International Educator - May/June 2013 - 53

“I have also had scorpions die waiting to cross—
scorpions gathered at great risk to the people
collecting them. And when you are crossing the
border and have to say you have drugs with you,
‘drugs’ is not a good word.
”
comes a Catch-22,” he says. “Research is an indirect
thing: universities don’t direct research. When you
develop an alliance it can be thick or thin. If you have
a good alliance and partners, it’s up to the professors to develop ties. If there is not as much back and
forth, you don’t get spillover from new people and
new partners. Things that could come about, such as
if you are sent to teach you could start researching,
don’t happen.”
McDermott is working on collaborative research
with Belén Avendaño Ruiz, a professor of economy
at the School of Economics and International Relations at Universidad Autonoma de Baja California in
Mexico.
“Her specialty is development economics and agricultural economics, and we are working together
on a project on how Mexico’s transforming its food
safety regulatory system and how NAFTA has shaped
that and the food industry,” McDermott says. “In her
case, she has detailed local knowledge and contacts,
knows the story of Mexico in detail, and where the
data is. She is a very competent agricultural economist. I offer a broader theoretical portfolio and more
of a comparative perspective. I’m more familiar with

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR

That is part of a larger general disparity between the
resources available to academics in the two countries. Outside Mexico City and some of the larger
Mexican urban centers, investment in basic research
and the level of physical resources at research institutions is often dramatically less than in the United
States, says Boyer.
“Mexican universities don’t have as much money
as has historically gone into lab development in the
United States,” Boyer says. “You can find the same
tech in Mexico but it is not as abundant. In Mexican labs today, that places a premium on hands-on
cleverness that was once the domain of
American scientists. They don’t have as many
machines. The work in Mexico is more likely
to be thoughtfully tailored to the question and
less likely to involve high volume attempts
to try everything that you can. I find my collaboration with Mexican partners to be very
stimulating and exciting because you have to
solve problems in a way that engages the brain
differently. I was working on a new model once
and didn’t have the equipment I needed to collect a specimen. A U.S. colleague said, ‘if I were
in my lab, I’d have exactly the thing I need.’ A Mexican
colleague who was there brought over some tubing
that was there for another purpose, reassembled it
and invented a tool that we could use in 15 minutes.”
The disparity in academic resources and the sometimes problematic linkages between the two countries
actually ties into the research of some academics, such
as University of South Carolina Associate Professor of
International Business Gerald A. McDermott’s comparative research into regional integration regimes.
“[The North America Free Trade Agreement] is about
opening up incentives, and the European Union, another integration project, attempts to develop linkages
in different realms,” McDermott says. “The EU also
does it with research: there is a fair amount of support
for research for Western professors to build projects
with Eastern European professors. There is some here
[between the United States and Mexico], but it’s not as
strong as you would think. At least in Europe there is
a venue, a direction, to build these ties. The idea is not
only increased professional integration but also the upgrading of professionals and their skills. As applied to
education, the big issue in terms of U.S.-Mexican education are developments that over the past few years

have stymied educational exchanges with Mexico. U.S.
universities are basically reducing their exchanges at
the undergraduate level with Mexican institutions because of perceived and real security risks. That’s a really
big problem. We know that cross-border integration
depends a lot on social and educational integration,
especially when looking at what happened in Europe.
What risk factors do is delay development of these
relationships at best. If people don’t start to see each
other as neighbors and as a place to go, then there is
not much desire to build common institutions or help
the development process in Mexico itself.”
Such trends directly feed into U.S.-Mexican
academic research patterns, McDermott says. “It be-

M AY + J U N E . 13

THINKSTOCK

Different Tools,
Shared Solutions

53  



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - May/June 2013

International Educator - May/June 2013
Contents
From the Editors
Front Lines
In Brief
Voices: Kofi Annan
Peace Pathways
Shared Solutions
San Francisco State Shines in Long-Term Study Abroad
Education Abroad
Foreign Student Affairs
Forum
In Focus
International Educator - May/June 2013 - International Educator - May/June 2013
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Cover2
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Contents
International Educator - May/June 2013 - From the Editors
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 3
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Front Lines
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 5
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 6
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 7
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 8
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 9
International Educator - May/June 2013 - In Brief
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 11
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 12
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 13
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 14
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 15
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 16
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 17
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 18
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 19
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 20
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 21
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 22
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 23
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Voices: Kofi Annan
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 25
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 26
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 27
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 28
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 29
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 30
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 31
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Peace Pathways
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 33
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 34
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 35
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 36
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 37
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 38
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 39
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 40
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 41
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 42
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 43
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Shared Solutions
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 45
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 46
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 47
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 48
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 49
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 50
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 51
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 52
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 53
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 54
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 55
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 56
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 57
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 58
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 59
International Educator - May/June 2013 - San Francisco State Shines in Long-Term Study Abroad
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 61
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 62
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 63
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 64
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 65
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 66
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 67
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 68
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 69
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Education Abroad
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 71
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 72
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 73
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 74
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 75
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Foreign Student Affairs
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 77
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 78
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 79
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 80
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 81
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Forum
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 83
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 84
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 85
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 86
International Educator - May/June 2013 - 87
International Educator - May/June 2013 - In Focus
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Cover3
International Educator - May/June 2013 - Cover4
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