The UNM Latin American & Iberian Institute (LAII) has been awarded with Title VI National Resource Center (NRC) and Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship grants from the U.S. Department of Education. Over the grant's four year cycle from academic years 2014 through 2018, the LAII will receive more than $2 million to create a stimulating environment for the production and dissemination of knowledge of Latin America at UNM.
LAII Director Susan Tiano said, "This funding process was highly competitive. In the last cycle, among LAS-related centers/institutes, only 15 individual programs and five consortia were funded nationwide. It is an honor to have our work at UNM recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and a testament to our many faculty who dedicate their research, teaching, and service to expanding awareness about Latin America."
The NRC program provides grants to establish, strengthen, and operate language and area or international studies centers that will be national resources for teaching any modern foreign language. Grants support: instruction in fields needed to provide full understanding of areas, regions or countries; research and training in international studies; work in the language aspects of professional and other fields of study; and instruction and research on issues in world affairs.
By being designated a comprehensive NRC, the LAII is recognized for these services as well as for providing outreach and consultative services on a national, regional and local basis, and maintains linkages with overseas institutions of higher education and other organizations that may contribute to the teaching and research at UNM. The grant furthermore highlights UNM's specialized library collections and the breadth of faculty who engage in training and research related to Latin America.
The FLAS Fellowship program provides allocations of academic year and summer fellowships to institutions of higher education or consortia of institutions of higher education to assist meritorious undergraduate students and graduate students undergoing training in modern foreign languages and related area or international studies. This prestigious award enables UNM to support students studying less commonly taught languages of Latin America, including K'iche' Maya, Quechua and Portuguese.