Florida universities partner with Israeli institutions

Florida A&M University President Larry Robinson, FAMU student London Camel, Florida...
Florida A&M University President Larry Robinson, FAMU student London Camel, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and FAMU student Taylar Hall at Tel Aviv University.(WCTV)
Published: May. 29, 2019 at 1:56 PM EDT
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By: Capitol News Service

May 29, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) – Three Florida universities this week signed agreements with universities in Israel, creating opportunities for new studies and programs.

On Tuesday, Florida International University signed a five-year agreement with Tel Aviv University to explore why children become anxious, and how to avoid the negative consequences of that anxiety.

FIU President Mark Rosenberg says the two schools will share a $5 million grant.

“Our psychologists will identify new solutions for addressing child anxiety, new solutions for addressing depression, for reducing individuals who drop out, and in particular, they're very concerned with child suicide, and they're going to find a new way to treat the causes and conditions that lead to child depression,” said FIU President Mark Rosenberg. "So, we're very excited about it.”

Florida Gulf Coast University signed an agreement with Tel Aviv University Tuesday to cooperate on growing both schools’ entrepreneurial studies.

The plan will provide each school with greater opportunities for students to learn, says FGCU’s Dr. Saundra Kauanui.

“I actually just finished talking to the professor who runs the program here, and we're already setting up and talking about some exchange program,” said Dr. Kauanui. "So, I can see a lot of opportunity. Also, we do have opportunities for venture capital. One of the things we've not been able to do is venture capital seed funding for students, and what's interesting is it's non-equity holding, so the kids get it as grants, the students get it as grants, and it gives them the opportunities to start their businesses."

Kauanui says a significant number of students could benefit from the agreement.

“Our program's got, between our undergraduate and a team of our graduate students, as well as our runway students, we've probably got about 650 to 700 students now, at minimum, that potentially would be somebody who would be impacted by it,” said Kauanui. "I'm not sure what the size is of their entrepreneurship program, at the undergraduate level he's just starting to develop an undergraduate degree program, so I think we'll be able to help them grow that."

On Thursday, Florida A&M University President Dr. Larry Robinson signed an agreement with the University of Haifa that will expand study abroad options.

“The memorandum of understanding we signed in Tel Aviv opens a gateway to the rich educational and cultural treasures of the University of Haifa and Israel to FAMU students in various disciplines. This partnership will also expose the University of Haifa community to the incredible students who attend FAMU,” Robinson said.

William Hyndman II, Ph.D., assistant vice president for International Education and Development, said FAMU students will be able to study abroad at the University of Haifa for an academic year, semester or summer session.

“Study abroad offers students the opportunity to experience a different country and culture, and to develop intercultural competency, which is essential in today’s increasingly globally interconnected world,” Hyndman said.