Late start today... but here we go. What do you call a North American institution of higher learning that does NOT have an institute dedicated to Latin American and Caribbean Studies? Well, in so many ways, such a institution would be irrelevant in today's world, because the need for cross-cultural and language studies is only growing as part of any comprehensive educational experience. Thankfully, our LACSI continues to enhance UGA and the Franklin College as an engaged learning environment focused on developing the full range of human potential as it expands opportunities for students and faculty:
The University of Georgia's Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute recently received a $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, positioning it as a National Resource Center for Latin American Studies. Over the next four years, LACSI will leverage the grant to offer student fellowships and facilitate further education, outreach and research initiatives in Georgia and across the U.S.
Since it was established as an institute in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences in 2006, extramural funding has allowed LACSI-affiliated faculty to launch and administer initiatives that promote Latin American culture and language in several areas. These include a focus on the arts; language exchange; creation of K-12 educational materials; education in sustainable agricultural practices; establishment of the Latin American Botanical Garden on UGA's north campus; promotion of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in Latin America; preservation and teaching of indigenous languages; and support of organizations and individuals serving Georgia's fast-growing Latino and Hispanic communities.
One of LACSI's initiatives also houses the Portuguese Flagship Program, which is funded through the National Security Education Program.
Only a dedicated vision and commitment brings a national center like this to fruition. Kudos to current and past administrators, faculty and friends of LACSI and congratulations on this important new support. We look forward to the programs and collaborations that come to campus as a result of it.
Image: LACSI director Richard Gordon