WMU News

Brazil scholars come to WMU as part of seminar series

Jan. 7, 2005

KALAMAZOO--An expert on Brazilian architecture and an authority on the education system in South America's largest country are coming to Western Michigan University next week as part of a seminar series leading up to a two-week study tour of the country.

Drs. Alberto Rodriguez and Helena Moussatche will make presentations on Saturday, Jan. 15, in Room 3005 of Kohrman Hall as part of the University's Visiting Scholars and Artists Program. Their visits, as well as activities the preceding day and two upcoming seminars in February and March, are sponsored by the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences and are a prelude to the two-week study tour to Brazil April 24 to May 8. Their presentations are free and open to the public.

Rodriguez will give an overview of education in Brazil at 9:15 a.m. and will discuss secondary education and youth development in the South American nation at 10:30 a.m.

Rodriguez is a senior education specialist at the World Bank Group and works on system-wide education reform issues in the Latin American and Caribbean region. He currently leads a policy dialogue and is project manager for all education activities in Brazil.

Rodriguez' interests and experience are in education administration and management, specifically in issues such as financing of education systems, decentralization, school-based strategic development and secondary education. Prior to joining the World Bank in 1997, he was a schoolteacher, school administrator and university professor in Columbia.

Moussatche will give an overview of architectural styles in Brazil starting at 1 p.m. and will discuss politics and educational architecture in the country at 2:30 p.m.

Moussatche is a professor in the Department of Interior Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savanah, Ga., where she teaches classes in interior materials and design studies. She won a Teacher of the Year Award from the College of Design, Construction and Planning while a faculty member at the University of Florida.

Prior to her doctoral studies at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Moussatche was a faculty member in the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning at the Instituto Metadista Bennet. For 19 years, she ran her own architect and interior design business in Rio de Janeiro. Her scholarly projects have included educational architecture as reflections of political and social realities, workplace security and in-store crime control.

In addition to Rodriguez and Moussatche's presentations, a number of other education activities related to Brazil also will be offered during the seminar both Friday evening and all day Saturday, Jan. 14-15. Friday night's events will focus on Brazilian history and government.

The April study tour to Brazil is being coordinated by the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. The department has conducted similar trips to Turkey and Latvia.

For more information on the tour or the upcoming seminars, contact Karen Blaisure, associate professor of family and consumer sciences, at <karen.blaisure@wmich.edu> or (269) 387-3663.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 269 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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