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CUSLAI promotes research and educational initiatives in Latin American studies, and works to strengthen the intellectual and cultural connections between students and faculty at UT Dallas and their Latin American counterparts.

Last year marked a transitional period for the Center when I accepted my appointment as director with a commitment to build upon the solid foundation that had been established through CUSLAI’s past activities. Originally created in 1995 as the Center for U.S.-Mexico Studies, CUSLAI has recently expanded its scope to include all of Latin America. This evolution reflects the expanding interconnectedness between the Latin American region and the UT-Dallas community.

The 2015-16 academic year offers opportunities for further developing the Center’s existing programs and expanding into new areas. CUSLAI represents the truly interdisciplinary spirit of the university as a whole, drawing faculty associates from each of UT-Dallas’s eight separate schools. The Center will continue to sponsor faculty research through a competitive grant program. The 2015 awards went to Dr. Danieli Rodrigues (Chemical Engineering) for research in Brazil and to Dr. Jennifer Holmes (Political Economy) and Alvaro Cardenas (Computer Science) for a collaborative research project in Colombia. The strength of CUSLAI’s excellent faculty associates helps to ensure the Center’s long-term success.

As our featured event of the academic year, CUSLAI has invited Dr. Kevin Casas-Zamora, former Vice President of Costa Rica, to give a public lecture on “Prospects for Democracy in Latin America.” Other lectures will continue to feature the winners of the 2015 faculty research grants along with other distinguished scholars.

I am enormously grateful for the support and enthusiasm of the entire UT-Dallas community as CUSLAI makes this transition and takes on new endeavors. For regular announcements and updates, please sign up for our email notifications at CUSLAI Discussion List or follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CUSLAI Twitter at @cuslaiutd and on Instagram at @cuslaiutd.


Dr. Monica Rankin