Southern Arkansas University will participate in a historic exchange agreement with the University of Artemisa when it hosts three Cuban nationals August 5 through August 12.

According to a press release, Dr. Trey Berry, president of SAU, and Dr. Carlos Eduardo Suarez Ponciano, rector or president of the University of Artemisa, will formalize the exchange in a signing ceremony set for 11AM Wednesday, August 9, in the rotunda of the State Capitol in Little Rock.

Steven Ochs

Dr. Ed Kardas, Honors College director, said Rector Ponciano will be accompanied by Dr. Abel Alfonso Castro and art student Yoan Perez Nunez. The two artists will work on a new mural on the SAU campus with Steven Ochs, professor of art. Rector Ponciano will meet with officials at SAU Tech, confer with SAU faculty and administrators, and observe the new engineering facility with Dr. Abdel Bachri, interim dean of the College of Science and Engineering.

The delegation will be housed at The Loft, a bed and breakfast on the Magnolia square.

The group will also visit El Dorado and Texarkana, Logoly State Park and area public schools.

Steven Ochs

Kardas said the new mural will be painted on the large planter between Nelson Hall and Harton Theatre. It will complement the one painted at the University of Artemisa by Ochs and art student Veronica Ramirez, who visited the university along with Kardas in November 2016.

He estimated the artwork would require three working days, August 7 to August 9.

Berry said SAU is the first university in Arkansas to create an exchange program with a university in Cuba.