VCU International Partnership Universities

VCU Global Education Office

University of MessinaUniversity of Messina

Messina, Sicily (Italy)

University of MessinaJohn Accordino, Ph.D.
Director, UniMe-VCU Partnership

Virginia Commonwealth University’s International Partnership with the University of Messina began in the late 1980s with collaboration in neurosciences and pharmacy. Today, VCU’s relationship with UniMe spreads across the Monroe Park and Medical Center campuses with a steady exchange of both students and faculty. VCU’s partnership with UniMe also is part of a broader collaboration, the Center for Integrative Mediterranean Studies, a tripartite research and exchange-based relationship with UniMe and the University of Córdoba in Córdoba, Spain. In 2005, Heber H. (Dickie) Newsome Jr., M.D., dean emeritus of VCU’s School of Medicine and professor of surgery, was named director of the VCU-UniMe partnership and executive director of the Center for Integrative Mediterranean Studies.

University facts

Location: Messina is on the Northeast tip of Sicily between the mountains and the Strait of Messina directly across from the tip of mainland Italy
City stats: Population 500,000 (entire metropolitan area). Messina was founded around 800 B.C. by the Greeks, followed by the Romans, Arabs, Normans, Spanish, French and English. The city was almost entirely destroyed by the massive earthquake and tsunami in 1908, which left only a few central historical buildings. However, within an hour of Messina are well-preserved historical sites reflecting each of the preceding settlers/occupiers.
Founded: 1548 (one of the oldest universities in Europe)
Private/Public: Public
Number of students: Approximately 40,000
VCU relevant annual events: Annual Center for Integrative Mediterranean Studies conference, including participation from UniMe, the annual School of Pharmacy September conference, which coincides with the EU “Week of Research.”
Top recognized programs: Medical and Neurological Sciences, Pharmacy, Political Science, Veterinary Medicine, Marine Sciences, Mathematics, Humanities, Letters and Philosophy

Partnership track record

Departments/programs interacting at each university: School of Medicine, School of Pharmacy, School of Dentistry, College of Humanities and Sciences, English Language Program, School of Engineering
Type of activity: Faculty/student exchanges, collaborative research projects, joint conferences, summer programs, grant proposal submissions

Areas of promise

Departments/programs interacting at each university: School of Allied Health, School of World Studies (Film Studies), VCU Massey Cancer Center
Type of activity: Faculty/student exchanges, collaborative research projects, grant proposal submissions