A&M International Grad Crosses Borders, Unites Countries

If you want to know the degree of success Texas A&M International University graduates achieve abroad, the story of Antonio Montiel, dean of the Universidad Americana of Paraguay, may interest you.

Montiel, a 33-year-old native Paraguayan and a 1991 Texas A&M International University grad, enrolled in the University in 1990 to study international trade after he had completed his masters work in education at Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn.

"A friend of mine who was teaching at Lee University back then and who had graduated from Texas A&M International, recommended that I come to this university to study international trade," Montiel said. "Since I was always interested in international relations and wanted to be in contact with different countries, I decided to join the university's international study program."

Montiel said he also saw the need to study international trade since his country, Paraguay, was in the process of becoming part of the MERCOSUR, now a free-trade zone comprised of Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.

It did not take Montiel long to graduate from Texas A&M International University. Upon receiving his masters degree in 1991, Montiel was ready to join Citibank, the company that had offered him a job before graduation.

However, at the last minute, Montiel decided to join the United Nations' office in Paraguay as a development consultant instead.

"My dream has always been to be in contact with different countries. Working for the U.N. sounded very dynamic," Montiel said.

After his work with the United Nations, Montiel joined Universidad Americana of Paraguay as a faculty member and this year, he was named dean of the business school of his university. Universidad Amercana, located in Asunción, Paraguay, has a population of 3,000 students. The university has also signed a mutual collaboration and student exchange agreement with Texas A&M International University, and Montiel has been a key player in the signing process.

"I am very happy to represent Texas A&M International University as an alumnus," Montiel said. "I was happy to come back to this campus and see that we are expanding to different areas. I was also happy to have had to opportunity to bring Paraguay's minister of integration to the 'Western Hemispheric Economies in the 21st Century' that took place on this campus in March," he added.

Montiel said he recommends those interested in studying international trade to consider Texas A&M International University.

"They should come especially if they are interested in practicing international trade in Latin America," Montiel said. "Since Laredo is so close to Latin America, this institution knows the reality of Latin America and the courses offered reflect that."

For further information, please call the College of Business Administration at 326-2480. University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu