A message from the Director of The Center for Latin American Studies, Dr. Marcela Vásquez-León

Aug. 25, 2022

Message from the Director of the Center for Latin American Studies, Dr. Marcela Vásquez-León,

A nuestros profesores, estudiantes y amigos de LAS les damos la bienvenida al nuevo año académico 2022-2023. This new academic year brings a brilliant cohort of incoming graduate students that many of you will have the opportunity to meet as the year unfolds. We are excited to see our second-year grad students back, after a summer in the field. We are also pleased to welcome our new undergraduate students as they begin their exploration of Latin America, and to welcome back those who are continuing.

We had a busy summer which included another successful Maya Kaqchikel summer program under the direction of Dr. Oglesby in Guatemala and had a record number of Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) summer fellows, a total of 16 that studied Portuguese and several indigenous languages. Thanks to our generous donors and Tinker grants, our grad students were able to travel all across Latin America to conduct fieldwork. We also started a new three-year cycle of our Women’s Leadership Institute for Indigenous and Afro-descendant students from Latin America, funded by the US Department of State under the Study of the U.S. Institute (SUSI) program.

Going forward, I am very excited to announce that our US Department of Education Title VI Comprehensive National Resource Center (NRC) award has been renewed for the next four years. This means that we will continue to strengthen Latin American Studies across all disciplines on campus through faculty travel and collaborative grants, sponsorship of workshops and conferences, student scholarships for language learning and study abroad in Latin America, and expansion of library collections. We will also be able to increase our outreach activities with K-12 and community college educators. To that end I am thrilled to announce the hiring of our new Assistant Director of Outreach, Dr. Katrina Dillon, who will be joining us at the beginning of October. FLAS has also been renewed for an additional four years, providing important support to students from across campus to learn Portuguese and Indigenous languages.

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) also received good news of a renewal of its Title VI grant, and a new Center of East Asian Studies was funded (College of Humanities).  We look forward to a rewarding collaboration with them in the next four years.

As activities go back to in person, we are looking forward to seeing everyone around.  We will be holding our Charlas con Café back at the Center as well as online throughout the semester. Our annual Tinker Symposium will be held in October and our monthly film series Cinema Tucson will start in September.

Please keep an eye out for news, event announcements and lectures in our Thursday Newsletter. Also, we will be sending information on the 2023 FLAS graduate and undergraduate Fellowship competition, scholarships for our study abroad programs, Tinker fellowships, faculty travel and partnership grants, and our photo contest.

If you have not come by the center, please feel free to come by and say hi.