The first Global Clinic kicked off at the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez (UPRM) in the summer of 2006 with project challenges coming from corporate sponsors Amgen and Hewlett Packard. HP asked the team of HMC students and their Puerto Rican counterparts to help model a liquid coating and imprinting process for transistor applications; the Amgen project involved a characterization of disposable technologies for alternate manufacturing containers.
To facilitate the initial bonding process—the “forming, storming and norming” stages—the Clinic projects began with an eight-week summer session. Participating HMC students spent the first four weeks in Puerto Rico, learning Spanish, visiting Hewlett-Packard and Amgen, getting to know their Puerto Rican teammates and taking coursework in intercultural communications. The following four weeks were spent at HMC, with the Puerto Rican students learning English and taking a similar intercultural communications course.
By the end of summer, the team had established a foundation of trust and knew each other well. Fall semester found members on their native campuses, but communications continued in virtual mode via email, video and teleconferencing, and multi-conferencing with the company liaisons. Final project reports in Spanish (written by HMC students) and English (written by UPRM students) and deliverables are due in May 2007, with a final presentation taking place at each company.
More on HMC’s first Global Clinic project can be found in the HMC Bulletin.