ASU, Tecmilenio University to advance workforce development training

October 7, 2022

With the goal of advancing professional development and career growth opportunities across North America, Arizona State University and Tecmilenio University, in Monterrey, Mexico, are strengthening their collaboration to close the gap between the talent currently available in Mexico and the skills most desired by employers, supported by innovative virtual education models and effective strategic alliances.

The collaboration incorporates learning offerings, including certificates and a course, from ASU’s Learning Enterprise portfolio into Tecmilenio’s Center for Competencies Woman and man standing on either side of a banner that reads "Centro de Competencias Tecmilenio collaboration agreement signature September 30 2022." Maria Anguiano, executive vice president of the Learning Enterprise at ASU, and Bruno Zepeda, rector at Tecmilenio. Photo courtesy ASU Learning Enterprise Download Full Image

Maria Anguiano, executive vice president of ASU Learning Enterprise, and Bruno Zepeda, rector of Tecmilenio, signed an agreement Friday, Sept. 30, in Mexico City, expanding the Mexican university’s academic portfolio.

The agreement expands Tecmilenio’s access to two certificate programs in project management as well as a course in managing processes available through ASU CareerCatalyst, the career education focus area within ASU’s Learning Enterprise, which collaborates with experts from across the university's schools and colleges in the development of career education programs. The enterprise has served more than 310,000 learners in the past year.  

“The U.S. and Mexico not only share a border and cultural ties, we also share a common goal to strengthen our ties through collaborations in education, research and innovation,” Anguiano said. “As innovative higher education institutions, ASU and Tecmilenio understand the importance of preparing a stronger workforce through cutting-edge learning opportunities as technology fuels rapid innovation and changes in workforce trends.”

The Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars reports that by 2030, up to 375 million workers globally might need to change occupations or acquire new skills, including up to 54 million U.S. workers and up to 7 million Mexican workers. Productivity and technology advances will eliminate some jobs, create new jobs and transform many others. In a recent ranking of who is ready for the coming wave of automation by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the U.S. was only ranked No. 9, with Canada at No. 5 and Mexico at No. 23, out of 25 countries. 

“Our vision at Tecmilenio is to improve the lives of millions of people. We are certain that this partnership, with the most innovative university in the United States, will allow us to continue offering high quality, accessible education and enabling our learners to acquire, grow and update the top skills required in today’s job market,” Zepeda said. 

The agreement strengthens ASU and Tecmilenio’s commitment to offer high quality, accessible and multicultural educational experiences that educate learners with technical skills for individual achievement and soft skills for collaboration. In addition, it will boost the program “Acceso ASU.” Its goal is to offer a multicultural experience to ASU students, by taking online courses at Tecmilenio, as part of their studies.

A man and a woman speaking into a microphone are seated on chairs in front of an audience that is not shown.

Bruno Zepeda, rector at Tecmilenio, and Maria Anguiano, executive vice president of the Learning Enterprise at ASU, spoke at an event to sign an agreement between the two institutions. Photo courtesy ASU Learning Enterprise

McCain Institute executive director discusses character-driven leadership with ASU students

October 7, 2022

Evelyn Farkas, a trailblazer for national security and foreign policy in the U.S., has spent the past three decades standing up for democracy. 

“Democracy to me means freedom,” Farkas said. “The freedom to express yourself politically, the freedom to express yourself economically, and it was something that my parents didn’t have when they were born.”  Woman standing at the front of a classroom speaking to people seated at tables. Evelyn Farkas, executive director at the McCain Institute for International Leadership, speaking at the “Leading Now” event, where she discussed the idea of what character-driven leadership means with ASU students. Download Full Image

Arizona State University's School of Politics and Global Studies recently hosted Farkas, executive director at the McCain Institute for International Leadership at ASU, for the event “Leading Now,” to discuss the idea of what character-driven leadership means in collaboration with running for office.

Not only did Farkas’ qualifications lead her to run to represent New York’s 17th Congressional District in the House of Representatives in 2020, but also her upbringing.

Farkas’ parents fled Hungary in 1956 while it was under the influence of the Communist system and the Soviet Union in hopes of finding the freedom to achieve. She said that even as a child, she felt strongly about being in America as opposed to anywhere else. 

“That has motivated me throughout my entire life and probably also determined the fact that I would get involved in international affairs, foreign policy and work for the U.S. government,” Farkas said.

During the 2020 election cycle, Farkas was moved to get involved politically. 

A month later, long-term U.S. Rep Nita Lowey announced her resignation and Farkas went headfirst into campaigning. She would ultimately earn 15.6% of the electoral vote, coming in third during the Democratic primaries. 

Reflecting on her campaign, Farkas shared a few lessons that she learned with students and faculty. 

Farkas revealed that running for office was unlike any other job that you interview for or try to obtain. She emphasized the importance of being organized, raising money and having someone on the campaign who has your back. 

“Campaigning and politics can be really draining, and you don’t oftentimes know who’s giving you good advice, and you need someone to confide in, someone to pick you up,” Farkas said. 

For the remainder of the event, Gina Woodall, principal lecturer at ASU, moderated a discussion and questions from the audience. 

Woodall and Farkas discussed various topics, such as gender stereotypes or double standards during her time campaigning. According to Farkas, she had an easier time as a female candidate because of her prior experience working in male-dominated fields. She acknowledged that she was encouraged by male community leaders to run for office. 

“Bottom line is if you stick to your values, you're always going to feel good, even if you’re losing,” Farkas said. 

Even if her efforts ended in a congressional defeat, Farkas revealed that character-driven leadership while running for such a position was one way to stick up for democracy. 

“I knew that there are many ways to contribute to society and I had already done a lot of them,” Farkas said. “I’d already had lots of jobs, so I knew, ‘Look, if I don’t win, it’s going to be okay. I’ll find some other way to defend democracy.’”

Farkas advised students that to have an attitude of being OK if one thing doesn’t work out and being motivated to do something else is a helpful way to approach life. 

The floor was then opened for participants to engage in conversation with Farkas. 

Students in the audience would ask Farkas questions ranging from how overturning Roe v. Wade might impact midterms to her thoughts on identity politics.

As the event came to a close, Farkas reflected on how the lessons she learned running for office helped form her experience at the McCain Institute.

“I learned to be true to myself when I was running for Congress. In campaigns, you learn about having empathy and leading by example. I think that you learn through your experiences, but you get strengthened by the good decisions you make,” she said.

Student Journalist, School of Politics and Global Studies