Contact: Ellen Sterner
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7650

January 18, 2002


DALLAS (SMU) -- The Southern Methodist University School of Engineering has signed an agreement with the School of Business and Economics at Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala City, Guatemala, that will enable business students from Guatemala to spend a semester taking engineering courses in Dallas.

“Francisco Marroquin University does not have an engineering school,” said Stephen Szygenda, dean of the SMU School of Engineering. “It will be a tremendous advantage for their business school graduates to have some knowledge of engineering and technology.”

Szygenda said the program will help prepare Guatemalan students to become managers in the area of technology. He said SMU engineering students will benefit from exposure to the Guatemalan business students.

The students from Universidad Francisco Marroquin will take engineering courses that do not have any prerequisites, including the SMU School of Engineering’s new “value-added” courses in engineering management, engineering communication, technical entrepreneurship, and global perspectives and information engineering. The first students are expected to come to SMU in August 2002.

The agreement is the first that SMU has signed with a country in Central America. It resulted from a visit that Szygenda and Michael Clarke, director of SMU’s international undergraduate admissions, made to Universidad Francisco Marroquin while visiting families of Central American students who attend SMU. SMU currently has more than 40 students from Central American countries such as Guatemala and Panama.