Campus Life

World leaders sign memorandums at conference to increase diversity

International figures discussed crossing country boundaries and building connections at the Leaders of the World conference March 3-7 in Wingo Hall.

Keynote speaker Christina Alvarez Rodriguez, Buenos Aires Minister of Government and Executive of Museo Evita Research Center, spoke about her great aunt, former Argentinian First Lady Eva “Evita” Peron.

Rodriguez said Peron inspired her to speak and be the person she is today.

“Evita was the sister of my grandmother and so I’m her niece,” Rodriquez said. “However, Evita is much more than that. Evita was the heart of the political struggle and its history has inspired thousands with her example of dedication.”

Rodriguez said she wanted to share her aunt’s legacy with the women of the world.

“Evita is the story of a passion that we relive every time we fight for justice; a woman who dared to live in a man’s world and left her footprint in social rights,” she said. “This is the Evita that I remember.”

Rodriguez met with President Tom Courtway to discuss the comprehensive plan, “Women for Peace-Abuse Zero.”

Buenos Aires Province Governor Daniel Scioli presented a program to help eliminate gender violence.

Rodriguez also exchanged views on this issue and invited Courtway to work with the students.

Other keynote speakers included Huang Minsheng, Professor of School of Resources and Environmental Sciences and East China Normal University; Nadia Schaefer, President and Autonomous University of Encarnacion co-founder, and Buenos Aires International Relations and Legislature Director Carolina Barone gave presentations about global education, public utilities, transport, the environment and local to global economic development.

Assistant Provost and International Engagement Director Jane Anne Williams said the biggest learning moment from the other leaders was that while UCA may come from different parts of the globe, speak different languages and have different cultural backgrounds, UCA faces the same challenges for the future.

“We must work together in order to solve issues of the environment, gender equality, income and education disparity, and endeavor to create a better 21st century for all of us,” Williams said.

UCA also signed memorandums of understanding with the attending leaders and their respective countries. Williams said these MOUs will lead to increased international diversity on campus, greater opportunities for study abroad and the opportunity to be educated as truly global citizens. During the “Leaders of the World” program, the MOU signing started with University of Encarnation President Nadia Schaefer of Paraguay. National University of La Matanza President Daniel Martize and Water Company of Buenos Aires President Guillermo Scarcella followed in signing the memorandums.

For more information on the conference “Leaders of the World,” visit

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