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Across country lines

International Exchange Agreement Virtual Signing
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Dr. Charles Berry, professor and associate dean for academic affairs; Lydia Muñoz, visiting student;
Dean Lawrence
Wolinsky; Barbara Castillo, visiting student; Dr. Larry Bellinger, Regents Professor and associate dean for
research and graduate studies; and Dr. Mohsen
Taleghani, professor and chair of general dentistry.

Photo by Art Upton

Hundreds of miles and a national border separate the college from its newest educational partner. That didn’t stop administrators at both institutions from meeting ‘face to face’ to sign a student exchange agreement.

It’s late in the afternoon on Friday, Sept. 21. Dean Lawrence Wolinsky and Drs. Charles Berry, Larry Bellinger and Mohsen Taleghani have gathered around the board room conference table. Behind them are visiting dental students Barbara Castillo and Lydia Muñoz, still attired in blue scrubs from their day of clinic observation.

All eyes are trained on the TV across the room, where they watch administrators from Castillo and Muñoz’s school, Tecnológico de Monterrey School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

In a first for Texas A&M Health Science Center Baylor College of Dentistry, the college signed an agreement for a predoctoral student exchange program with the school in Monterrey, Mexico, and they did it virtually, via webcam.

Through the agreement, TAMHSC-BCD can host up to four dental students from Monterrey for an eight-week rotation each fall. The students may visit in pairs, for a maximum of two rotations a year.

The students from Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey benefit from a wide variety of experiences during their rotation at TAMHSC-BCD, where they get to observe fourth-year dental students perform fixed prosthodontic and operative procedures. They also gain an introduction to the Advanced Technology Clinic, removable prosthodontics and oral surgery procedures.

Visiting students aren’t the only ones who will grow from the exchange program.

“Through our international student exchange agreement, the educational experience of students from both our schools will be broadened,” Wolinsky said during the signing.

Berry, who gave the closing remarks, shared some personal observations of Castillo and Muñoz based on their first few weeks in Dallas.

“They’re always smiling. They’re always willing to learn,” said Berry. “And they’ve set a high standard for the students who will come here after them.”