University of San Diego Partners with Colombian University To  Promote Social Innovation and Cultural Understanding

SAN DIEGO, June 19- The University of San Diego Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies (Kroc School) and Corporación Universitaria Minuto de Dios in Bogotá, Colombia have been selected to participate in a unique program aimed at increasing student exchange and training opportunities throughout the Americas.

Sponsored by the Colombian Institute of Educational Loans and Studies Abroad (ICETEX) and the U.S. Department of State, the Kroc School is one of only eleven U.S. universities selected to participate in the Innovation Fund program. The Innovation Fund inspires U.S. universities and colleges to team up with higher education institutions in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada to create dynamic partnerships that will increase student exchange and training opportunities throughout the Americas. Innovation Fund partnerships construct bridges of connectivity, strengthening education cooperation regionally and increased opportunities for students to gain new skills, work in teams, and become better prepared for the global workforce.

"Winning an Innovation Fund Grant is a validation of the Kroc School's distinctive collaborative learning model in social innovation and peacebuilding. This grant will enable co-creation, with our partner Uniminuto, of solutions to existing challenges in the region. A central component of our model is that it supports the flow of students in both directions as teams of Colombian students will come to San Diego in late spring to pitch their social innovations," says Kroc School Dean Patricia Marquez.

The $25,000 grant will be matched with other Kroc School funds to build opportunities for students to explore peacebuilding and social innovation work through the creation of a new U.S.-Colombia bi-directional exchange program which will allow Colombian students to participate in the year-long Global Social Innovation Challenge at USD, and for U.S. students to travel to Colombia to learn about social innovation and peacebuilding.

To date, since January 2014, the Innovation Fund has awarded 168 grants to teams of 325 higher education institutions from 25 countries in the Western Hemisphere region. Colombia now ranks second in this signature hemispheric-wide education initiative:  a total of 39 higher education teams from 23 U.S. states and 14 Colombian states are working together to implement Innovation Fund partnerships and provide more student exchange and training programs in a variety of academic fields. 

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.


Pamela Gray Payton
(619) 260-4681