Oct 09 2013

Vanderbilt Guatemalan Field Station New Interdisciplinary Hub

Published by chelsea at 2:55 am under Fall 2013 Newsletter,Newsletter

Last spring, with significant support from the Center for Latin American Studies, Vanderbilt expanded commitment to research and sustainable development in Guatemala by opening a field station that is home to 13 projects. The field station, located at the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center, provides support for diverse programs ranging from pediatric surgery to study of Mayan languages as well as small-scale coffee production.

Bringing together the 13 initiatives, which share a common vision for sustainable improvements in everyday life in Guatemala, complements the “one university” model espoused by Vanderbilt’s senior leadership. By building on collaborations among departments, programs, and schools, the initiative avoids the tendency of units in some universities to operate in isolation. Current VU initiatives in Guatemala include:

• Moore Surgery Center in Guatemala City

• An intensive summer program for the study of the K’iche’ Mayan language in Nahualá, Guatemala

• Primeros Pasos, a rural health clinic in Quetzaltenango founded by Vanderbilt alumnus Brent Savoie

• Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP), which surveys opinions regarding democracy and security in Guatemala and elsewhere

• Service-learning course taught by Cynthia Paschal, associate dean and associate professor of biomedical engineering

• Manna Project, with one of three permanent sites in Guatemala

• Vanderbilt Institute for Coffee Studies

• Project Pyramid, led by Bart Victor, the Cal Turner Professor of Moral Leadership at the Owen Graduate School of Management

• An international component to the Nurse-Midwifery Program in the Vanderbilt School of Nursing

• Vanderbilt Cancuén Archaeology Park, directed by Vanderbilt professor Arthur Demarest, which integrates local development, health projects, and eco-tourism

• Vanderbilt’s Alternative Spring Break program

• A year-long Vanderbilt Initiative for Scholarship and Global Engagement (VISAGE) course, which is offered by the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society and the Center for Latin American Studies

• Maní+, a childhood nutrition project started by CLAS Director Ted Fischer with support from the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health and the Shalom Foundation

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