Mellon Foundation grant will support the national initiative in Latinx studies

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Thanks to a three-year, $ 5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, UC Santa Cruz will be part of a national Latinx studies initiative called “Crossing Latinidades: Emerging Scholars and New Comparative Directions.”

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) will lead this grant project as part of a consortium of 16 Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) which have the R1 designation – for leading doctoral universities with very high research activity – from the Carnegie Classification of Higher Education Institutions. This group includes UC Santa Cruz. Chancellor Cynthia Larive and Associate Professor and former Chair of Latin American and Latin American Studies Gabriela Arredondo have been involved in planning efforts since 2020.

A key component of the new grant project will be the creation of an intensive annual summer institute on methodologies and theories of Latinx studies and a mentoring program that aims to enhance comparative research skills, intellectual curiosity, the creativity and critical thinking of emerging researchers. Each university will send two pre-proposals of graduate students to the summer institute, and a total of 96 students will benefit from the institute and an assigned mentor.

A second part of the program is a research working group initiative that seeks to impact the field of Latinx studies with a new model of collaborative, comparative, and cross-regional research to more accurately reflect the changing configurations of Latinx people in the United States. United. In the second and third years of the grant, 10 research working groups will be funded, which will include senior and junior academics in Latinx studies as well as six graduate students.

Plans for the current grant award also include the creation of a web portal that will network all professors conducting research on Latinx studies at consortium universities.

“Beyond the financial support that the programs of this grant will provide, this prestigious award amplifies the importance of Latinx studies and Latinx scholars in these fields and disciplines,” said Gabriela Arredondo, associate professor at UCSC. “I am excited about these new opportunities to collaborate with academics and academics in Latinx studies training at all institutions, and I am excited about the support expressed by the Chancellors and Chairs of this consortium for Latinx Humanist Studies. ”

Olga Herrera, visiting scholar in Latin American and Latin American studies at UIC, will be the director of the Crossing Latinidades initiative. Catherine Ramírez, professor and current chair of the Department of Latin American and Latin American Studies at UCSC, will help lead the implementation of the grant at UC Santa Cruz.

Overall, the goal of the R1-HSI consortium of 16 universities is to increase the number of Latinx students pursuing graduation degrees and advancing to academic positions. This grant project is the first initiative the group will undertake, but additional plans are currently being developed across all fields of study.

With UC Santa Cruz and UIC, the institutional partners of the consortium are the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York; University of Arizona; University of California, Irvine; University of California, Riverside; University of California, Santa Barbara; Florida International University; University of Central Florida; University of New Mexico; University of Nevada, Las Vegas; University of North Texas; Texas University of Technology; University of Houston; University of Texas, Arlington, and University of Texas, El Paso.


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