SPRINGFIELD — Hubert Benitez, president of American International College (AIC), recently took center stage at the sixth annual International Conference of the Occupational Therapy Assoc. of Morocco (OTAM) on Jan. 6, in Kenitra, Morocco. The conference recognized Benitez with the 2024 Leadership Excellence Award, shining a spotlight on AIC’s commitment to expanding international collaborations.
In his keynote speech, titled “The Role of Higher Education Leadership in Creating Innovative, Entrepreneurial, Diverse, and Interdisciplinary Environments,” Benitez emphasized how international partnerships in higher education play a crucial role in bringing people from different countries and cultures together.
The conference, boasting presenters from five continents, stands as the flagship event of OTAM, founded and led by AIC Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy Said Nafai.
During his visit to Morocco, Benitez embraced the opportunity to formalize key international partnerships with Ibn Tofail University and the International University of Casablanca. These agreements reaffirm AIC’s commitment to collaboration in higher education and fostering cultural exchange.
The news of these partnerships generated a media buzz in Morocco, garnering attention from several national news outlets. Benitez expressed his enthusiasm about the collaborations, noting that “these agreements are intended to explore and establish programs that foster mobility for both undergraduate and graduate students. The partnerships are also designed to create academic models that support advanced education opportunities, facilitate student-exchange programs, encourage professional development and academic advancement for faculty and staff, and explore the possibilities of joint degrees and certifications.”
The newly forged alliances complement AIC’s existing international partnerships with Universidad Andres Bello Santiago de Chile, Universidad Catolica de El Salvador, St. Paul University in the Philippines, and Badr University in Cairo.