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Latin American Center wins renewal of federal funding
August 29, 1997
The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies has again been awarded funding under Title VI of the U.S. Higher Education Act.
"We have been very successful in maintaining our funding since 1985," says center director Elizabeth Mahan, "because we have a faculty that is committed to the program."
The grants are given to institutions and consortia of institutions to strengthen centers in foreign languages; area studies; or international studies.
With the University of Massachusetts, Yale and Brown University as partners, UConn, a member of the Latin American Studies Consortium of New England, will receive nearly $165,000 during the next three years.
Mahan says the grant has allowed UConn to forge partnerships with other universities in the region.
Within the consortium, students are able to use libraries at any of the four institutions; they also may enroll in courses at any institution. That gives them an opportunity "to work with scholars who may be helpful to them when they leave UConn," Mahan says. In addition, faculty are encouraged to participate in an exchange program.
UConn is one of 14 federally funded Title VI National Resource Centers for Latin American Studies.
"Within the Latin American Studies community this grant may be the most prestigious," Mahan adds, "because the winners are determined by their peers. To qualify, you must have a very comprehensive program in place - not just an academic program, not just a good library, not just good language teaching, but all of those things."
With the grant, the center also has been able to forge a dynamic public outreach program, on and off campus. "Our outreach focuses on children from grades K through 12," Mahan says. "Some of the things we provide are in-service workshops with their teachers and presentations at their conferences."
UConn students have access to such resources as public opinion data from 11 different countries in Latin America and a special collection from Chile. During the next couple of years the consortium will organize conferences that will give graduate students an opportunity to present their research to one another.
These factors may entice graduate students to enroll at the University if they want to major in Latin American studies. Being able to offer two graduate fellowships for $10,000 each plus tuition and fees for the next three years and two summer fellowships for intensive language studies in Spanish or Portugese for $6,000 each, is an added benefit of the Title VI grant.