ASU heads South of the border, brings possibilities to NEA

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A groundbreaking nearly 1,500 miles away means big things for Arkansas State University and the city of Jonesboro.

Queretaro, Mexico is turning scarlet and black but it's what's already there that could mean good things for Jonesboro.

"This area of Mexico has a tremendous amount of industrial activity going on," Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Mark Young told Region 8 News.

That large amount of industrial activity puts certain college degrees in high demand, meaning ASU's latest sister-campus can mean big things for Northeast Arkansas.

"Long term, there could be some partnerships between the university, our community and those companies as well," Young explained.

Young went with a group of representatives from ASU to the Queretaro, Mexico for the groundbreaking of the campus.

"Part of my interest in attending and participating was to make those business contacts and we were successful in doing that."

While the Jonesboro community might benefit in the future, ASU will benefit immediately.

"Cultural awareness is going to grow 100 fold. It's going to be so amazing for the students here to have the opportunity to study abroad," ASU Senior, Stevie Overby told Region 8 News. "They're going to have that whole other campus that they're going to be able to feed off of and work with."

Overby also traveled to Mexico for the groundbreaking. She said the excitement surrounding the school was tangible.

"There were high schoolers there just so excited about the opportunity to possibly study at an American University in their country."

ASU's Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Dr. Rick Stripling explained that this style of university is something students there are looking forward to.

"There is a strong need and it's just a passion for higher education and in particular, an American University," Dr. Stripling said..

ASU-Mexico will be a project completed in phases. Phase one, which includes a student union, rec center, academic hall, engineering labs and residence halls is scheduled to be completed by August of 2015.

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