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University of Houston Law Center professors receive grant for collaborative research to organize ‘Sustainability Week’ in Italy

Elizabeth Trujillo, founding director of GLPA and the Mary Ann & Lawrence E. Faust Professor of Law at UH Law Center.

Elizabeth Trujillo, founding director of GLPA and the Mary Ann & Lawrence E. Faust Professor of Law at UH Law Center.


The University of Bologna

April 06, 2023 — The University of Bologna is providing funding to the University of Houston Law Center to co-host "Sustainability Week" in Bologna, Italy. The grant-funded project will facilitate collaborative research on sustainability between the two universities. The project is supported by the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the universities and will be facilitated by the UH Law Center’s Global Law and Policy for the Americas Initiative.

To be held fall 2024, the event will showcase presentations on the various ways sustainability intesects law, political science, economics and sociology. Topics will include Sustainability: A Transnational Issue; Sustainability and Trade, Between Law and Economics; Energy Transition and Private Sector Sustainability; and From Global to Local: Sustainable Cities.

“We are so excited that they accepted our proposal. This grant will further the research on sustainable development being done through the Global Law and Policy Initiative for the Americas,” said Professor Elizabeth Trujillo, founding director of GLPA and the Mary Ann & Lawrence E. Faust Professor of Law.

The proposal for this grant-funded project spreads across 33 departments at the University of Bologna. This multidisciplinary research and teaching project also brings together the work of UH Law Center’s Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Center and GLPA, showcasing EENR directors, Professor Victor Flatt and Professor Gina Warren, as well as Trujillo.

“GLPA’s goal is to provide new entry points from which to examine areas of international law where local policy most impacts the political, legal and economic relations among nations,” Trujillo explains. “Global policies concerning sustainable development, climate change, trade relations and human rights, for example, must take into account local strategies that address these issues and foster coordination among nations. The Americas, including North America, are setting trends in some of these areas.”

This academic collaboration stems from Trujillo’s long-time work with the University of Bologna’s Center for Latin American Studies, uniting researchers from Bologna’s Department of Political and Social Sciences and the GLPA to research cutting-edge topics that address the delicate relationship between the local and the global with a focus on the role of the Americas in shaping global law and policy. Mutually beneficial opportunities for faculty and students stem from this partnership.

“The Department of Political and Social Sciences is happy to pursue further collaboration with GLPA in a field of common interest, such as sustainability,” Sabrina Ragone, Head of International Relations of the University of Bologna and Professor of Comparative Law, said. “We hope that this is a further step in the construction of a stable and fruitful academic cooperation on a cutting-edge, relevant topic.”

The University of Bologna in Italy finalized an MoU with UH Law Center in July 2022 under the direction of Karen Jones, Executive Director of Global and Graduate Programs, agreeing that the two universities will facilitate research, sustainability and growth through a dependable partnership.

“The University of Houston Law Center collaborates with selective universities around the world,” Jones said. “Because of the increasingly global reach of UH Law, it is important that we establish strong connections with the global academic community that will lead to important collaborations.”

“It is exciting that the MoU helped establish a foundation for the opportunity to pursue a joint grant and ultimately co-host ‘Sustainability Week’ in fall 2024,” Jones said. “This is a perfect example of how we like to forward our MoU relationships in a meaningful and productive way.”

“Professor Trujillo approached Professor Victor Flatt and me and got us involved by asking if we'd be willing to present and speak at the conference,” Professor and Co-director of Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Center Gina Warren said. “She really has done a brilliant job of getting that grant for us and getting us a lot of exposure. She has run the whole thing.”

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