The City University of New York has been named in a prestigious new national consortium that aims to improve academic opportunities for Latinx scholars in the humanities. The consortium, led by the University of Illinois at Chicago and funded by a three-year, $ 5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will prepare, support, and mentor Latinx students pursuing graduate and academic studies. teaching posts in these disciplines.
The Mellon grant, “Crossing Latinidades: Emerging Scholars and New Comparative Directions,” comprises 16 Hispanic Institutions (HSI) which are top PhD-granting universities with high research activity, also known as R- schools. 1.
“The fact that this auspicious honor of the Mellon Foundation for CUNY comes in the middle of Hispanic Heritage Month, makes it all the more important as we connect our past to our present and future. CUNY stands ready to make vital contributions to this consortium, as evidenced by the extensive research initiated over many years by our renowned Latinx-focused colleges and research institutes, as well as the mentorship of highly promising academics, ”said CUNY Chancellor , Félix. V. Matos Rodriguez. “We at CUNY, along with other leading universities, will work to ensure that this initiative leads to tangible advances in scholarship and that it has a historical effect on the areas that contribute to Latinx studies. ”
The CUNY system has 16 HSI – the highest number in New York State – and several top Latinx research institutes, including the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute at City College, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies (Centro) in Hunter College, the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies (CLACLS) at the CUNY Graduate Center and the CUNY Mexican Studies Institute at Lehman College.
“This prestigious award enables CUNY and our partners to create powerful networks for future Latinx scholars and to advance research that addresses critical issues affecting Latinx communities,” said Robin L. Garrell, president of the CUNY Graduate Center , which coordinates CUNY’s participation in the consortium. “We are delighted to join this important collaboration to train a new generation of Latinx professors and elevate the vital Latinx scholarships, in line with our role as a driver of opportunity and social mobility for the diverse communities we serve in. as an urban and public community. , research-intensive university.
City College professor Ramona Hernández, longtime director of CUNY’s Dominican Studies Institute, will work with the initiative as a mentor and advisor. Hernandez, a CUNY alumnus and author of pioneering texts in the fields of migration, work and Dominican studies, expanded the Institute’s library and launched its renowned archives.
“As the largest urban public university system in the United States and as an institution historically charged with serving the less privileged in society, CUNY is uniquely positioned to strengthen the hugely important and underserved field of Latin studies.” said Hernández, noting the role of CUNY’s “one-of-a-kind” institutes, which she says are “a proven model for specialization, collaboration and benchmarking”.
Victoria Stone-Cadena, Associate Director of CLACLS, adds that the center “is engaged in cutting-edge research on issues that impact diverse groups of Latin American origin in the city and country. CUNY is also home to some of the oldest ethnic studies departments focused on the Latina / o / x / e experience in the country.
CLACLS also produces high-end and accessible reports on the Latin American Data Project on the various Latin American communities in New York and the metropolitan area. Since 2003, the center has produced more than 90 reports that provide essential data on issues such as basic demographics, housing, gentrification, education, access to health care, citizenship status and socio-economic mobility within Latin American communities in New York.
Focus on mentoring, methods
The initiative will include an annual summer institute on methodologies and theories of Latin studies and a mentoring program to enhance the comparative research skills, intellectual curiosity, creativity and critical thinking of emerging academics. 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.
The program will also include a research task force initiative, which will develop a new model of interregional research to more accurately reflect the changing configurations of Latinos in the United States. Funding for the second and third years of the grant will enable the establishment of 10 research working groups that will include senior and junior Latino humanities academics as well as six graduate students. Plans also include the creation of a web portal that will network all professors conducting research in Latin American Studies at the universities of the consortium.
According to the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), Hispanic higher education enrollments are expected to exceed 4.4 million students by 2025, far exceeding the growth rate of any other racial and ethnic group.