Student Research


Latin American Studies Research Award

Established in 2000 by the Latin American Studies Committee, and funded by the office of the Dean for Academic Affairs, the LAS Research Award Program supports student research in Mexico, Central or South America, the Caribbean, or on Latinos and Latinas in the United States. The awards are intended to increase understanding and awareness of the region among sophomores and juniors majoring in any academic discipline. The on-site research can be conducted during the summer months, between semesters, or to extend off-campus study experiences. Up to $5000 will be awarded, which includes a $400 weekly honorarium for a maximum of 8 weeks, and up to $1800 in Travel and Research funds. 

To apply for a Latin American Studies Research Award, click here >

You may read previous grant awardees’ reports here >

2017 Recipients

This year Latin American Studies Research Awards were given to Jonah Watt (2018) and Genevieve de Kervor (2018).

Jonah WattGenevieve de KervorJonah’s project is titled “The Chilean Winter and a History of Discontent: A History of the Chilean Student Movement”.

Genevieve’s project is titled “An Investigation of Television's Role in the Transition to Democracy Following the 1990 Chilean Plebiscite”.

Both Jonah and Genevieve will conduct their research in Chile, where both are currently studying abroad.  Both projects will be mentored by Professor Allen Wells.                


 The John Harold Turner Prize in Latin American Studies                 

Eliza Graumlich

Named after Professor Emeritus John H. Turner, this prize is awarded to a graduating Latin American Studies  major who, in the judgment of the Program's Faculty, has demonstrated outstanding academic achievement based on coursework in the major, as indicated by academic record, and/or independent research in an Honors Project or Independent Study.

In 2017 the John Harold Turner Senior Prize in Latin American Studies was awarded to Eliza Graumlich. 

LAS Award for Public Engagement

Established in 2016, this prize is awarded to a junior or senior, majoring in any discipline, who has contributed to the recognition and understanding of Latin America, the Caribbean, or the Latin American or Caribbean diasporas through exemplary public engagement, meaningful community service, and/or efforts in public education, intersecting, to the extent possible, with his/her academic studies.

Candidates can be self-nominated or nominated by any faculty member.  Candidates must submit a narrative statement explaining the work for which they have been nominated and, if applicable, the way in which that work intersects with their academic studies on Latin America.                                                            

Amanda Spiller

In 2017, the LAS Award for Public Engagement was awarded to Amanda Spiller and Eliza Graumlich.

After studying abroad for two semesters in Chile and Uruguay, Amanda, a Sociology major, conducted research on the linguistic and cultural assimilation of the Mapuche people in Southern Chile. As Amanda explains, “With the help of senior students at Liceo Guacolda, one of the only intercultural schools in Chile, we created a documentary to raise awareness about the violence committed against the Mapuche community and some of the steps they take to preserve their culture amidst such hostility.” Next year, Amanda is off to Mexico on a Fulbright and then plans to pursue a Master's degree in trauma and resilience social psychology.

Last spring, Eliza helped plan a photographic exhibit of Mexican art, while working as an intern at the Santa Paula Art Museum in Southern California. “The photographs were captured in central Mexico during the 1930s and offer a rare glimpse into daily life at a time before personal cameras were widely available,” Eliza noted. The images were taken by Anglo photographers traveling through Mexico, who were conducting research for the Padua Hills Theater in Claremont. For forty years, that theater performed bilingual plays, musicals and dances for largely Anglo audiences. As part of her research for the exhibit, Eliza interviewed the daughter of one of the photographers and the son of the Padua band leaders. The exhibit opened in February and will be on display until July 2017. Eliza adds, “Given that roughly 80% of Santa Paula’s population identifies as Latino and the majority of this population is of Mexican descent, this exhibit provides a unique opportunity for Santa Paulans to glimpse elements of their cultural heritage that they may know only through story.” After graduation, Eliza plans to teach English in Madrid for a year. Following that, she writes, “I hope to combine my interests in writing, translation and education as a museum educator or curator.”


Exploring Issues in Latin American Studies with the Global Citizens Grant

The Global Citizens Grant, initiated in 2007 by Willy Oppenheim ’09, and awarded through the McKeen Center for the Common Good, provides Bowdoin students travel funding to spend 8-10 weeks learning about issues such as public health, elder and disability rights, education and environmental sustainability through serving with grassroots organizations outside of the United States. Since the grant’s inception, eight recipients have worked with organizations in Latin America, building on their experiences through academic and service work on their return.

This year's Global Citizens are Sarah Frankl '16, Chris Gys '17, and Rubi Duran '16.  For more information on their work, please visit the Global Citizen Grant Recipient page

Information on previous recipients of the Glabal Citizen Grant can be found here.

Jae Lee '06

With the support of the LAS Research Grant, Jae Lee '06 collected on-site information for her Honors thesis, "De Coreano a Coreguayo: The Korean-Paraguayan Community, 1964-2005."

See other examples »