May 2012 Newsletter (archive)

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José Limón to Direct Institute for Latino Studies
We are pleased to announce that José E. Limón, one of the country’s foremost scholars of Latino literature, has been appointed to be the new director of the Institute for Latino Studies. Timothy Matovina, a leading expert on Latino Catholicism, will serve as executive director. Both appointments take effect July 1. Read the full press release at

May Spotlight: Director of Research Juan Carlos Guzmán


In this issue of New Horizons we turn the spotlight on Director of Research Juan Carlos Guzmán. Guzmán came to the Institute in 2007 with a PhD in Public Policy from Princeton University and several years of experience working at the World Bank in Washington, DC. His research interests cover a wide range of topics across multiple disciplines from health to education to economics. “The pressing issues that Latinos are facing are complex,” says Guzmán. “Complex issues require complex answers that cannot come from any single discipline working in isolation.”

Guzmán’s interdisciplinary interests have resulted in extensive collaborations with centers and institutes across campus. He is a fellow of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, the Eck Institute for Global Health, the Institute for Educational Initiatives, the Center for Children and Families, and the Center for Social Concerns.

In 2008 he was invited by Fr Timothy Scully to join the Notre Dame Institute for Educational Initiatives’ Task Force on the Participation Latino Children and Families in Catholic Schools, for which he served on the core subcommittee, chaired the research subcommittee, and coordinated the research of other task force teams. With the Center for Social Concerns he provided quantitative evaluation and support for a number of initiatives involving local hospitals and other community organizations. Guzmán is currently the co-investigator, with psychology professor Irene Park of the Center for Children and Families, on a project investigating mental health components of discrimination. He recently received his second Ganey mini-grant for his collaboration with the Center for Children and Families to assess the impact of local Head Start programs.

Since Summer 2011 Guzmán has collaborated with the Eck Institute for Global Health on their initiatives in Haiti. This month he travels to Haiti as advisor to master’s student Annette Ruth, whose research, in collaboration with Catholic Relief Services, focuses on the evaluation of efforts to reduce cholera.

Guzmán has been active in engaging undergraduate students in the Institute’s research. This year three seniors who have worked in the Institute’s research department since they were freshmen are graduating. Over the past four years Guzmán has been an active mentor, training these and other students in the use of tools like Stata and GIS mapping, questionnaire design, and data analysis techniques.

Guzmán brings his research into the classroom through an array of courses. This past year he taught an introductory course on education policy related to Latinos. “The main goal of the course,” says Guzmán, “was not only to familiarize students with policy issues, but to help them use their knowledge and available data to craft policies to help ameliorate problems.” This fall he will teach a course on methods of research in global health for master’s students of the Eck Institute. The purpose is to give students tools to solve issues and problems they will face in the field as global health professionals. Guzmán was recently awarded a course development grant by the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts for a course slated for next spring on “The Economics of Migration.”

“Migration has been a core concern of Notre Dame,” says Guzmán, “and it has been examined from multiple points of view: law, human rights, Catholic social teaching. Everyone acknowledges that a key component of migration is economics, but no course has yet focused on the economics of migration. My course attempts to fill that gap and provide students with a complementary way of thinking about migration. This is a great example of how our Latino studies courses add value to undergraduate education.”


Limón Activities
José E. Limón, Notre Dame Professor of American Literature and ILS Faculty Fellow, has published a new article, “Transnational Triangulation: Mexico, the United States and the Emergence of a Mexican-American Middle Class,” in Mexico & Mexicans in the Making of the United States (Ed. John Tutino, Austin: University of Texas Press, 2012, pp. 236–256). Limón also served as a discussant for the Newberry Library Seminar in Borderlands and Latino Studies held in Chicago on March 31, 2012. The seminar is co-sponsored by the Notre Dame Institute for Latino Studies.

Matovina Publications
Institute Fellow Timothy Matovina has had three recent publications. With Thomas Tweed he co-authored “Migration Matters: Perspective from Theology and Religious Studies” (Apuntes: Reflexiones Teológicas desde el Contexto Hispano-Latino 32, no. 1 (2012): pp. 4–20). With Jenna Weissman Joselit, Roberto Suro, and Fenggang Yang he co-authored “Forum: American Religion and the Old and New Immigration” (Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation 22 Winter 2012: pp. 1–30). In By the Vision of Another World: Worship in American History, edited by James D. Bratt, he published “Horizons of Faith: San Antonio Tejanos in the Texas Republic” (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2012, pp. 60–82).

Groody Honored by Priests’ Councils
Rev. Daniel G. Groody, CSC, associate professor of theology and director of the Institute’s Center for Latino Spirituality and Culture, has received the 2012 Touchstone Award from the National Federation of Priests’ Councils. See the press release here:

Fuentes Challenges Myths about Human Nature
A new book by Notre Dame Anthropology Professor and Fellow of the Institute Agustín Fuentes titled Race, Monogamy, and Other Lies They Told You: Busting Myths about Human Nature (University of California Press, 2012) tackles misconceptions about what race, aggression, and sex really mean for humans. Presenting scientific evidence from diverse fields, including anthropology, biology and psychology, Fuentes incorporates an accessible understanding of culture, genetics and evolution, requiring us to dispose of notions of “nature or nurture.” See the press release here:

Celador-Angón Wins Santander Bank Prize for Excellence
Institute visiting faculty fellow Professor Oscar Celador-Angón is a recipient of the 2012 Carlos III University/Banco de Santander Prize for Excellence. The prize, awarded to 10 young (under 45) academics, comes with a €30,000 award. Celador-Angón was one of two winners of the prestigious prize for research in the law.

Letras Latinas Announces Winners of Its National Prizes
Letras Latinas, the Institute’s literary program is pleased to announce the winners of its two national literary competitions. Laurie Ann Guerrero of San Antonio, Texas, was selected by Francisco X. Alarcón, as the winner of the fifth edition of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize. Her manuscript A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying will be published by University of Notre Dame Press in 2013. The Montoya Prize supports the publication of a first book. Dan Vera and William Archila, residents of Washington, DC, and Los Angeles, respectively, were selected by Notre Dame English Professor and ILS Fellow Orlando Menes as the winners of the inaugural edition of the Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize. Vera’s manuscript, The Guide to Imaginary Monuments, and Archila’s, The Gravedigger’s Archeology, will be published by Red Hen Press in 2013 and 2015, respectively. The Red Hen Prize supports the publication of a second or third book. Read the Poetry Foundation’s recent profile on Letras Latinas at

Letras Latinas at the Library of Congress
Letras Latinas, the Institute’s literary program, in collaboration with the Library of Congress’ Poetry and Literature Center, Hispanic Division, and Center for the Book, as well as the University of Arizona Press, presented two programs on April 26 in the LOC’s Madison Building. At noon Latino poet and fiction writer Blas Falconer and Lorraine M. López took part in the LOC’s Center for the Book presentation series and read from their co-edited volume of essays, The Other Latin@: Writing Against a Singular Identity. Letras Latinas director Francisco Aragón moderated a discussion afterwards. At 6:30 pm Falconer and López read from and discussed their own creative work in the LOC’s Poetry and Literature Center’s Lit in Conversation series. Both were video recorded for future posting on the LOC website. For more information about Letras Latinas, visit

Richman Honored for Online Course, Speaks on Latino Retirement
Institute Director of Academic Affairs Karen Richman has been honored by the OpenCourseWare Consortium with the 2012 Award for OpenCourseWare Excellence. Her free, online Creole Language and Culture course was selected from among the 17,000 courses shared openly by universities worldwide to receive one of five awards in the text and still image category. See the full press release here: On April 25 Richman, along with Joelle Saad-Lessler and Teresa Ghilarducci, spoke at the Summit on Latino Retirement at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Their talk addressed Latinos’ participation in employer-based defined contribution plans. The Summit is organized by Latinos for a Secure Retirement.

Brown-Gort Gives Talk to National Federation of Priests’ Councils
On April 24 Institute Associate Director Allert Brown-Gort spoke in Nashville, Tennessee, to the National Federation of Priests’ Councils on the topic “Latinos in the US: Challenges and Opportunities for Society and the Catholic Church.”

Herrera Speaks at National Conference
Olga Herrera was guest panelist at the “Expanding the Asian American and Pacific Islander Voice in National Policy: Opportunities, Challenges, and Alternatives for Collaborative Applied Research” National Conference held at the National Education Association on April 11, 2012, in Washington, DC. In the panel “Exploring Possibilities: Alternative Models and Approaches” she spoke on how the Inter-University Program for Latino Research (IUPLR) may serve as a think-tank model for applied collaborative research to address national policy issues from the Asian American and Pacific Islander perspective. She was invited to serve as moderator in the brainstorming session that followed.

Duarte and Moreno Participate in Film Panel Discussion
On May 2 Cynthia Duarte, associate director of research at the Institute, and Marisel Moreno, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Institute faculty fellow, gave comments on a panel following the labor movie Bread and Roses based on the Justice for Janitors movement in Los Angeles.

Upcoming Events

Student Study Hours
The Institute’s Julian Samora Library will hold the annual finals week study hours in the Library:

  • Monday, May 7, through Wednesday, May 9, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
  • Thursday, May 10, through Friday, May 11, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Light refreshments will be provided.

17th Annual Latino Recognition Ceremony
The Notre Dame Latino Recognition Ceremony will be held on Friday, May 18, at 7:00 pm in Washington Hall followed by a reception in LaFortune Student Center. Multicultural Student Programs and Service (MSPS) and the Institute for Latino Studies co-sponsor this ceremony to recognize Latino University of Notre Dame graduates. Students and their families are welcome to attend.

Open House and Graduation Ceremony for Seniors
On Saturday, May 19, the Institute for Latino Studies will host an open house for graduates. This is a great opportunity to bring your family and friends to see the Institute and meet with Institute staff and faculty over coffee and light hors d’oeuvres. The open house will be held in the Galería América, McKenna Hall reception area, second floor from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm with a certificate ceremony for graduating seniors at 11:00 am. We welcome all faculty and staff to attend.

Alumni Open House
Alumni are cordially invited to an Alumni Reunion open house June 1, 2012, from 9:00 to 12:00 pm in the McKenna Hall mezzanine. From 11:00 am to noon Institute for Latino Studies experts will share their research on Latinos in the United States in a panel discussion entitled "Latino 101, or Everything You Always Wondered About Latinos." Join us in asking any question you may have on Latinos and population, religion, education, migration, identity and economics, to name a few possibilities.