A Marianist Partnership

04.21.2010 | Students, Catholic, International

There's a new name for English-language learning materials for schoolchildren in the Spanish-speaking world: University of Dayton Publishing.

Through a partnership with Grupo SM, the third-largest educational publisher in the Spanish-speaking world, the publishing house is developing a line of preK-12 materials and training programs for distribution throughout Latin America and Spain under the mark of University of Dayton Publishing.

As the two largest Marianist organizations in the world, the University and Grupo SM are guided by a common set of values that include commitments to community and diversity, said Amy Anderson, director of the University's Center for International Programs.

"The partnership is a way to extend awareness of the University of Dayton name into Latin America through the rapidly growing market for high-quality English-language learning materials," said Anderson. "Thousands of school children will be learning English through books and materials associated with the University of Dayton.

Steve Marban, University of Dayton Publishing director, said the unique strengths of both partners will have a positive impact on English education in Latin America and Spain.

"By combining Grupo SM's considerable editorial experience and strong business presence with the University of Dayton's academic excellence and research capabilities, we will be able to further develop materials and training for ESL teachers," he said.

Through the partnership, University of Dayton is sending two student interns for seven weeks this summer to the Mexico City offices of Grupo SM — the first of what will be on-going internship opportunities, Anderson said.

Visual communications and Spanish major Ben Girmann, a sophomore from Centerville, Ohio, will do illustration and design work for University of Dayton Publishing, helping bring to life characters featured in the textbooks.

Accounting and Spanish major Scott Endress, from Akron, will be helping with financial policies and procedures and will work on developing an international finance strategy for the company as it deals with currencies and exchange rates from multiple countries.

Both fluent in Spanish, they're looking forward to living and working in the Mexican culture and gaining work experience both in a bilingual environment and in the field of publishing and book production.

"Being able to work alongside professional designers and combining English and Spanish is a unique opportunity for a visual artist," Girmann said. "This is just a perfect way to bring together my interests in art and design with Spanish."

Endress said his job will be very distinctive from most accounting internships, which are typically at public accounting firms, and will boost his international business credentials.

"I will be working in an international environment on problems of international finance," he said. "That's not an experience most internships offer."

In addition to the internships, several faculty and staff have presented papers at Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) conferences in Argentina and Mexico and are preparing for presentations in Brazil and Peru later this year. For the future, the partnership is exploring collaborations on teacher training for English teachers in Latin America and Spain, possibly taking the training online.

Grupo SM, headquartered in Madrid, has sold more than 25 million books worldwide, including primary and secondary textbooks, children and teen literature, reference books and religious publications.

For more information, contact Cameron Fullam, assistant director of media relations, at 937-229-3256 or fullam@udayton.edu.