June 2012 Newsletter (archive)

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June Spotlight: A Fond Farewell to Gilberto Cárdenas and Allert Brown-Gort

Gilberto Cardenas and Allert Brown-Gort

In this issue of New Horizons we bid farewell to the Institute’s founding director, Gilberto Cárdenas, and associate director, Allert Brown-Gort, who leave the Institute after 13 years of faithful service. In the late 1990s, in response to pressure from Latino alumni and students and in recognition of the increasing role of Latinos in the Catholic Church, the University, under the leadership of Fr. Tim Scully, recruited Gil Cárdenas to establish an Institute that would carry on the legacy of pioneering Latino studies scholar Julian Samora, who had retired in 1985. Gil, a former student of Samora, turned to his friend and colleague Allert to help him lead the new Institute. They came to Notre Dame from the University of Texas at Austin in 1999 with a staff of two others.

Over the past 13 years, with the help of the University administration and their faculty colleagues and through their own tenacity and entrepreneurship, Gil and Allert have garnered almost $24 million in external funding from government agencies and private foundations. They assembled a committed staff that helped them build, from scratch, an Institute with an academic program that offers Notre Dame undergraduates courses towards a minor and supplementary major in Latino studies, several centers for research and outreach, including the highly successful Center for Metropolitan Chicago Initiatives, an extensive and vigorous program of arts and cultural events, a substantial library and archives that serves as a rich resource to student and faculty researchers, a literary program with national reach, and a publications operation that has turned out a series of significant research reports and, with Notre Dame Press, a scholarly book series in Latino studies. Perhaps most importantly, through Gil and Allert’s leadership the Institute has become a welcoming place of community for Latino and Latino studies students and faculty at Notre Dame.

Gil and Allert’s success was acknowledged by the Institute’s external reviewers in 2010, who observed that the Institute “has gained a national and international reputation and provided leadership to other universities across the nation on how to effectively link academia to Latino communities. Through a combination of core support from the University and a very successful fundraising effort, the ILS is the ranking academic Latino institute in the country.”

But Gil and Allert’s success in advancing the academic mission of the University is not their only legacy. We at the Institute would like to thank Gil and Allert for their generous and collegial spirit, which filled the workplace with a sense of genuine camaraderie and familia and inspired heartfelt dedication to the mission of the Institute as a natural extension of Notre Dame’s mission. ¡Gracias y felicidades!


More Farewells

Tracy Grimm, who has served as the Institute’s archivist since 2000, recently accepted a job at Purdue University Libraries, where she will be the Barron Hilton Archivist for Flight and Space Exploration. Tracy will be responsible for developing the Barron Hilton Flight and Space Exploration Archives through identification of donors and acquisitions, as well as programming, preservation, and promotion of the collections.

In May Katie Schlotfeldt, who had been Gilberto Cárdenas’s executive assistant since 2005, took a new job in the Department of American Studies, where she assists the department chair.

Maria Elena Estrada will also be leaving the Institute in July. Malena joined the Institute in 2006, working mostly in the Institute’s Center for Metropolitan Chicago Initiatives and, more recently, as an administrative assistant in the main office. She will return to Chicago to seek employment opportunities there and plans eventually to retire to the family farm in Chihuahua.

Cynthia V. Duarte, who joined the Institute in 2009, serving most recently as Associate Director of Research, has joined the First Year of Studies as a Burke, Hofman, Kolman Teaching Fellow, a postdoctoral position that will allow Cynthia to learn the first-year curriculum so that she can advise students and work on various campus initiatives in the First Year of Studies Office.

Institute Visiting Fellow Oscar Celador-Angon came to the Institute in 2010. In July he returns to the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, where he will continue his teaching and research. After finishing his course in Notre Dame’s Summer Spain Program in Toledo, Institute Visiting Fellow Javier Esguevillas-Ruiz will return to his home institution, the Universidad de Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, Spain.

To all our departing colleagues we bid a fond farewell with best wishes for all your future endeavors!

Rivera Honored by Institute of Management Accountants
Institute Fellow and Professor of Accountancy Juan M. Rivera received the Lybrand Certificate of Merit Award for his manuscript “Budgeting for International Operations: Its Impact on and Integration with Strategic Planning,” co-authored with Professor Ken Milani and published in the Summer 2011 issue of Management Accounting Quarterly. The Lybrand Award was presented to the authors at the Institute of Management Accountants’ Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, in June.

Julian Samora Library Visiting Scholar
The Julian Samora Library’s first summer scholar, Dr. Alejandro Anreus, was in residence June 3 through 9 to conduct research related to Cuban-American artists living in the Midwest. Dr. Anreus is Art Department chair and associate professor of Art History/Latin American/Latino Studies at William Paterson University. On June 7 Dr. Anreus presented a talk titled “The Social Expressionism of Luis Cruz Azaceta,” featuring material from his forthcoming monograph. Exiled from his native Cuba at the age of 18, Luis Cruz Azaceta lived and worked in the working class Latino community of Queens, which shaped his values and grounded his empathy. In the 1980s when the narcissistic neo-expressionist wave was the latest fad, Cruz Azaceta proposed a counter-point: a social expressionism that reflected and critiqued a world abundant with victims, exiles, and resisters of one form or another.

Cross Cultural Internship Program
The Cross-Cultural Leadership Intern Program (CCLIP) engages students in real-world applications of their academic studies through exposure to the diverse needs of the Los Angeles and Chicago minority communities. Eight Notre Dame students (four in each location) will be immersed as interns in community-based organizations in the neighborhoods of Chicago and Los Angeles for eight weeks to gain leadership experience as they live as members of, learn from, and serve minority communities. The Center for Social Concerns and the Institute for Latino Studies collaborate to offer the internship program in Chicago. The Institute for Latino Studies and the Notre Dame Alumni Club of Los Angeles collaborate to offer the internship program in Los Angeles.

Summer Institute for Latino Public Policy
The Summer Institute for Latino Public Policy (SILPP) was held in Washington DC June 17 to 22 at the University of California Washington Center where the University of Notre Dame Washington Offices are located. Twenty rising senior students from member institutions of the Inter-University Program for Latino Research (IUPLR) including California State University-San Marcos, Florida International University, San Francisco State University, University of California-Davis, University of Notre Dame, and Wayne State University attended.

Summer Advisory Council Meeting
The Institute’s advisory council met in Los Angeles, California, June 21 & 22. Council chair Dorene Dominguez hosted a reception at her Los Angeles residence in honor of Institute Director Gilberto Cárdenas.

Letras Latinas Presents Slate of Poets in New York
Letras Latinas, the Institute’s literary program, was invited to curate an evening of poetry in performance at “Word for Word,” the open-air summer reading series in Bryant Park. Poets Araceles Girmay, Urayoán Noel, and recent Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize winner Dan Vera read from their work. Book sales and a signing followed the reading, which took place on June 26 in Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan.

Upcoming Events

Letras Latinas to Curate Palabra Pura in Chicago
Letras Latinas has been invited to curate an evening of poetry in performance at Palabra Pura, a monthly Latino poetry reading series in Chicago. Poets Richard Blanco and Erika L. Sanchez will read from their work. The event that will take place on Tuesday, July 18, at 7:30 pm at La Bruquena restaurant (upstairs), located at 2726 W. Division in Chicago.