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

Central America: People and the Environment Asynchronous Institute

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Register now for the ASYNCHRONOUS COURSE which opens up in July
Please note, the synchronous blended institute taking place June 14 – 25 is no longer accepting registrants.

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. It is not required to have participated in past institutes to join us.

The Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane University is excited to host and coordinate this year’s institute. Tulane University and New Orleans are both unique and important places to explore the deep connections to Central America with a focus on people and environment. With presentations by leading historians and sociologists on Central America, environment and race we are excited to share the work and resources from presenters as well as the unique resources at Tulane.


NOW REGISTERING FOR THE ASYNCHRONOUS INSTITUTE For more information, please email or call 504.865.5164. Space is limited.