Student John Burns was chosen for the International Summer Research Program at the University of Guanajuato (UG), in Mexico, this summer.

Burns will be studying Mexican culture in the city of Guanajuato from June 10th–August 6th with Dr. Gabriel Medrano de Luna, an advisor at the University of Guanajuato (UG) in the Division of Social Sciences and Humanities. He will then be conducting an interdisciplinary research project to present at a symposium event on August 1st that is shared with other countries around the world. In addition to being accepted to this prestigious, twenty-year tradition program, Burns received a stipend that will cover his homestay and tuition for the summer.

“It is a fantastic program for any student wanting to conduct research and gain research experience while learning about cultural histories, particularly in this case Mexico, and internationally,” said bioarchaeologist professor and advisor Dr. William Schaffer.

During the eight-week course, students from around the world come together to research across a wide variety of topics including: social science and humanities, life sciences, engineering, economics and administration, law, politics and government, architecture, art and design and more! Together, Burns and his UG advisor will decide their research project over the summer.

The city of Guanajuato, where this program is held, is in and of itself a marvel because the entire city is classified as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) world heritage site. Guanajuato’s place in Mexican history is prominent. It features archaeology, historic and modern mining, and was on the Rutas de la Revolución or Paths of the Revolution, which all contribute to its richness. “Since the Maricopa Community Colleges have a long-standing Memorandum of Understanding with the UG dating back ten years, if our students are accepted and go on the program, there is no cost for tuition due to this institutional partnership. When I learned about this program while at the UG close to this time last year, I was telling every student in all of my classes about this opportunity because it seemed like such an amazing way to gain research experience abroad,” said Dr. Schaffer.

We’re so proud to have students and professors that are willing to work hard and represent Phoenix College across the world. Congratulations, John! Have a great, productive summer in Guanajuato.

And there is also one more thing to be proud about, during the drafting of this release, Burns was accepted to transfer to Johns Hopkins University matriculating this fall to study mathematics and statistics.


If you’d like to learn more about the International Research Program in Guanajuato, please contact Dr. William Schaffer ( or see this website for details.

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