Oregon State University has established a new Center for Latino/Latina Studies and Engagement, and named a prominent faculty member as interim director.

Susana Rivera-Mills, a professor of Spanish and diversity advancement, will direct the new center, known as CL@SE (pronounced claw-SAY), which is designed to meet the research and outreach needs relating to Oregon’s growing Latino population. Rivera-Mills also is the associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and has been an active leader on the OSU campus in advancing diversity.

“Research and outreach on issues surrounding the Latino population
affect every discipline at OSU,
and are integral with our university’s strategic areas and our research agenda.”

- Sabah Randhawa, Provost and Executive Vice President

The new center will integrate studies of Latino communities in the United States with analyses of their histories, politics, cultures and societies, officials say. Among the research themes that will be explored are colonialism, race, gender, nationalism, globalism, immigration, economic development, language and identity.

Rivera-Mills, smiling.“The center will promote engaged research and outreach
devoted to advancing knowledge and understanding of Latino contributions
and the issues surrounding this population in our state, region and beyond.
I am enthusiastic about the opportunities.
Our action-based agenda will promote
economic, political, physical and educational well-being and development.”

-  Susana Rivera-Mills

Rivera-Mills has been on the OSU faculty since 2007, and has mentored Latino students and been involved with the university’s internationalization and transnational efforts, as well as been a leader in student engagement and global learning initiatives. She specializes in Spanish language maintenance and loss, sociolinguistics, and Spanish as a first and second language.

CL@SE will be affiliated with both the OSU Provost’s Office and the Research Office, officials say.

“Our recently developed research agenda emphasizes
relevance, integration, collaboration and leadership.
Its principles support team-based research, student involvement,
partnership with communities, and transdisciplinary research.
CL@SE has at its core all of these principles
and reflects the values of the OSU research community.”

- Richard Spinrad, Vice President for Research

“The advancement of social justice
is among the important things that will be fostered
with Susana’s able leadership.”

- Scott Reed, Vice Provost for University Outreach and Engagement

 

CL@SE will collaborate with several units on campus, especially the colleges of liberal arts, science and education, and Outreach and Engagement.

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