KHOWST PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Dr. Jess M. Lowenberg-DeBoer, a professor and associate dean from Purdue University met with the chancellor of Sheik Zayed University in Khowst province, Oct. 26, to discuss strengthening the collegial partnership between the two universities.
The meeting between Lowenberg-DeBoer and SZU’s Dr. Gul Hassan Walizai was facilitated by U.S. Air Force Col. Shane Halbrook, an Avon, Ind. native and the commander of the Indiana National Guard’s 4-19th Agribusiness Development Team.
“My intent is to identify universities for reach back capability for SZU; such as electronic media, classrooms and instructors for labs,” said Halbrook.
Lowenberg-DeBoer, a professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Associate Dean and Director of International Programs in Agriculture, has been visiting universities across Afghanistan to help strengthen Afghan Agricultural faculties.
“I’m here to get an idea of how SZU can partner with Purdue or other Universities”, said Lowenberg-DeBoer. “Afghanistan is Purdue’s largest international commitment and it’s my responsibility to develop programs that can help.”
Speaking in English and German, Lowenberg-DeBoer proposed enhancements for the school, students, curriculum, farming techniques and the use of video conferencing lectures with Purdue.
After the meeting, Hassan took Lowenberg-DeBoer on a tour of the campus including the SZU agricultural test plots and greenhouses.
“We can make a relationship with Purdue University,” said Walizai. “I am thankful for the ADT and Dr. Lowenberg-DeBoer for coming here. This new relationship will help us have a good future.”