Bosnian Faculty Visit NC State, Continuing the Connection

WRITTEN BY Jennifer Terlouw,

In October, CALS International Programs hosted three faculty members from the University of Banja Luka in Bosnia, Branimir Nježić, Miljan Cvetkovic, and Duška Delić, for a series of meetings with NC State faculty and the NC Department of Agriculture. This trio hails from the flagship institution for higher education of Republika Srpska, where they work in areas such as biotechnology, agroecology, and horticulture.

Dr. Delić’s specific work with UNIBL includes supervision of student research, course instruction, and academic advising. Similarly, Dr. Cvetkovic heads the study program for The Conservation and Sustainable use of Genetic Resources while also acting as an international program committee member on behalf of UNIBL. Dr. Nježić’s work with nematodes has also taken him abroad on UNIBL’s behalf, where he performs his own research and teaches courses.

This faculty visit is part of a longer relationship that CALS and NC State have with Bosnia, including USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Cochran Fellows from Bosnia that were hosted by CALS Global Academy in October 2017. After a successful training program with interest in further collaboration, two NC State faculty members, Peter Ojiambo and Vivek Fellner, visited Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2018. During their time in Bosnia, they were able to attend a high profile national dairy conference that illuminated challenges faced in Bosnian dairy production and reveal opportunities for continued collaboration. In July 2018, José Cisneros, the director of CALS International Programs, also visited Bosnia and met with faculty from three universities including the University of Banja Luka to discuss the specifics of an ongoing relationship with NC State.

Drs. Nježić, Delić, and Cvetkovic spent this October visit touring research facilities, attending seminars such as Dr. Jean Ristaino’s presentation with CALS SAIGE on October 18th, and experiencing some of the local North Carolina flavor at the State Fair. At Dr. Ristaino’s seminar, the visiting faculty members each mentioned how much they enjoyed getting a chance to see the way that our CALS department invests in research and student welfare. They also expressed interest in and optimism about the local lifestyle available to students and faculty that could visit and work with CALS in the future.

CALS International Programs looks forward to continuing a meaningful relationship and collaboration with Bosnia’s universities.