Dear Colleagues,

As this difficult semester winds down, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies is thrilled to share three items of good news from the past few months.

First, CLACS has been selected as an inaugural member of the Tinker Foundation’s Field Research Collaborative Program. The Field Research Collaborative is an enhancement of Tinker’s longstanding summer field research fellowship program for graduate students, providing additional resources for graduate fellowships (with an emphasis upon graduate students for whom field research would not otherwise be possible) as well as establishing a learning community of Latin American Studies centers strengthening programming and graduate student training.  CLACS is one of eleven centers named to the Tinker program for the initial 2020-2025 funding cycle. We want to thank the Graduate College and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for institutional matching support for graduate student research, and also acknowledge our Center affiliates who help make our campus a national leader in the training of new generations of graduate students with research interests in Latin America.

Second, we are excited to report that CLACS has been awarded funding through the University of Illinois new Community + Research Partnership Program to support an initiative aimed at identifying best practices and developing durable campus-community networks to enable culturally- and linguistically-appropriate community-participatory research and engagement serving the Maya migrant community in east-central Illinois. The project builds on the expertise and commitments of affiliates from across our campus, including Ryan Shosted (Linguistics), Margarita Teran-Garcia (Human Development and Family Services), and Julia Albarracin (Political Science, Western Illinois University), as well CLACS outreach coordinator (Alejandra Seufferheld), all of whom serve with us as co-PIs on the proposal.

Finally, we’re delighted to share the news that CLACS Outreach Coordinator Alejandra Seufferheld has been awarded the Cathy Acevedo Award for Commitment to Students, by La Casa Cultural Latina.  This student-selected award will be conferred at the Latinx Congratulatory Ceremony, which will take place (virtually) on Friday, May 15.  Congratulations to Alejandra for this well-deserved recognition of her work and thanks to La Casa for a longstanding partnership that helps extend CLACS’s impact across our campus!

While we don’t yet know what the upcoming academic year will look like in terms of course delivery, in-person programming, and other details of our normal operations, these items all indicate some of the ways in which the work of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies will continue and expand in the coming year.  We look forward to working with you.

With thanks for your connections to CLACS and all best wishes for a healthy summer,  

Andrew Orta,
Interim Director

Kasia Szremski,
Associate Director