Spirit of Ayni Award Winners Announced

Carmen Pampa Fund’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce that South Dakota State University (SDSU) and Dale and Pat Larson have been named recipients of the 2014 Spirit of Ayni Award. They are being recognized for their partnership to support higher education at the UAC-CP.

Every year the Spirit of Ayni Award is presented to people for their commitment to helping students, faculty, and staff at the College in Carmen Pampa. The award is named for a core concept within the indigenous Aymaran culture in Bolivia called “ayni” (pronounced: eye-knee).  Ayni is when a group of people work together to accomplish a shared goal.

Thanks to the financial support of O. Dale and Patricia Larson and the work and vision of numerous SDSU faculty, the UAC-CP and SDSU have developed a solid academic relationship during the past 20 years. Students from both institutions have participated in academic and cultural exchanges, including an online course taught by UAC-CP and SDSU faculty. The partnership has also resulted in numerous research projects enabling UAC-CP students to write and defend theses and graduate from college. Currently, SDSU’s Engineers Without Borders group is helping the College on a project to install safe driking water.

The partnership has mutually benefitted UAC-CP students and SDSU students. Three UAC-CP graduates have completed advanced degrees at SDSU.  In addition, one UAC-CP professor completed his post-doctoral work at SDSU and various faculty have visited SDSU for short-term studies and exchanges.  The partnership has also resulted in bringing skilled support to the College. To date, seven SDSU graduates have volunteered in Carmen Pampa on a long-term basis.  Dr. Hugh Smeltekop, who served as Director General of the UAC-CP in 2013, was named a SDSU Distinguished Alumni last October.

The Spirit of Ayni Award will be presented to South Dakota State University and Dale and Pat Larson at CPF’s annual event ¡La Fiesta de Ayni! on May 20, 2014. The event, which will be held in the Rauenhorst Ballroom at St. Catherine University in St. Paul begins at 6 p.m. For more information or to RSVP for the event, please visit www.carmenpampafund.org/event.

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