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AAMU Will Welcome Team from Colombia

Colombian Experience
July 29, 2022

Returning Hospitality

colombia 1[NOTE:  100K Strong in the Americas Award Team--AAMU, LASABANA, and UNIMINUTO “From Intention to Action: Entrepreneurship and Innovation Initiative to Support SMEs in the U.S. and Colombia” --Summer 2022 AAMU South Mobility International Program in Colombia]


With the grant award of the 100K Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund a few months ago and colombia 2the tremendous administrative support from the three institutions (Alabama A&M University, USA; Universidad de La Sabana, Colombia; and UNIMINUTO, Colombia) a one-year project—“From Intention to Action: Entrepreneurship and Innovation Initiative to support SMEs in the U.S. and Colombia”—was launched successfully for academic year 2021-2022.

colombia 3After participating in the two semesters’ interactive virtual workshops that the students from the three institutions proposed innovative solutions to challenges launched by companies in the U.S. and Colombia, the winning teams from the two countries could finally meet each other.

In early June 2022, three students from AAMU (Akhia Floyd, Trinity Poplar and Isaiah Thompson) travelled to Colombia for a unique transformative journey of international innovation, cultural enrichment and entertainment. Students were accompanied by Dr. Xia Zhang, coordinator of International Programs at AAMU’s College of Business and Public Affairs, and Dr. Valentina Iscaro, assistant professor and entrepreneurship program coordinator.

colombia 4The group spent the first part of the week in Bogota--‘The Fridge’. The AAMU 100K Strong team met students, faculty and administrators of the University UNIMINUTO. Led by Camilo Velásquez Rodríguez, vice director of accommodation and incubation of the Social Innovation Science Park, the 100K Strong team met with Carlos Vasquez H., head of international relations of UNIMINUTO, and with President Diego Jaramillo. Dr. Jaramillo, the 90-year-old president and priest, discussed the history of UNIMINUTO and the innovative impact priests and students have had. The team also visited the University Museum of Modern Art and the Social Innovation Center at UNIMINUTO, where students and faculty work together to find innovative solutions to the social problem affecting Colombia.

colombia 5During the weekend of the stay, the 100K Strong team moved to the Tocaima region, visiting the Agropark, owned by UNIMINUTO and created from the vision of the Professor Hector Lopez. The 100K Strong team toured several museums, including the Communications Museum, which is dedicated to the radio, a medium that played a vital role in Colombia; then the Rochereau Museum, Tradition Museum, Archeological New Hope Museum, and the Coffee House Museum. AAMU participants learned about the impressive history of Colombian printing, radios, and high priests.

colombia 6An awesome learning challenge, however, was learning to salsa dance after the agricultural tour.  The team learned more about the incredibly rich Colombian vegetation and saw and tasted several varieties of fruit.

After the weekend at the Agropark, 100K Strong team moved to Chia, home of the Universidad de La Sabana (LA SABANA).  They were welcomed by Ricardo Sotaquirá-Gutiérrez, associate professor at the College of Engineering, and Angela Patricia Jimenez Gomez, manager of internationalization at Engineering School. Under their leadership, 100K Strong team students and faculty participated in several workshops to learn about the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Colombia and to observe how the university sustains entrepreneurial mindsets and endeavors through their Living Lab--the pioneering engineering program. The LA SABANA colleagues guided conducted a tour of the LA SABANA campus, dining centers inspired by the gastronomic center, the engineering labs, sports sectors, university library, study halls, and more. The entrepreneurial activity in the 3D printing room encouraged the students to imagine that anything is possible and all ideas are important.

colombia 7The one-week trip in Colombia was short; however, the warmest welcome and the kind hospitality impressed member of the AAMU 100K Strong team. The AAMU 100K Strong team had the great opportunity to meet the administrators of international relations of LASABANA to discuss the potential collaboration opportunities for ultimately win-win benefits for the faculty and students at AAMU and LA SABANA. Reflecting the transformative journey in Colombia, South America, the AAMU team’s global vision is enlarged with the exposure to the rich history, the unique business settings, and the creative mindset of the Colombian business leaders, and the Colombian faculty and students.

From August 20-26, 2022, the Alabama A&M team will cordially welcome the Colombian 100K Strong team for the north mobility program in Huntsville, Alabama—"Sweet Home Alabama.”  In Huntsville the 100K Strong team will live an intense week of workshops, meetings, business site visits and cultural activities. The ultimate goal for 100K Strong Award Program is to sustain the collaboration for a long-term partnership between AAMU, UNIMINUTO, and LA SABANA.

Captions (from top to bottom):

Photo 1:  (Top) At the UNIMINUTO Campus Coffee Café: Dr. Camilo Velásquez Rodríguez, vice director of Social Innovation Center at UNIMINUTO: Dr. Valentina Iscaro, entrepreneurship professor of COBPA at AAMU; Dr. Xia Zhang, COBPA international program coordinator, AAMU; and Carlos Vasquez, head of International Relations at UNIMINUTO, Bogota, Colombia.

Photo 2:  100K Strong Team Picture with Dr. Diego Jaramillo, president of UNIMINUTO, President’s Office of UNIMINUTO, Bogota, Colombia.

Photo 3:  100K Strong Team in the Nature Workshop at Tena, Colombia.

Photo 4:  100K Strong Team met at Office of International Relations of LASABANA, Colombia

Photo 5:  100K Strong AAMU Team at the Ad Portas building, LASABANA Campus, Chia, Colombia

Photo 6:  100K Strong Team Gather-together at the Living lab of LASABANA, Chia, Colombia

Photo 7:   100K Strong Team meeting and presentation, Living Lab, LASABANA, Chia, Colombia

Photo 8:  Beautiful Farewell dance presented by La Sabana students in the traditional Colombian Costume