, the bureau engages international audiences, through embassy outreach and a variety of print and electronic media, on issues of foreign policy, society and values to help create an environment receptive to U.S. national interests.
From May 30 through June 4, Chahin visited public and private institutions — including the National University of Managua, the National Agrarian University, the University of Engineering-Nueva Guinea, and the National Council of Universities — speaking on the topic, “Higher Education Administration.” The lectures and presentations were conducted in Spanish.
“I lectured on topics like program evaluation, admissions, faculty development, student learning outcomes and accreditation issues in universities,” Chahin says. “It was an opportunity to built relationships for faculty and student exchanges and Fulbright opportunities.”
While in Nicaragua, Chahin also was interviewed by local media. In an interview with Managua’s El Nuevo Diario (also conducted in Spanish), Chahin discussed the importance of admissions standards and the role of government in supporting higher education.
Chahin previously has been invited by the State Department to conduct presentations at universities in Chile, Costa Rica, Honduras, Peru and Nicaragua.