On October 1st, DAMA was invited to hear President Leonel Fernández speak at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Before a large audience comprised of Dominicans, academic staff, professors, and students, Governor Pat Quinn distinguished President Fernández for his leadership in politics, education, and social issues, emphasizing further his contributions to the integration and development of Latin American nations. During his speech, President Fernández stressed out the need for increasing the participation of Dominican students at UIC as well as developing academic exchanges with the State of Illinois as part of the process of academic ransformation and global integration of the Dominican Republic. Along these lines, he recognized DAMA’s Chair, Dr. Rafael Núñez-Cedeño, for having served as a link in forging a partnership with UIC, which led to the establishment of academic exchanges between the Foundation for Democracy and Global Development as well as to the admission to UIC of various Dominican students. He also called on Dominicans in the audience to join in a common cause for strengthening Dominican presence in all sectors of society. President Fernández was introduced by Dr. Warren Chapman, UIC’s Vice Provost for External Affairs. In addition to Governor Quinn, other important guests included John Cullerton, President of the State Senate. President Fernández was accompanied by the First Lady Dr. Margarita Cedeño de Fernández and a delegation of Dominican officials.