Cecilia Martinez-Gallardo Appointed William Wilson Brown Jr. Distinguished Term Professor in Latin American Studies

Born and raised in Mexico City, it’s no surprise that Mexico and its neighboring countries are a primary focus for associate professor of political science Cecilia Martinez-Gallardo. “My family all still lives in Mexico City, so I’m very connected to what’s going on there and the politics of both the city itself and the country.”

After earning her bachelor’s degree at Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México in Mexico City, Martinez-Gallardo moved to New York City to pursue her doctorate at Columbia University. “I’ve always been very interested in political institutions and the idea that how you organize them can change political outcomes drastically,” she says. “I started studying governments — how elite politicians make decisions, how they impact political outcomes, who was named to cabinets, how they organize themselves for work — all of that fascinates me.”

Following her time at Columbia, Martinez-Gallardo returned to Mexico City as a Fulbright Scholar, teaching at Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE). In 2007, after three years in her home country, Martinez-Gallardo returned to the United States when a position arose in the political science department at UNC-Chapel Hill, where she now serves as associate professor in the College of Arts & Sciences.

Currently, Martinez-Gallardo teaches an introductory course on Latin American politics and a course on the politics of Mexico, which surveys the country’s politics in the 20th century and contemporary issues, such as the upcoming elections in Mexico City. “Given the current administration, I have seen a lot more concern and discussion from students around topics like immigration, security and the role of the U.S. as it relates to Latin America,” she says. “They’re very keen to talk about that relationship between the U.S. and Latin America.”

In addition to teaching, Martinez-Gallardo has a number of research projects in the works, including an expansive project studying presidential cabinet systems in which she has recruited experts to gather data about cabinets across different Latin American countries. “We’re tapping into the expertise of local scholars to really help us describe the cabinets and gather data, profile cabinet ministers and study party affiliations,” Martinez-Gallardo says. “The data set will be published on a website, where hopefully it will serve as a public resource for students and scholars studying this subject.”

Martinez-Gallardo was recently appointed as the first William Wilson Brown Jr. Distinguished Term Professor in Latin American Studies, an award which she says will help support her research. “I’ve been very involved in the Institute for the Study of the Americas and the work they do, so it’s a great honor for me to be the inaugural recipient of this award,” Martinez-Gallardo says. “This will allow me to secure the resources to further these [current research] projects, and get the output needed to make the projects a success. I couldn’t be more grateful.”

The professorship, awarded by the Curriculum in Latin American Studies and the Institute for the Study of the Americas, serves to recognize a member of the UNC College of Arts and Sciences faculty at the rank of associate professor who has demonstrated sustained progress toward promotion to the rank of full professor. The appointment is in recognition of a record of professional excellence as a result of scholarly accomplishments, demonstrated by publications in journals or presses of distinctions and presentation of scholarly papers in important professional venues.

“We are thrilled to present this award to Professor Martinez-Gallardo, who has demonstrated an incredible commitment to the field of Latin American studies in the course of her research and teaching at UNC-Chapel Hill,” says Lou Perez, director of the Institute for the Study of the Americas. “As we launch this new term professorship, we look forward to seeing what Cecilia accomplishes and commend her on the continued contributions she has made to scholarly advancement in this field.”

By Jamie Gnazzo ’13

Read the original article from our friends at UNC Global here

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Interview with Kia Caldwell, “Health Equity in Brazil: Intersections of Gender, Race, and Policy”

We are pleased to share the following interview with ISA faculty member Kia Caldwell. 

Erica L. Williams, an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Spelman College, interviews Kia Lilly Caldwell about her new book, “Health Equity in Brazil: Intersections of Gender, Race, and Policy,” recently published by the University of Illinois Press. Kia Lilly Caldwell is Associate Professor in the Department of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She earned her PhD in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. Her first book, “Negras in Brazil: Re-Envisioning Black Women, Citizenship,” and the “Politics of Identity in Brazil,” was published by Rutgers University Press in 2007. She is also the co-editor of “Gendered Citizenships: Transnational Perspectives on Knowledge Production, Political Activism, and Culture,” which was published by Palgrave MacMillan in 2009. Follow her on Twitter @KiaLCaldwell.

Click to read it now.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

ISA Faculty Spotlight: John Bruno

The Institute for the Study of the Americas (ISA) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge of the Latin American experience in the Western Hemisphere. We were pleased to sit down with ISA faculty member and marine ecologist John Bruno, who researches marine biodiversity and macroecology, coral reef ecology and conservation, and the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems. Professor Bruno recently received a National Science Foundation grant to study how temperature affects marine food webs in the Galápagos Islands.

Prof. John Bruno

Q: Prof. Bruno, thank you for joining us. Can you tell us more about the application process for a National Science Foundation grant? 

A: First, we spent a few years collecting pilot data, basically proving what we proposed would actually work. Then we we wrote the proposal; 15 pages single-spaced for the main project description plus a dozen or so ancillary documents including a very detailed budget, and a data management plant. After submission you wait six months for the reviews and decision. The first time it wasn’t funded and we were asked to make a number of changes. We did and luckily – a mere five years after conception – the project was funded.

Q: Five years, wow! Congratulations again! Tell us about the work you will do and what outcomes you anticipate finding. 

A: The goal of the project is to understand how temperature affects marine food webs. Most marine animals are ecotherms, meaning their body temperature matches the temperature of seawater. The Galápagos are unique in that there is a very strong temperature gradient across the islands. This enables us to conduct experiments, measuring how temperature affects, for examples, the rate at which sea urchins eat algae and thus how much algae is left standing on the seafloor.

View from the Galápagos Islands; photo courtesy of John Bruno

Q: How does this relate to research you have conducted before?

A: The role of temperature has been a theme in my lab for a long time. Sometimes we perform experiments in aquariums in the lab. We also use satellite data on ocean temperature combined with ecological data to try to figure out how temperature is affecting the way marine ecosystems work. It’s important to test the outcomes of that work out in the real world, but you can’t really experimentally warm up part of the ocean. So this is a really exciting opportunity to take the next step in this work.

Q: We think it’s exciting too! What do you hope others can take away from this project?

A: We think the work could totally change the way marine ecologists think about these kinds of ecosystems.  The long-standing paradigm is that the amount of seaweed attached rocks on the sea floor or phytoplankton in the water column is controlled by nutrient availability. Currents periodically bring cold nutrient-rich water up from the deep and when that happens you see big blooms of algae in the ocean. Our work will test an alternative explanation for this phenomena: we think the colder water is greatly slowing down the metabolism and grazing rate of herbivores, which stop eating the algae.

Photo courtesy of John Bruno

But the big takeaway will be how ocean warming will affect the marine plants and animals in this system.  The Galápagos are projected to warm much faster than most regions and we currently have little understanding of how climate change will impact this unique ecosystem.

Q: We look forward to learning more. What is it like to be in the Galápagos?

A: Well, it’s a crazy place to work. Even though it’s on the equator, the water gets very cold in July and August. And it looks nothing like the tropical environments I’m used to working on in the Belize. In the Galápagos there are penguins, orcas, and sea lions! So it feels a lot more like northern California.

Sounds amazing. Thank you again for joining us, we look forward to seeing the results!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Mexico Study Tour Helps NC Public School Teachers Bring Global Dimension to Classroom

Thank you to our friends at UNC Global. To see the original article, click here

Mexico Study Tour participant Carrie McMillan of Durham Public Schools talks with students at Escuela Mátires de Chicago, a public school in Progreso, Mexico.

In the three years since a group of teachers traveled to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula to learn about a different education system and broaden their perspectives, they and their K-12 students are still reaping the benefits.

Betty Brandt Rouse, an English as a second language (ESL) teacher at Creekside Elementary School in Durham, recently reflected on a Mexico Study Tour she and fellow teachers took in 2014. “We were able to [talk] with teachers in Mexico and learn a lot about how their school system differs from our school system,” she said, “and to get to actually see it and be there hands-on. It was a really powerful experience.”

Rouse was one of eight North Carolina public school teachers who participated in the Mexico Study Tour organized by the Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, a collaboration between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Institute for the Study of the Americas and Duke University Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Participants attended a series of pre-trip workshops to prepare them for the experience. Once in Mexico, they spent nine days meeting with Mexican educators, visiting schools and historic sites, and engaging in multicultural experiences such as homestays and cooking classes.

Emily Chávez, outreach program coordinator for the consortium, designed and led the study tour with assistance from the site coordinator, Mariana Domínguez.

A teacher at Escuela Mátires de Chicago in Progreso, Mexico, works with a group of primary school students.

“I wanted the teachers to better understand their role as North Carolina teachers within a global context—and to understand that our lives and our privileges in the U.S. are inevitably intertwined with the people of Latin America and Mexico in particular,” explained Chávez. “I wanted the teachers to have a variety of experiences that got them thinking about the role of history, the role of political power, who shapes education, and what it means and what it takes to retain Maya culture and language within and outside Maya communities.”

One aspect of the program was creating new curriculum to implement in the classroom. Nicole Emmert, teacher librarian and school testing coordinator at Oak Lane Elementary School in Hurdle Mills, incorporated aspects of Maya culture and art into library studies. She’s installed art from around the world and has created exploratory centers and clubs based on the culture and ideas of other countries.

“I have maps and globes everywhere in the library for students to study and explore,” Emmert said. “They are more interested in other countries and ways of life now. Students are less intimidated about the idea of travel.”

Rouse brought back artifacts from her time in Mexico that she incorporates into her lessons—instruments, Maya toys and games, indigenous clothing, money and children’s books written in Mayan and English.

“The big point of the unit was students being able to tell how their lives are similar and different from kids’ lives in Mexico,” Rouse said. “One part was about sports, and one was including Maya literature…we took [that] compare-and-contrast and turned that into a literacy unit.”

North Carolina K-12 educators participating in the Mexico Study Tour await instruction at Instituto Mexico, a private school in Mérida, Mexico.

By adding these multicultural components to her lessons, through pictures and other objects, and drawing on her experiences abroad, Rouse is better able to connect to students in her ESL classes. Rouse has traveled to several of the places her students are from, including Mexico, Guatemala and parts of Africa. Experiencing different cultures has helped her become more accepting of difference, particularly in the classroom.

“Being able to get out of your little bubble and being able to be in and see another place and another perspective is very beneficial for teachers,” Rouse said. “The more you understand parts of the world, the more you realize how many different ways there are to do something, and the fewer assumptions you have for each of your students…You begin to see that there is a different story behind each person.”

Emmert agrees that these life lessons were an invaluable part of the Mexico Study Tour experience.

“I’m more laid back now, and I know that teaching life and social skills is just as important—if not more so, actually—as teaching curriculum,” Emmert said. “I’ve learned to take time to listen and learn from everyone you meet.”

“The Mexico Study Tour is one way the Consortium has worked with the K-12 community to strengthen and add depth to the way North Carolinians learn and teach about Latin America and Latin American communities,” explained Beatriz Riefkohl Muñiz, executive director of the Institute for the Study of the Americas. “The combination of UNC and Duke’s scholarly expertise in the region and the immersive nature of the visit makes the tour a particularly effective learning tool for educators.

The Mexico Study Tour was made possible with funding from the U.S. Department of Education Title VI program for National Resource Centers.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2017 Yucatec Maya Institute Photo Gallery

Modern Yucatec Maya is a modern language spoken by people living in the Yucatán Peninsula and northern Belize. Sponsored by the UNC-Duke Consortium, the Yucatec Maya Summer Institute offers beginning, intermediate and advanced level instruction of modern Yucatec Maya. The courses are open to students, faculty, and the public.

The Maya Summer Institute offers an intensive language learning environment that provides a solid foundation in Yucatec Maya combined with a field-based, experiential program. From beginning to advanced classes, students participate in meaningful engagement with Yucatec Maya communities through a combination of classroom and field activities. Students visit a range of important historic and cultural locations. Trips to archeological and colonial sites as well as other contemporary Mayan villages are led by Maya scholars, who will introduce them to the cultural importance of each site. Mérida, the beautiful capital of the state of Yucatán, offers both modern and historic aspects of city life. Izamal was an important site of pre-Columbian civilization. Today, Maya is the first language in the homes of the majority of the people of Izamal. Valladolid is home to an innovative Maya culture and language program that promotes intercultural learning and trains a new generation of Maya-speaking students. Xocen, situated 12 kilometers southeast of Valladolid, is located in the milpa area of the Mexican state of Yucatán. It is an ancient town that played a key role in the Caste War, a 50-yeat revolt of native Maya people against the political and economic forces controlling the region.

We hope you will enjoy photos from the 25th Yucatec Maya Institute below. Many thanks to Director Hannah Palmer for sharing!


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Director Louis A. Pérez Jr.’s “On Becoming Cuban” featured in The New York Times Books list

Director Louis A. Pérez Jr.’s “On Becoming Cuban” featured in The New York Times Books list. Read it now. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

From the Director: Academic Year 2016-2017 in Review

Louis A. Pérez is the J. Carlyle Sitterson Professor of History and the Director of the Institute for the Study of the Americas.

As the tempo of academic life at Carolina slows into “summer mode,” we pause to reflect upon the accomplishments of the past year with a rightful sense of satisfaction. We are especially pleased to announce that during the academic year 2016-2017, the Institute for the Study of the Americas has awarded more than $250,000 in the form of grants, fellowships, and stipends to support undergraduate education, graduate-student research, graduate-student recruitment, language training, travel, and faculty development projects. The study of Latin America is indeed flourishing in Chapel Hill and in the aggregate makes for a vibrant environment of innovative research and professional engagement.

Global Take Off: Puerto Rico program offers first-year students a fully-funded opportunity to participate in a first-time travel experience.

ISA initiatives have continued to increase in numbers and expand in scope. The breadth of interest in Latin America at Carolina has served as the basis for a number fruitful collaborative projects on the basis of shared goals and common purpose. These have involved multiple and multifaceted activities across the College and throughout the University, within the humanities and social sciences, and the development of wider collaborative networks with the professional schools. The success of the activities during academic year 2016-2017 serves to sustain the pursuit of best practices in undergraduate education, graduate training, faculty research, and outreach initiatives.

ISA joined with the Center for Global Initiatives, the Stone Center for Black Culture and History, and the University of Puerto Rico in support of the Global Take Off: Puerto Rico Program. The open-access program offers first-year students a fully-funded opportunity to participate in a first-time travel educational experience. Twelve students participated in this year’s study program organized around the theme of food security in Puerto Rico.

ISA has also joined with the Gillings School of Global Public Health and the Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine in Cuba to support the development of collaborative projects dealing with teaching, graduate student training, and faculty research.

Under the auspices of the Consortium, Duke and UNC hosted the very successful 64th annual meeting of the Southeastern Conference of Latin American Studies (SECOLAS) in March 2017. The 2017 Conference was one of the best attended SECOLAS programs in recent years, and included 265 registered participants from 22 states. A total of 66 panels addressed a diverse Latin American topics within the social sciences, humanities, and health sciences.

The City of Sanford awarded keys to Latino Migration Project Director Dr. Hannah Gill and Building Integrated Communities (BIC) Researcher and Coordinator Jessica White (pictured second from right) in recognition of the statewide BIC initiative.

In the course of the past year, ISA has continued to sponsor a variety of speaker programs designed to provide a venue for scholars from both within the University and beyond, including the Faculty Lecture Series, Latin America Speaker Series, and the Federico Gil Lecture Series. In this regard, we are especially gratified to announce the inauguration in 2017 of the George and Anne Platt Distinguished Lecture Series. The Series is designed to bring to Carolina annually a distinguished scholar of Latin American and/or Latino/a studies. This year’s inaugural scholar was Professor Vicki Ruiz, Distinguished Professor of History and Chicano/Latino Studies at the University of California at Irvine, who spoke on the subject of “Why Latino History Matters to U. S. History.”

In 2017, the Latino Migration Project (LMP) celebrated its tenth anniversary, providing research and public education about Latin American migration and integration in North Carolina. Some accomplishments this year include the expansion of staff capabilities with a grant from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, new partnerships with Chapel Hill and Siler City to create municipal immigrant integration plans, and the tenth Guanajuato trip as part of APPLES Global Course Guanajuato. LMP was recipient of the National League of Cities’ City Cultural Diversity Award, and the Key to the City of Sanford. The NEH-Funded New Root Oral History initiative, a collaborative project with the University Libraries and the Southern Oral History Program, was recipient of the 2016 Elizabeth B. Mason Award from the Oral History Association.

Students (above) participated in the tenth APPLES Service-Learning Global Course Guanajuato taught by Hannah Gill

Important outside funding this past year has served to support important facets of ISA programs. An award from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation for $118,000 has provided the Latino Migration Project (LMP) vital support for the expansion the Building Integrated Communities (BIC) initiative. BIC assists municipal governments in North Carolina in working with foreign born residents to promote economic development, enhance multi-cultural communication, and improve community relationships.

ISA also acknowledges with appreciation the receipt this past year of a generous gift of $50,000 for the creation of the Director’s Fund for Excellence in Latin American Studies. The fund was formed to support the strategic priorities of the Curriculum of Latin American Studies, including but not limited to faculty and student support, public lectures, and program events.

It is with pleasure that we welcome Joanna Shuett to our corner of the Third Floor in the Global Education Center. Joanna has assumed the position of Department Manager and within just a few months has established a welcoming and efficient presence within ISA. We wish also to welcome Jessica White to Latino Migration Project to assume the new position of Research and Program Manager of Building Integrated Communities. We are delighted to have Jessica with us.

Beatriz Riefkohl Muñiz

Hannah Gill

Several notable accomplishments were registered within ISA in the course of the past year. The accomplishments of Beatriz Riefkohl Muñiz and Hannah Gill–long recognized within the community of Latin Americanists at Carolina–have been recognized by the University community at large. Beatriz received the University Award for the Advancement of Women, given by the office of Chancellor, in recognition of her contributions on behalf of women at Carolina, including mentorship of young professionals, years of leadership and advocacy of policies and cultures affecting women faculty, staff, and students. She has been an influential leader in collaborative efforts among area-study centers in the expansion of global education in North Carolina and Latin American Studies nationally.

Hannah was recognized for her years of engaged teaching and her commitment to the APPLES Service-Learning Global Course Guanajuato. Hannah was recipient of the 2017 Office of the Provost Public Service Award for Engaged Teaching. The annual spring semester course serves to train bilingual students to understand the contemporary and historical complexities of immigration through research, service-learning with immigrants in North Carolina and travel to communities of migrant origin in Guanajuato, Mexico.

2016-2017 graduating class of LTAM majors

We are delighted to congratulate the 2016-2017 graduating class of LTAM majors: Verónica Aguilar, Iris Chicas, Raina Enrique, Luis Daniel González Chávez, Lauren Groffsky, Jacqueline López, Michael Olson, Laura Ornelas, Damaris Osorio, Diego Suárez Salazar, and Jackson McKenna Wright. ISA extends its warmest best wishes for their continued success.

We end this review of academic year 2016-2017 to reflect on the personal and professional loss with the passing of Shelley Clarke. Shelley was vital a presence in all our endeavors for almost two decades. The lives of three generations of LTAM majors and two generations of graduate students were enhanced and their projects enabled through Shelley’s efforts. We will–and we do–miss Shelley–but the impact of her presence at ISA and the Latin Americanist community will endure for years to come. We celebrate her presence, the life she lived among us, and the ways she enriched the lives of almost everyone with whom she shared so much of herself.


Lou Pérez
June 2017

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Guarani Linguistics in the 21st Century

guariniWe are pleased to share the work of ISA faculty member, Bruno Estigarribia. The associate chair, department of romance studies assistant professor of Hispanic linguistics has a book to be published by Brill in the Brill’s Studies in the Indigenous Languages of the Americas (BSILA) series. His book (co-edited with Justin Pinta), “Guarani Linguistics in the 21st Century,” bring together a series of state-of-the-art linguistic studies of the Guarani language.

Guarani is the only indigenous language of the Americas that is spoken by a non-indigenous majority. In 1992, it achieved official status in Paraguay, with Spanish. Current language planning efforts focus on its standardization for use in education, administration, science, and technology. In this context, it is of paramount importance to have a solid understanding of Guarani that is well-grounded in modern linguistic theory. This volume aims to fulfill that role and spur further research of this important South American language.

We hope you will enjoy!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Dr. Hannah Gill one of nine individuals and groups honored for public service

Cropped_2017Public Svc AwardsHannahGill_0051Hannah Gill, director of the Latino Migration Project, was recognized for engaged teaching for her work with the APPLES Service-Learning Global Course Guanajuato. The spring semester course trains bilingual students to understand the contemporary and historical complexities of immigration through research, service-learning with immigrants in North Carolina and travel to communities of migrant origin in Guanajuato, Mexico. The program fosters bi-national relationships with migrant families, secondary schools and foundations in Mexico. The Latino Migration Project is a public educational program on Latin American immigration and integration in North Carolina that includes undergraduate teaching. It is a collaborative initiative of the Institute for the Study of the Americas and the Center for Global Initiatives.

See the original post here

Carolina honors nine individuals and groups for public service

Chapel Hill, N.C. – Community-based services for the elderly, pro bono legal assistance and a refugee health program were some of the projects recognized at UNC-Chapel Hill’s 2017 Public Service Awards celebration on April 5. The annual event is held by the Carolina Center for Public Service.

“Service to others is at the heart of how a great public university engages with and serves its communities,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “The recipients of this year’s awards exemplify the best of blending public service and engaged scholarship to serve the public good. I am honored to recognize their meaningful and profoundly impactful work.”

Lucy Lewis, recently retired assistant director of the Campus Y and director of the Bonner Leaders Program, received the 2017 Ned Brooks Award for Public Service honoring her commitment as a mentor for students engaged in public service and advocate for both students and community partners. Lewis was the founding director of the Bonner Leaders Program, which accepts work-study students with demonstrated leadership potential and a commitment to public service and provides them with opportunities to engage in intensive community work supplemented by weekly capacity-building workshops and critical issues seminars.

Three others received Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Awards, which honor individuals and campus units for public service through engaged teaching, research and partnership. The recipients are:

Gary Cuddeback, distinguished term associate professor in the School of Social Work, was recognized for engaged research through the partnership between the Mental Health and Criminal Justice Evidence-Based Intervention Collaborative and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. Cuddeback leads a team that combines rigorous research methods and community engagement strategies to improve the lives of people with mental illnesses involved in the criminal justice system. The project developed a series of mental health training modules to educate probation officers across the state. The research program also developed treatment manuals focused on implementing an adaptation of an evidence-based practice for people with co-occurring illness and substance use disorders in mental health courts and probation settings.

Hannah Gill, director of the Latino Migration Project, was recognized for engaged teaching for her work with the APPLES Service-Learning Global Course Guanajuato. The spring semester course trains bilingual students to understand the contemporary and historical complexities of immigration through research, service-learning with immigrants in North Carolina and travel to communities of migrant origin in Guanajuato, Mexico. The program fosters bi-national relationships with migrant families, secondary schools and foundations in Mexico. The Latino Migration Project is a public educational program on Latin American immigration and integration in North Carolina that includes undergraduate teaching. It is a collaborative initiative of the Institute for the Study of the Americas and the Center for Global Initiatives.

Jenny Womack, clinical professor in allied health, received the partnership award for her work with the Orange County Department of Aging (OCDOA). Womack has worked with individuals, organizations and health-delivery systems to develop community-based services focused on three key issues affecting the quality of life for elders: driving, falls and dementia. She collaborated with the OCDOA on two successful grants – one funded a senior transportation coordinator, the other developed services and practices to build a dementia-capable community. Her efforts have impacted the aging community and empowered older adults and their families to utilize resources, programs and services in Orange County.

Winners of the Robert E. Bryan Public Service Award, which recognizes students, staff and faculty for exemplary public service efforts, are:

Brittany Brattain, a law student and member of the UNC School of Law Pro Bono Program, received the graduate and professional student award for her work with the UNC Cancer Pro Bono Project. Students in this program, supervised by volunteer lawyers, talk at the cancer center with patients and their families about financial and health care powers of attorney and living wills. In her role as special projects coordinator, Brattain recruited student and attorney volunteers to serve at clinics; developed training protocol for student volunteers; created client files for clinics; and developed an institutionalized and automated system that will ensure the longevity of the project.

Matthew Mauzy, manager of Emergency Response Technology, received the staff award for his work with the North Carolina Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team (NCHART) response to Hurricane Matthew. As chief of the South Orange Rescue Squad, Mauzy ensures that his team is ready for hurricanes and for the resulting damage. In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, Mauzy contributed countless volunteer hours with the NCHART group to ensure North Carolina residents affected by the hurricane received the support they needed during the critical weeks following the storm.

Alexander Peeples, a history and political science major and Bonner Leader, received the undergraduate student award for his work with Heavenly Groceries, a local food bank that provides quality produce and grocery items to underserved communities. For the past three years, Peeples served as a link between St. Joseph C.M.E. Church, which houses the food bank, and the Jackson Center, which facilitates student involvement. One of Peeples’ contributions was securing grant money for a new van to make operations easier.

Marsha Penner, lecturer in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, received the faculty award for her commitment to the course PSYC 424 Neural Connections: Hands-on Neuroscience. The class is dedicated to teaching neuroscience through hands-on activities in the community. Students in the course develop neuroscience activities that include a detailed manual and tool kit and deliver them to educators for their use teaching in schools. Penner has been devoted to making science accessible to the public.

The Refugee Health Initiative (RHI) received the campus organization award for its outreach to refugee families who have settled in the local community. Founded in 2009, RHI has provided a sense of belonging in the community as well as access to needed services, including healthcare and social resources. This year, RHI matched 66 undergraduate and graduate students with 32 refugee families across Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham. As RHI pairs students with refugee families, students are able to regularly meet with and serve refugee families and ease the burden on local resettlement agencies.

About the Carolina Center for Public Service

The Center offers a variety of programs that support public service and engagement, providing students, faculty and staff many ways to explore service opportunities, learn new skills and link their academic endeavors to making a difference in the community.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Pérez authors book on nineteenth-century Cuba everyday life


ISA Director Lou Pérez explores everyday life of an emerging urban middle class in his book, “Intimations of Modernity: Civil Culture in Nineteenth-Century Cuba”

Institute for the Study of the Americas Director Lou Pérez is an award-winning author who knows the importance of multiple perspectives when learning about history. That’s why he sought to examine 19th century Cuba through a different lens that contrasts from the existent literature’s usual political viewpoint—that of looking at everyday life.

His latest book, “Intimations of Modernity: Civil Culture in Nineteenth-Century Cuba,” seeks to change the paradigm of looking at Cuba in the 19th century by looking at the habits and routines of an emerging urban middle class within the colonial system. Pérez came about writing this work after looking through periodicals where he noticed an increasing presence about the culture and language of deploying the abanico, the fan.

“The fan presents a point in which one can examine changing and shifting gender relationships,” Pérez said. “It offers insight into methods of autonomy and agency.”

Pérez found Cuban audiences were fiercely captivated by the fan. Girls learned from a young age how to communicate with the fan, using gestures as slight as the drop of the wrist or as big as opening the fan in a certain way.

The fan, however, was only the beginning.

By examining everyday life, Pérez explored the ways in which corporations and the expanding global market changed Cuban customs, trends and social practices. The culture of capitalism wove into the fabric of the urban middle class’s understanding of knowledge and moral systems, which clashed with the colonial system values of power and privilege.

All in all, Pérez hopes that by learning about the everyday life, audiences will acquire a different view of what was going on in 19th century Cuba. By considering additional factors that contributed to the collapse of the Spanish colonialism system, readers will have a greater sense of the sources of the Cuban struggle for independence.

Click to learn more about “Intimations of Modernity: Civil Culture in the 19th Century Cuba”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email