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Architects from Brazil and the United States worked together on the design of the Tiradentes Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
December 22, 2017

UMass Boston dedicates Tiradentes Institute space, part of partnership with Brazilian university


  • Boston
Tiradentes Institute will be focused on Brazilian studies

UMass Boston formally dedicated a new space on campus on Friday for its partnership with Tiradentes University. Located at 150 Mount Vernon Street in Dorchester, the Tiradentes Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston will be focused on Brazilian studies and will include student and faculty exchanges.

The Cambridge Institute for Brazilian Studies brought the two universities together before their 2015 partnership agreement.

“This is an opportunity for northeast Brazil, home to 60 million people, to be truly and fully present here in Boston on a consistent and day-to-day basis,” said Biorn Maybury-Lewis, the executive director and co-founder of the Cambridge Institute said before Friday’s celebration, which included the founder and rector of Tiradentes University, Jouberto Uchôa de Mendonça, and his son, Jouberto Uchôa de Mendonça Júnior.

“This is the first university from Brazil that has established an institute inside of a comprehensive university in the history of the United States. This hasn’t happened anywhere, ever before, so we’re very proud of the institutions.”

Maybury-Lewis said architects from Brazil and the United States worked together on the design of the physical space, which includes video-conferencing equipment that allows classes and researchers to communicate with their counterparts in Brazil in real-time.

UMass Boston Associate Provost and Director of the Office of Global Programs Cheryl Nixon said the ideas taking place inside the space are just as exciting.

“The Tiradentes Institute will bring together the best thinking from Brazil and the United States, knowing that the ideas shared across cultures can only create more inclusive ideas that include all peoples, more multifaceted ideas that tackle complex issues, more future-focused ideas that imagine new horizons, and, simply put, more revolutionary ideas,” Nixon said in her remarks.

Nixon said a director, assistant director, and additional staff are being hired to create student and faculty exchanges. The goal is that because of those exchanges, both faculty and staff will have the opportunity to engage in collaborative research work. For now, UMass Boston faculty, students, and staff are welcome to visit the space on the fourth floor of the building, the same floor as the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development. An open house is being planned for the spring.