Brazil Alumni Club

The University of Utah now has a Brazil Alumni Club. Graduates in and from Brazil formed the club in spring 2015.

The U has about 150 Brazilian alumni, and 61 students from Brazil are enrolled at the University in 2015-16. The president of the new Brazil Alumni Club is Jefferson Dias da Silva BS'07, who lives in São Paulo. After receiving his undergraduate degree in information systems at the U, he went on to get an MBA from Florida Christian University, and he now works as a channel and product manager for Hewlett-Packard in Brazil.

 Jefferson Dias da Silva Berthold Kriegshäuser  Mark Neeleman  Chase Olson

The U Brazil Alumni Club also has three board members: Chase Olson BA'13, who lives in Campinas; Mark Neeleman BA'05, in Florionopolos; and Berthold Kriegshäuser PhD'97, in Rio de Janeiro. Olson, who received his degree from the U in international studies with an emphasis in Latin America, works as a client retention leader for Vigzul, a security service company based in Campinas. Neeleman, whose U degree also is in international studies, has been involved in several entrepreneurial endeavors since graduation and now is founder and executive director of Bamazon Technologies, a company that develops bamboo for use as a wood replacement, with the aim of helping halt the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. Kriegshäuser, who received his doctorate in geophysics from the U, manages geoscience and reservoir navigation teams across Latin America for Baker Hughes, an oilfield service company. In April 2015, the University of Utah hosted its first major alumni dinner in São Paulo, with the aim of building stronger partnerships to attract more Brazilian students to attend the U. Ruth Watkins, the University's senior vice president for academic affairs, along with Mary Parker, U associate vice president of enrollment management, and Courtney McBeth, associate director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics, also visited high schools and universities and met with community leaders. In January 2016, the U hosted another well-attended alumni dinner in São Paulo, with U representatives Watkins, McBeth, and Emily Edmonston, associate director for international admissions.

"We are preparing students for lives as leaders and citizens in a global 21st century," Watkins says. "We are a stronger, better university when we engage students and scholars from many countries. International student enrollment at the U has fallen in recent years. We strive to reverse that trend and welcome the assistance of our worldwide alumni community in reaching out to particularly promising regions, such as Brazil, where we have partners who will help and where we have indications of interest and a strong foundation on which to build focused efforts."

The U currently has 11 other alumni clubs, along with the Brazil club, in China, Europe, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Mongolia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam. If you would like to join any of the Alumni Association's international clubs, click here to register.

For more information, please contact Nelly Divricean.

Alumni Dinner in São Paulo – January 2016


University of Utah representatives traveled to São Paulo on Jan. 14 to help increase the university’s footprint in Brazil. Representing the U were: Ruth Watkins, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs; Courtney McBeth, Director of Global Internships; and Emily Edmonston, Associate Director for International Admissions.

Alumni Dinner in São Paulo – April 2015

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