TTU's International Business Students Club sends books to Argentina

Tennessee Tech University’s International Business Students Club recently gave the gift of knowledge to business students in Argentina.

The TTU student organization collected textbooks at the end of the spring semester and sent seven boxes, weighing a total of 234 pounds, to the Institute for Competitive Excellence in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Inspired by the “Books Not Bombs” drive at the University of Kansas that helped send textbooks to war-torn Afghanistan, TTU’s International Business Students Club last year — in collaboration with One World, another campus student organization — collected and sent textbooks to Pakistan for distribution in Afghanistan.

But because the TTU organization had no one in Afghanistan to serve specifically as an international contact, members of the group are unsure if the books reached the intended recipients.

This year, however, faculty advisers arranged the project through Ana Poratelli, academic director at the institute in Argentina and a graduate of TTU’s master of business administration program.

“Our organization got the idea for the project after she visited the campus in February and told us about the economy in Argentina taking a nosedive in 2002,” said Nat Natarajan, professor of decision sciences and management at TTU and one of three faculty advisers for the project.

Natarajan, who has maintained contact with the Buenos Aires institute, said that because of the country’s current economic situation, most textbook publishers in the United States have suspended their shipments of books, including sample texts, to the facility.

After the TTU organization sent the shipment of books, Poratelli sent a message expressing appreciation for the project, he said.

Although no definite plans for next year’s textbook drive have been determined, members of the organization say they hope to continue making it bigger and better.

In addition to Natarajan, other faculty advisers for the project were Bonita Barger, assistant professor of decision sciences and management, and Jon Booker, professor of accounting and law.

IBS president was Alexia Jennings of Dickson and book drive committee members were Ira Levinson of Morristown, Dustin Massingale of Philadelphia, Tenn., Ryan Chandler of Heiskell and Matt Burrows of Murfreesboro.

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