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Want to be a part of LASC? Find out more about our Undergraduate Certificate Program.

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Interested in understanding and exploring Latin America and the Caribbean?

The Latin American Studies Center (LASC) at the University of Maryland is your gateway to the region. The Center provides:
  • Courses on Latin America and the Caribbean and related topics, taught in both English and Spanish

  • Spanish, Portuguese, and Nahuatl language instruction

  • A space for research on a wide range of subjects including Latin American cultures, democracy, governance, civil society, labor, gender, literature, ethnicity, and migration

  • Outreach programs in nearby Latino communities

  • National and international conferences and symposia

  • Internships in public, private, and non-governmental organizations

  • Study abroad programs throughout Latin America and the Caribbean


Meet The Staff


Laurie Frederik
Department: Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies
Office: 2147 Taliaferro Hall
e-mail: Lfred@umd.edu

Laurie Frederik is associate professor of performance studies in the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies and director of LASC. She has a PhD in anthropology from the University of Chicago, specializes in the role of artists and intellectuals in Cuban and Latin America, and is interested in subversive cultural movements and national identity. Her book,Trumpets in the Mountains: Theater and the Politics of National Culture in Cuba, was published by Duke University Press in 2012. Her newest research examines legal culture and courtroom testimony in the United States and Puerto Rico and will be the subject of her next book.

Program Coordinator

Jennifer Sanchez
Office: 2151 Taliaferro Hall
Phone: 301-405-9626
E-mail: lasc@umd.edu


Jennifer Sanchez, the LASC program coordinator, received her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and International Affairs from James Madison University in Virginia. After living in Spain for several years teaching English and doing translation work, she returned to the United States and found employment as a community health educator in Anne Arundel county, Maryland, working with Latino families and adolescents. She joined the Latin American Studies Center in the fall of 2012.

Graduate Assistant

Eben Levey
Office: 2145 Taliaferro Hall
Phone: 301-405-9626
E-mail: elevey@umd.edu

Eben Levey is a PhD student in the History Department. He graduated from Vassar College in 2008 with a BA in Urban Studies with a minor in Economics and from Georgetown University in 2013 with an MA in Latin American Studies.  He comes to the University of Maryland to work towards a PhD in Latin American History, with a specific emphasis on the social constructions of race and indigeneity in the 20th Century.  In particular, Eben proposes to examine the processes of urban development in Southern Mexico and the incorporation of indigenous peoples into the urban setting.

Office Assistant

Marda Mengesha

Marda is a second year undergraduate here at UMD. She is majoring in Neurobiology and Physiology and minoring in Spanish. In her free time, she enjoys playing volleyball and practicing piano. She's very passionate about learning new languages and meeting new people of different cultures! Here at LASC, Marda assists in managing social media communications and handles general office responsibilities. She has been with LASC since her freshman year and is looking forward to another great year!



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Latin American Studies Center
2151 Taliaferro Hall, University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Phone: (301) 405-6459
Email: lasc@umd.edu