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February 13th, 2013
When Kate Schuenke-Lucien applied to and then began studying for her Master’s degree at Tulane’s Stone Center for Latin American Studies in 2003 she had no idea a Haitian Creole FLAS grant was an option, nor did she know the central role that Haitian Creole studies would play in her life. Schuenke was already connected to Haiti-her family had a deep commitment to the country in the form of philanthropic and volunteer work. In fact, after her mother’s death, friends and family contributed funds to build a K-12 school in Cap-Haitien, Haiti, an appropriate memorial for a woman who was both a teacher and dedicated to work in Haiti.
Schuenke-Lucien began her academic life at Wheaton College, a private Christian liberal arts college outside of Chicago. There she double majored in Political Science and Spanish. While at the time she was more interested in countries like Argentina than in Haiti, after graduating with her BA Schuenke was invited to come and teach English and Spanish for a year at her mother’s school. After that year her commitment to the region had deepened and solidified. An advisor from her undergraduate institution suggested she apply to Tulane for a Master’s, citing the Stone Center’s strong program in the Caribbean.
When Schuenke-Lucien arrived at Tulane in 2003 she was surprised and delighted to learn of the Haitian Creole program. She already spoke Creole reasonably well after her time in Haiti, but the courses were essential for firmly establishing her knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. As she notes, the program also provided her with much needed "credentials" in the language. The university level courses in Haitian Creole, a highly unusual offering among academic institutions, gave her increased confidence, and the ability to demonstrate her Haitian Creole ability in the form of coursework, not just time spent in the country. Ultimately, Schuenke-Lucien took Haitian Creole all four semesters at Tulane and was a FLAS fellow for three of them. She also focused on Haiti for her Master’s thesis, working with Professor Martha Huggins to investigate the efficacy of the U.S. police training programs in Haiti.
From Tulane Schuenke went immediately to Notre Dame University where she began PhD work in Political Science, working with professors at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. There, she carried out research for scholars involved with the Kellogg Institute and, thanks to her Tulane training in Haiti and Haitian Creole, soon became the "default" person for research on Haiti. Thanks to her work at the Kellogg Institute, after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Schuenke-Lucien was recommended to assist the university in organizing and communicating about Notre Dame’s Haitian outreach programs. One of the professors she worked with in this capacity was Father Timothy Scully, csc, with the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE). ACE works on a number of projects involving the Catholic Church and education in Haiti. In December 2012 Schuenke-Lucien was named Associate Director of ACE, responsible for coordinating and providing support for ACE Consulting's Haiti Catholic Education Initiatives.
Schuenke-Lucien is still working on completing her PhD, but describes her position at ACE as a "dream job," noting "I'm using all the skills I learned in graduate school in the most practical, effective, applied way possible to help dramatically improve the lives of Haitian children." While she acknowledges her PhD work certainly helped her achieve her Associate Director position, she writes that "I think the main reason I got this job is because of my training at Tulane, specifically all the Haitian Creole courses I was able to take and the research I did on Haiti."
To learn more about Schuenke-Lucien’s current work in Haiti, click here.
LATEST SITE UPDATES
- Rare Mexican Pictorial Manuscript Collection Available Online
- Moely Service Learning Teaching Award goes to Casey Love
- Former CIPR Post-Doctoral Fellow Paolo Spadoni publishes book on Cuba's Socialist Economy
- Local Students Tour MARI
- Federico Rossi publishes article in journal Latin American Perspctives
- Nora Lustig awarded Gates Foundation grant
- CIPR Searches for 3 Post-Doctoral Fellows
- Call for Papers: "Framing Cities: Understanding Equities of Place" Conference
- School Visits Expose Students to Maya Culture and Language
- Boren Scholarships and Fellowships Application Announcement
- Rebel Film Screening and Discussion
- Fourth Annual Latin Jazz Festival
- Guerrero Viejo: Viejo Guerrero
- MARI Brown Bag: Alina Álvarez Larrain "The South Also Exists: Landscapes of Southern Yocavil Valley (Northwestern Argentina)"
- Amnesty and Transitional Justice in Brazil After Twenty Years of Democratic Rule of Law: Why Now?
- MARI Brown Bag: Verónica Vásquez and Félix Kupprat
- Payson Center Summer Institute Information Session II
- XI Annual Tulane Undergraduate Conference on Latin America
- "The Dark Side of the Boom: Genetically Modified Crops, Environmental Suffering, and De-Mobilization in Argentina"
- "Conceptualizing Strategy Making in Social Movements"
- Rump-A-Pum-Pum Holiday Drum Summit
- Fiscal Policy and Income Redistribution: Powerpoints from the CEQ Conference October 17 and 18, 2013
- Fiscal Policy and the Ethno-Racial Divide: Bolivia, Brazil and Uruguay
MISC / STAND-ALONE
Fourth Annual Latin Jazz Festival
Casa Borrega presents their fourth annual Latin Jazz Festival on December 14 beginning at 5 PM. The event will feature a wide variety of Latin Jazz performers.
For more information please contact Casa Borrega at 504-427-0654.
Guerrero Viejo: Viejo Guerrero
The Consulate of Mexico and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane University are sponsoring a photographic exhibition by Everardo Castro Medellion entitled “Guerro Viejo: Viejo Guerrero: The Sacrifice of a People who Disseminated Life all Around.” The exhibit is on display at the Consulate of Mexico Art Gallery, 901 Convention Center Blvd. Suite 118. The entrance to the art gallery is on Higgins St.
An opening reception will take place on December 13th at 6:00PM.
Rebel Film Screening and Discussion
The Stone Center for Latin American Studies and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art are hosting a screening of the film Rebel on January 17th. Research for the film, written and directed by María Agui Carter, was conducted in 2002-2003 while Agui Carter was a Rockefeller Fellow at the Stone Center.
Rebel explores the Secret Life of Loreta Velazquez, New Orleans Cuban immigrant and Confederate Soldier turned Union Spy. Shrouded in mystery and long the subject of debate, the story of Loreta Velazquez is one of the Civil War's most gripping forgotten narratives. Loreta Janeta Velazquez, a Cuban immigrant raised in New Orleans' French Quarter, was one of the estimated 1000 women who secretly served as soldiers during the American Civil War. Who was she? Why did she fight? And what made her so dangerous that she has been virtually erased from history?
Actors and historians bring Velazquez’ story to life in this beautifully directed documentary, weaving drama and animation with historical and archival material to unravel the mystery of this secret soldier in a riveting detective story about a woman, a myth, and the politics of national memory.
The film will be introduced by Tulane Professor and Latin American film scholar Ana Lopez and will conclude with a Q & A session with María Agui Carter.
Please contact the Latin American Resource Center at email@example.com or the Ogden at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or for more information.
Tulane Maya Symposium Teacher Workshop: On the Maya Trail: Ancient Travelers, Epic Voyages
The Stone Center for Latin American Studies, the Middle American Research Institute, and the Audubon Aquarium are joining together to sponsor a K-12 teacher workshop in the conjunction with the 11th annual Tulane Maya Symposium. This year the workshop will be held at the Audubon Aquarium in New Orleans, in celebration of the opening of a new exhibit on reefs in the Maya area. The workshop will focus on the symposium theme: traveling and voyages among the Maya. The workshop will integrate information about the geography and environment of the Maya area and the ancient and modern Maya utilization of environmental resources. The resources discussed will provide a great way for teachers working with the Common Core requirements to integrate information about the Maya into discussions of a variety of topics!
This year the teacher workshop will begin on Thursday evening, March 20th, with a special reception and talk at the Aquarium specifically for teachers. The main component of the workshop will take place on Friday, March 21st. For more information and to register, please visit the symposium website.
Eleventh Annual Maya Symposium: On the Maya Trail: Ancient Travelers, Epic Voyages
The Middle American Research Institute and Far Horizons, in collaboration with Tulane’s Stone Center for Latin American Studies and the New Orleans Museum of Art, are proud to present the Eleventh Annual Tulane Maya Symposium and Workshop. This year's symposium, titled "On the Maya Trail: Ancient Travelers, Epic Voyages," will explore the many ways the ancient Maya moved across their landscape, whether for the sake of diplomacy, conquest, commerce, migration, or pilgrimage. The point of the symposium is to emphasize how integral long-distance communication was to ancient Maya society throughout its long history. This year's Maya Symposium will incorporate a wide variety of specialties such as archaeology, art history, cultural anthropology, epigraphy, history, and linguistics to explore the research being conducted on the ancient Maya civilization.
The keynote address will be given by Dr. Karl Taube of the University of California, Riverside who will guide us through the rich world of Mesoamerican art. We will also host a viewing of the Precolumbian collection at NOMA. On Sunday, the Hieroglyphic Forum and the Workshops will focus on the role of women travelers in the Classic Maya civilization. Finally, throughout the weekend, we will also be featuring MARI’s exhibit, “Faces of the Maya.”
For more information and to register please visit the symposium website