Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Wesley Hedden, '06

Founder, Sarus Exchange Program, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Wesley moved to Asia shortly after graduating from Tulane in 2006. For a year, he worked as an English teacher at universities in China and Vietnam. Since then he has worked for a variety of educational non-profits in Burma, Cambodia, and Vietnam. In 2010, he founded Sarus, a peace-building, service learning exchange program for Cambodian and Vietnamese university students. He also currently works as Volunteers in Asia (VIA)’s Southeast Asia Program Director and Visions Service Adventures ‘ Southeast Asia Coordinator.

Wesley reflects on his time at Tulane…

Why did you choose to major in Latin American Studies?
I chose LAST because of my interest in foreign languages and learning about other countries. I was impressed by the faculty and resources of the Stone Center. My decision to study abroad in Argentina cemented my decision to major in LAST.

How has your background in LAST helped you since graduation?
LAST gave me the tools to approach a different region, Southeast Asia, with a critical and holistic perspective. It also gave me a key point of reference and comparison for understanding Southeast Asia. 

In hindsight, what would you have done differently as a LAST major?
I would have spent an entire year abroad instead of just one semester, and I would have done summer internships and other summer programs related to LAST. 

Any words of wisdom for LAST undergraduates?
Really work on the foreign language you’re studying and find plenty of opportunities to practice. I also recommend supporting your classroom work with real world experience through jobs, internships, study abroad programs, research, service learning, etc. 

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Upcoming Events

Final Push Fridays: Graduate Research & Writing Support

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Every Friday from 10am-12pm CDT, The Latin American Library and Stone Center are co-hosting a virtual work-along for Latin Americanist graduate students to support each other in their research and writing goals. The Zoom meeting has two break-out options: participants may choose to troubleshoot research and methodological questions with an LAL librarian and/or work towards their writing objectives alongside a community of their peers. We hope you will join us when you can!

Central America, People and the Environment Educator Institute 2021

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This summer educator institute is the third institute in a series being offered by Tulane University, The University of Georgia and Vanderbilt University. This series of institutes is designed to enhance the presence of Central America in the K-12 classroom. Each year, participants engage with presenters, resources and other K-12 colleagues to explore diverse topics in Central America with a focus on people and the environment.

While at Tulane, the institute will explore the historic connections between the United States and Central America focusing on indigenous communities and environment while highlighting topics of social justice and environmental conservation. Join us to explore Central America and teaching strategies to implement into the classroom.

Additional details and registration will be available in the late fall 2020. For more information, please email dwolteri@tulane.edu or call 504.865.5164.