AgCenter receives excellence award from international university association

Richard Bogren  |  9/21/2017 2:49:12 PM

(09/21/17) BATON ROUGE, La. — The LSU AgCenter was presented the Award of Excellence by the Visegrad University Association during its general meeting at the Russian State Agrarian University-Moscow Timiryazev Agricultural Academy in Moscow, Russia, Sept. 12-15.

As voted by the membership at the general meeting, the award recognizes a member institution for its active participation in the organization during the previous year.

The AgCenter joined the association three years ago to build relationships with agricultural universities in central Europe, said John Russin, AgCenter vice chancellor and director of International Programs.

The AgCenter received the award primarily based on a successful symposium it conducted in Baton Rouge in 2017 and a proposed follow-up symposium in 2018, Russin said.

The AgCenter was represented in Moscow by Russin and Ivana Tregenza, program coordinator in International Programs and director of international relations for the LSU College of Agriculture.

“Ivana has been important in helping make connections with Visegrad because she speaks several eastern European languages,” Russin said.

The Visegrad University Association was established in 2011 as a cooperative venture among agricultural universities in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary, known as the V4 Countries. Subsequently, institutions from other countries now comprise an additional 39 full members and 12 honorary members.

The AgCenter joined VUA at the invitation of the rector of the Slovak University of Agriculture in 2015, and AgCenter representatives attended the general meetings in Poland in 2015 and Hungary in 2016, Russin said.

“Our goal is to create opportunities for student and faculty exchanges,” Russin said. “This year, the AgCenter hosted a rectors symposium that went beyond exchanges to include technology transfer, licenses and patents.”

The goal, he said, is to expand the network from only universities to include embassies to create partnerships with private companies that can bring jointly developed technology to patent in both the U.S. and EU.

“Other goals include fostering joint research, economic development and value-based exchanges with these partners,” he said.

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John Russin, center, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor and director of AgCenter International Programs, accepts the Visegrad University Association Award of Excellence from Peter Bielik, left, president of the association, and Galina Zolina, rector of the Russin State Agrarian University-Moscow Timiryazev Agricultural Academy, in Moscow, Russia, in September 2017.

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