SALT LAKE CITY — As a research geneticist, Noelle Cockett’s early collaborations with international researchers took place by snail mail.

“Needless to say, it was fairly difficult to significantly connect with international partners to set up collaborations that can tap into expertise from other countries,” said Cockett, president of Utah State University.

Now it is more common than not that research projects include international partners, said Cockett, speaking on a panel of five Utah college and university presidents — all women — Thursday during the Utah Global Forum at Grand America.

The connections enable researchers to leverage funding available from different countries, personnel and opportunities for students, she said.

“So when I hear the world is flat … that’s really, really true with research. I think those connections are a wonderful way to leverage Utah into new markets, new businesses and new discoveries,” Cockett said.

University of Utah President Ruth Watkins agreed, adding, “Research really knows no boundaries.”

The university attracts researchers — and students — worldwide, she said.

“Our graduate students are coming from everywhere and our faculty are doing research around the world. I think about areas like global health, which is literally on every continent in their work in their research mission and operation,” Watkins said.

The U.’s Asia campus is one of the founding institutions of Incheon Global Campus in South Korea. Other founders include George Mason University and Belgium’s Ghent University.

U. students attend school on both the Salt Lake City and Incheon campuses while they earn their degrees.

Utah Valley University President Astrid Tuminez attended Brigham Young University as an undergraduate, moving to the United States from the Philippines. Community connections were key to her success, she said.

“I already knew English, but what was really important was the community support. I had a host family. They actually helped me understand why we had to …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


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