Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

William Faulker, '09, MA '12

Plan Políticas Públicas, São Paulo

After graduating from Tulane, William began a part-time internship at Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) a research non-profit loosely affiliated with Yale and located in New Haven, CT. Leveraging his previous English as a Second Language (ESL) teaching experience, he also took a position at an ESL summer camp, St. Giles International. He returned to Tulane in fall of 2010 to begin studies as part of the Master’s program in Latin American Studies, receiving his degree in 2012. He is currently Junior Evaluator & Social Sciences Researcher at Plan Políticas Públicas, a consulting firm in São Paulo, Brazil.

William discusses his experience at Tulane…

Why did you choose Latin American Studies?
In making my decision, the most important factor was the reputation of the Stone Center as an institution. Once the decision was made, however, I realized a number of other advantages to my choice. The interdisciplinarity of the Stone Center program allowed me much more control over the pathway of my studies than I believe I would have had in most other majors. While at first my flirtations with so many disciplines worried family, gradually I realized that the supreme concern with specialization is a trait of post-WWII science education (the ‘€˜Cold War Sciences,‘€™ as I have heard them called) in which both my parents were active participants. The current, interdisciplinary model exemplified by the Stone Center is not only strong, but increasingly relevant due to the complexity of the challenges which our generation faces (e.g. global climate change, persistent poverty, and social marginalization). Solving these problems requires that the deep-yet-specific learning garnered by following a cannon of celebrity thinkers along the traditional branches of study be overlaid with networked understanding of multiple fields and the ability to translate ideas between these. In my job search I also realized that when employers do not see the sort of run-of-the-mill major and checkbox skills that they may expect, this necessitates that they look deeper into my background to understand why I am applying‘€“just the sort of edge that can make all the difference. I am not a shoe-in anywhere, but at the same time I have the flexibility to re-define myself for each position.

How has your background in LAST helped you since graduation?
It has only been a few months since my graduation from my MA. If we are talking about my graduation from my undergraduate LAST major, well then first and foremost I would have to say that my major helped me to get offers from all five of the LAST MA. programs to which I applied. At Tulane, where I accepted, I received a free and highly productive MA. with a stipend on which to live for four semesters of coursework. There are few better deals in the world, seems to me.

In hindsight, what would you have done differently as a LAST major?
Not much. I would have taken more advantage of the library sooner, I suppose.

Any word of wisdom for LAST undergraduates?
You will get out what you put in…a cliché, but an appropriate one here. Think hard about the future and whether LAST will be a good fit for what you imagine yourself doing and studying. Meet and talk with people in the major to get a better idea of how it might fit with your goals/ideas (I‘€™ve found more and more that the types of people studying something has a greater effect on my happiness than the nature of the subject matter itself). Finally, trust your gut‘€“are you the type of person who excels when given more freedom? Do you enjoy open-endedness more than efficiency? Do you pick up quickly on different disciplinary jargons, and does your mind connect and map diverse concepts naturally? Would you like to live/work in Latin America?




All Events

Upcoming Events

Ancient Civilizations K-16 Series for Social Studies Educators

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Ancient Civilizations
K-16 Educator Workshop Series
Spring 2020

For educators of grade levels: K-12

Tulane University’s Middle American Research Institute (MARI), Stone Center for Latin American Studies (SCLAS), S.S. NOLA, and AfterCLASS will host a professional development workshop series open to all K-16 school professionals. These workshops will challenge educators to learn about the unexpected impact and connections of Ancient civilizations from Central America to the Gulf South. In particular, the workshops will foster a deeper comprehension of how to incorporate art, language and food across the disciplines. Participants will learn unique ways to incorporate the Tunica, Maya and Aztec cultures into the classroom in a variety of subjects. Registration for each workshop is $5 and includes light snacks, teaching resources, and a certificate of completion.

The workshop series will prepare teachers:

  • To utilize digital humanities resources in the classroom;
  • To design culturally appropriate primary and secondary research projects;
  • To teach about Pre-Columbian and ancient civilizations, language, geography and foods;
  • To encourage student self-determination through meaningful and relevant cultural projects.

Saturday, January 25, 2020
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
The Tunica of the Lower Mississippi River Valley
Middle American Research Institute – Seminar Room
6823 St. Charles Avenue
This workshop will introduce participants with little or no prior knowledge to ancient Tunica history, art, and language, with special focus on the role of food and native foods of this region. Participants will explore the physical, cultural and linguistic characteristics of the region. Representatives of the Tunica community will introduce their language and culture and the work they do to preserve their language.

Friday, March 6, 2020
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Understanding Maya Fare: Beyond Tamales and Cacao
AfterCLASS – Taylor Education Center
612 Andrew Higgins Blvd. #4003
In collaboration with the Annual Tulane Maya Symposium, this workshop focuses on foods of the Maya. Participants will explore the foods of the Maya focusing on the role of food over time. Join us as we hear from chocolate specialists and our Kaqchikel language scholar will discuss the importance of corn. REGISTER HERE.

Thursday, April 29, 2020
7:00 – 8:30 PM
Teaching Aztec History through Art
Participants in this workshop will explore the art and culture of the Aztec community. This workshop has moved online and will consist of a 60 minute online webinar that includes an introduction to teaching Aztec history, a discussion of different art objects that the Aztecs created which reveal insights into their history, and a discussion of new online resources to incorporate into your teaching.

The webinar is free an open to educators of all grade levels. In order to access the session, please register here.

Global Read Webinar Series 2020

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Diverse Books for the K-12 Classroom
February – June 2020 – All webinars are 6 PM CST
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Once a month, the World Area Book Awards (Américas Award, Africana Book Award, Freeman Book Award, Middle East Book Award, and the South Asia Book Award) will sponsor a 60-minute webinar on a book recognized by one of the awards. Each webinar features a presentation by an award-winning author with discussion on how to incorporate multicultural literature into the classroom. Please read along with us this spring as we explore the world through these award-winning books. We encourage all readers to join in on the conversations each month and ask the author your own questions live.

Be sure to join the conversation with our webinar hashtag #2020ReadingAcrossCultures. Visit for more information and to register for free.

  • AFRICAFEBRUARY 26, 2020 Africana Book Award
    Grandpa Cacao, A Tale of Chocolate from Farm to Family by Elizabeth Zunon
  • MIDDLE EASTMARCH 18, 2020 Middle East Book Award
    Darius the Great is Not OKAY by Adib Khorram
  • SOUTH ASIAAPRIL 14, 2020 – South Asia Book Award
    The Secret Kingdom: Nek Chand, a Changing India, and a Hidden World of Art by Barb Rosenstock
  • LATIN AMERICAMAY 11, 2020 – Américas Award
    Auntie Luce‘€™s Talking Paintings by Francie Latour
  • ASIAJUNE 23, 2020 – Freeman Book Award
    Girl of the Southern Sea by Michelle Kadarusman

All sessions are free and open to the public. Register by visiting Sponsored by the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs, the South Asia National Outreach Consortium, the Middle East Outreach Council, the African Studies Outreach Council, and The National Consortium for Teaching about Asia.

Online Summer Book Group for K-12 Educators

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For pre-service, early career and veteran teachers who love reading and learning through literature who want to explore award-winning books for the middle and early high school classrooms. Join us as we read four books that explore stories of coming-of-age from multiple perspectives. Participants will receive a copy of each book and participate in an open discussion with other K-12 educators. We will launch the book group with The Other Half of Happy. The group will meet online and explore the real story behind this award-winning book with the author Rebecca Balrcárcel. Join us this summer as we discover new stories and books for your classroom.

Register here for $15 (includes all 4 books).

All online Zoom meetings are at 7:00 PM CST.


Sponsored by the Stone Center for Latin American Studies and AfterCLASS at Tulane University. For more information, please email