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Enhance Your Education

Distinctive Programs in Latin American Studies

There are ample opportunities to enhance your coursework in Latin American studies through independent research, off-campus study, and internships. These programs are integral to a Knox education, teaching you how to apply your skills in real world situations.

Student Research and Creative Projects
Knox is a leader in promoting top-notch undergraduate research. In fact, more than 90% of all Knox students complete an independent research or creative project by the time they graduate. Many students' projects are supported by an unusually rich array of Knox College funding programs that together provide students more than $200,000 each year in support of their work. These sources include: College Honors Program, Richter Memorial Scholars Program, Ford Foundation Research Fellows Program, Ronald E. McNair Fellows Program and departmentally supported independent studies. In addition, special fellowships awarded to Knox through national competitions and through the research grants of Knox faculty make Knox a leader in promoting undergraduate research. A recent research project is:

  • "Environmentalism in Costa Rica," Zoe Marzluff '15.
  • "Women and Revolution in Cuba," Lucie Clarke '13.
  • "International Solidarity and Muralism in the Sandinista Revolution," Rosie Worthen '11.
  • "American Expansion into the Tropics: A Comparison of Fordlandia and the United Fruit Company," Lawrence Povas '10.
  • "Literatura Picaresca," Cody Happ '06.
  • "Drug Policy Reform," Luke Albrecht '14
  • "Colombian Guerrilla Groups," Juanpablo Ramirez '15

College Honors
Outstanding students may elect to undertake College Honors in their senior year, carrying out an advanced research project presented and defended to a faculty committee that includes a distinguished outside examiner. An example of recent Honors project is:

  • "'¿Con quien te identificás?': Filmic Identifications and the Subversive Imagination in Manuel Puiz's Betrayed by Rita Hayworth and Kiss of the Spider Woman," Elizabeth Barrios, '09.
  • "The Aftermath of the Zapatista Rebellion: Reasons for Military and Paramilitary Violence in Chiapas," James Mutti, '98.
  • "Democracy, Corporatism and Neoliberalism: The Political Economy of the Mexican Drug Trade in the 21st Century," Marcus J. McGee '14

Off-campus Study
Knox offers you plenty of opportunities to begin exploring the world while still a student. Almost 50% of Knox students participate in off-campus study and consider their studies abroad to be the highlight of their college experiences. Among Knox offers you plenty of opportunities to begin exploring the world while still a student.the three dozen off-campus programs offered by Knox are several of interest for students studying Latin American studies.

  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
    A diverse nation in the "southern cone" of South America. All courses are taught in Spanish by regular faculty at the University Palermo, with a special interest focus on history, politics, and culture in Argentina and South America.
  • Costa Rica - Latin American Culture and Society
    Covers the language, literature, history, geography and economic development of Central America.
  • Costa Rica - Tropical Field Research
    Features biological and ecological study in a region with ten climate zones -- from tropical rain forest to temperate highlands -- within a day's travel of San José.

Quick Start Language Instruction
An alternative to the term-length programs, but no less valuable for persons with an interest in Latin America, is Knox's Quick Start language program in Spanish. The program emphasizes preparation for success working in a global economy. It requires intensive language study on campus, followed by a short overseas experience. Since its inception, Quick Start Spanish has taken classes to Peru, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Independent Study
Independent study is used to enrich Knox's academic program by providing students with opportunities for study that cannot be pursued in regular courses. Many Latin American Studies students find independent study a way to explore their specific interests abroad. Recent off-campus projects that have explored Latin America include:

  • "Popular Opinion of the Shining Path Movement." Matt Wafer; independent study and field work in Peru.
  • "The Aftermath of the Zapatista Rebellion." James Mutti; College Honors Project based on a study of paramilitary groups in the Mexican state of Chiapas.
  • "Development Studies." Elizabeth Rice; an interdisciplinary major with a concentration in Latin American Studies, based on study of education and liberation theology in several Central American countries.

As a student of Latin American studies at Knox, you'll have the opportunity to expand your education -- to get that valuable experience you hear so much about -- by completing an internship. Internships provide an opportunity to explore and test career options, to gain experiences and skills needed to succeed as a professional, to build a resume, to network and make critical connections, and to experience a work environment. More and more employers are looking for college graduates with career-related experience. Knox's Center for Career and Pre-Professional Development specializes in helping you find an internship that best matches your goals and interests.

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