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Purdue-Monterrey I2T2 Program

Hello! My name is Marcela Cruz Haces and my husband, Enrique Aldana, and I, are both Ph.D. students at Purdue University.
Haces and Aldana at the bridal party
Enrique Aldana and Marcela Cruz Haces

He is currently at Purdue Polytech and I’m in Biomedical Engineering. He is a data scientist (I wish I could say more but he’s the expert!) and my research focuses on Traumatic Brain Injuries. I really hope to someday find effective treatments to stop Neurodegeneration. We both graduated from Monterrey Tec University (ITESM) in Mexico, where we met during my first semester arguing about physics in a swimming class. He is an Industrial Engineer and I’m a Biotechnology Engineer.

After getting married and graduating, we both decided to apply to Ph.D. programs at Purdue through the Purdue-Monterrey I2T2 program. We drove for four days from Mexico to Purdue with our beloved Golden Retriever, Mandy. We later brought two more Golden Retriever siblings of Mandy from Mexico, Logan and Trixie. We all love each other and very much enjoy our life here together at Purdue. Our dogs certainly love the snow!

During our time here, Purdue has offered us the opportunity to grow a lot. Besides academics and research, the Co-Rec offers us a great balance in life to practice our favorite activities. I have always been passionate about dancing as well as neuroscience, so I am also pursuing a professional degree in Bellydancing from Mexico. I teach Bellydance and Zumba at Co-rec. I recently competed in a national Bellydance competition in Mexico and was awarded Miss Bellydance Mexico 2017. I will compete again this year in the Professional category.

Purdue really is a great University, it has given us the opportunity to learn a lot, and keep growing in all aspects of our lives. I feel truly blessed for being here and I hope many people will have the same opportunities that we have here.

Please contact me if you’d like to network at!


The Purdue-Monterrey Mexico I2T2 Partnership

The Purdue-Monterrey I2T2 Partnership is managed by Dr. Hazel Marinero of Global Programs and Partnerships, College of Engineering at Purdue. Dr. Marinero has a Ph.D. in Private International Law from Georg August University in Goettingen, Germany, a Masters of Art in History and a Bachelor of Law both from Edinburgh University in Scotland. She loves working with international students and entrepreneurs. She is also a member of the California Bar and has a private law practice specializing in immigration law.

Dr. Hazel Marinero has been responsible for bringing twelve Monterrey Tec students to complete doctoral studies at Purdue in the College of Engineering. All of these students are partially funded by I2T2 Conacyt Scholarships. Four more Monterrey Tec students are being admitted in Fall 2018. Short-term undergraduate and graduate internships are also in place under the Program.

Last summer Dr. Marinero organized a successful workshop at the Burton Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship at Purdue. The workshop was attended by Monterrey Tec faculty entrepreneurs interested in forming binational companies and was funded by Monterrey Tec.

The Purdue-Monterrey Mexico I2T2 Partnership was created in 2014 by Dr. Jaime Parada, Director and Founder of the Institute of Innovation and Technology Transfer (I2T2) of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon and also founder of the first Science and Technology Research Park in Latin America (PIIT) and by Professor Ernesto Marinero, Professor of Materials Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue.

The Partnership was formalized on February 18, 2015 by the signing of an MOU at Purdue, under the terms of which the parties agreed to promote:

Graduate student education at Purdue for students from Monterrey Mexico institutions; short and long-term faculty research collaboration at Purdue and participating Monterrey institutions; learning and teaching exchange between Purdue and Monterrey universities and national laboratories and business development aimed at creating binational startups and companies at Purdue Research Park and PIIT, Monterrey.