Semanas 3 y 3.5 en San Juan – Feb 2010


This past week was filled with lots of hard work, a measure of stress, a measure of relief, and moments of fun! In all, I think that it was quite balanced!  We had a huge set of meetings at UMET that was similar to a mini-conference but we were so excited! So the excitement, enthusiasm,  and the anticipation made the hard work well worth the time! Yes, I was exhausted by Friday, but we enjoyed our time together.  Some of the members of our faculty from UMBC came down for the meeting and they were pleased with things from their perspectives.  This was their first time in Puerto Rico so I enjoyed showing them our “partner campus.” It’s wonderful to be able to work for both UMBC and UMET in such interesting capacities!

The photos here show a variety of scenes.  Some are on UMET’s campus with students and/or colleagues.  Some are of food (these are for my friend “Ms. J” who jokes about the food in my pictures!  I have some photos of food at home; I was eating very healthy foods for a while (as promised Mom!), but then, Mr. DLT came to visit and the beans, rice, chicken, tostones, amarillos, etc. took over! Hmmm, I need to hurry up and get back to my fruit and salads! Some of the photos show us having a wonderful time at my colleague’s home — she made us a fabulous lunch on Monday. For the record, the drinks did NOT have any alcohol! People had to return to work on Monday afternoon, so there was good food, lots of laughter, great conversation, good drinks, but all alcohol-free!

Between meetings, I’m sitting with colleagues Dr. Beatriz Zayas and Dr. Jorge Negron as we go over some fine details of our work.

This was a harried day, two days before the big meeting, making sure that everything was in place.

UMBC’s Dean of the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences has a conversation with attentive students from UMET who are interested in graduate studies at UMBC.  Most of these students were interested in disciplines in his college:  Biological Sciences and Chemistry & Biochemistry.

UMBC’s faculty and UMET’s faculty talk outside of the Faculty Development Center at UMET.

Over the years, several students from Puerto Rico have come to Maryland to attend UMBC’s Graduate Horizons program.   These students, some former participants in the Fall Horizons program, came over to UMET to visit me after their classes at Interamerican University and University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras.  We talked about grad school, statements of purpose, and the GRE.

Last Thursday, the Chancellor of UMET invited the UMBC group to dinner at the Ajili Mojili Restaurant in San Juan. This dish is Camarones con monfongo (shrimp w/ mashed plantains) and arroz con habichuelas (beans and rice.)  Feel free to look at the menu on the website: http://www.hdmdesigns.com/ajili/menu.htm

This is some of the food from Molly’s house and the subsequent left-overs that we had for dinner later in the evening. For dessert, we had strawberries and coconut macaroons!

For a while, I developed very healthy eating habits! And yes, the drinks are non-alcoholic wines and sparkling drinks, bottled in Spain … quite tasty!

Mr. DLT likes coffee, so I knew exactly what to get … Yaucono coffee! One of our UMBC students from Mayaguez bought me some Yaucono coffee from Puerto Rico as a gift a few years ago, it is so smooth! So when I went shopping, I didn’t think twice.  http://www.yaucono.com/products.htm

The following photos show our good time at Molly’s house.  Again, for the record, there is no alcohol in any of these (absolutely delicious!) drinks.  We had fun. This was an example of balance. We went to work and had meetings in the morning, and then had a great lunch full of fun in the afternoon. Molly lives close to campus so it was a short drive.

Dr. Jorge Negron and Dr. Carlos Padin. These drinks were made WITHOUT alcohol!

Molly and Renetta having a great lunch; these piña coladas were made WITHOUT alcohol.

The photos below show a relaxing Tuesday evening at the Condado Conrad Hilton. We went there to try out their passion fruit smoothies which were very good! Passion fruit, orange juice, and ice. That’s it.  I might go back to get another one later on this week!

The following pictures were taken today at the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez.  I had friends and colleagues in the Departments of Chemical Engineering and Industrial Engineering.  We all had lunch at the Mayaguez hotel after I spent a little bit of time on campus.  The games of Central America and the Caribbean will be held in Mayaguez this year, so nearly everyone has “Mayaguez 2010” on their cars, and at the hotel, there were many people with the logos on their shirts.  These are like olympic games for the Caribbean.  Here is the website: http://www.mayaguez2010.com/

XXI Juegos Centroamericanos y del Caribe

Below you will see Dr. Antonio Estevez (Chemical Engineering Professor, Associate Dean, and Director of the Puerto Rico AGEP at Mayaguez) and Drs. Hector Carlo and Cristina Pomales (Professors of Industrial Engineering.) All three have been to Baltimore for our programs in the past.  Dr. Estevez has participated as a faculty guest speaker for our Horizons program, and Drs. Carlo and Pomales were guest speakers at one of the PROMISE Summer Success Institutes.  PROMISE students might remember them because they talked about their lives as grad students, their marriage, their time management, and their career choice to become professors.  I remember that our students in Maryland were lined up to talk with them after their Saturday morning seminar.  I met Hector and Cristina when they were grad students at the University of Michigan during the SREB Conference/Institute for Teaching and Mentoring in Atlanta.  I learned of their plans to become professors and told them that I’d want them to talk with our PROMISE students once they finished their Ph.D.s. They did a great job when they came, and people have asked if we might have them come back again. We will work to make that happen!  It was great to hear about their activities as faculty members … today they were busy meeting with research groups, conducting conference calls with international collaborators, teaching class, etc. They are great models of excellence! I’ve posted their websites beneath their photos, feel free to click and read.  Hector and Cristina were AGEP students as grad students in Michigan, so to our PROMISE AGEP students in Maryland, look … here are examples to show that it CAN be done!

http://atomo.uprm.edu/faculty/estevez.html

http://myprofile.cos.com/estevez

http://academic.uprm.edu/~cpomales/

http://ininweb.uprm.edu/hcarlo/

http://ininweb.uprm.edu/profileviewer.asp?id=hcarlo

http://ininweb.uprm.edu/profileviewer.asp?id=cpomales

This is one of my beach pictures of the week. I had to climb these rocks because the tide was high and I wanted to get to the other side.  It looks more dangerous in the picture than it really was. It was only a “little bit” dangerous.

The tide is very high in the morning, but if I go to the beach in the afternoon, I can walk along land that was fully covered by water earlier.  Shells often wash up on the beach and sometimes I collect some.  On this day, I started to pick up one, and it started to move!! Yes, the crab-like legs (several of them!) came out and the little “shell” scurried across the sand.  Needless to say, that one didn’t make it into my collection!

This represents a morning on the beach where I had to “run through” a few waves in order to get to the other side. I was on a mission to cross and go down to another part of the land.  Since the waves were crashing, I was afraid that my camera wouldn’t work since it had gotten wet.   I was delighted to find out that it indeed worked, that the pictures were still clear, and that I would have an working camera to provide more pictures next time.  Have a good week everyone!

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