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Garfield Avenue project affects travel on lower campus.

The project is expected to be completed in fall 2018, and the footbridge will be closed from late May to late August in both 2017 and 2018.

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The people make the program

What happens when you gather brilliant and diverse faculty representing multiple academic departments and assemble them all to instruct under the umbrella of Latin American Studies?

Evidently magic happens.

What is the overwhelming response from Latin American Studies alumni when asked what the best thing about LAS at UW-Eau Claire? It's simple — the faculty make the program. From the initial discussions about why this program might be right for a student, through degree planning, leading intercultural immersion programs, and mentoring collaborative research, the talented and expert faculty give the LAS courses the credibility that has helped it stand out in the region.
                                                                                                                                                                                  *top photo by Mark Aumann

The best thing about the program is the deep cultural learning gained from the diverse professors. With their wide range of backgrounds, they each bring something additional to the classes in their own ways.

LAS graduate survey, '16

Seven faculty and staff recognized for excellence

UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff members were honored during the university's academic year opening meeting Aug. 23.

LAS professor Anne Hlas honored

Program Director

Manuel Fernandez
  • Ph.D. in Spanish, Pennsylvania State University (Spanish) 
  • M.A., Pennsylvania State University (Comparative Literature)
  • B.A. Florida International University (English)
Teaching Interests
  • Latin American Literature and Culture
  • Cuban and Cuban Diaspora Literature and Culture
  • Modernismo
  • Latin American Civilization and Culture
  • Latin American Communities in Japan
Research Interests
  • Cuban and Cuban Diaspora Literature and Culture
  • Latin American Communities in Japan
  • Director, Latin American Studies Program - Hibbard 352

Affiliated faculty + staff

Rose Marie Avin
  • Ph.D., University of Maryland-College Park, 1986
  • B.B.A., Baruch College, City University of New York, Summa Cum Laude, 1978
Research Interests

I focus primarily on women in the developing world, especially Nicaragua. I have written articles on gender issues in the developing world, more specifically on economic restructuring, the empowerment of Nicaraguan women, free-trade zones, female entrepreneurs in Vietnam and the role of international organizations in economic development. I enjoy conducting research with our students. To that end, I received two grants from the International Fellowship Program (IFP) to conduct research abroad with our undergraduates. I travelled to Nicaragua with one student to conduct research on the women working in the free trade zone. For the second grant, I travelled to Vietnam with 2 students to conduct research on female entrepreneurs.


I'm originally from Haiti and I have been teaching in the Department of Economics at UWEC since the fall of 1987. I teach courses on the economies of the developing world (Econ 355), the economies of Latin America (Econ 356), and women in the developing world (Econ/Wmns 357).  

I have the honor to have been the recipient of two Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Awards: one to Brazil in 2000 and the second one to India in 2005. Although I have conducted research and led many study abroad programs in developing countries, the countries that I have studied in more depth include Argentina, Nicaragua and Vietnam.

Courtney Brost, CIE
  • B.A., University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire (Latin American Studies and English)



Courtney coordinates the fall promotional events, supervises the Peer Adviser program, organizes the International Classroom Speaker program, and has served as the general advisor for all study abroad programs. In addition, Courtney does the program coordination and student advising for the following programs:

  • Spain
  • Mexico
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica (Costa Rica Language &Culture-Spring, Summer;Costa Rica Nursing and Healthcare-Summer)
  • Nicaragua (Costa Rica &Nicaragua-Fall)
  • Semester at Sea
  • South Africa

Courtney began working in the CIE as Peer Adviser in September 2013. She graduated from UW-Eau Claire with a B.A. in English, Latin American Studies, and Spanish. As a student, Courtney spent a semester abroad in San Isidro de Heredia, Costa Rica, and a summer in Stellenbosch, South Africa. She returned to UW-Eau Claire in September 2015 to begin working as a Study Abroad Coordinator. In her free time, Courtney loves to read, ride her horse, go camping, and travel.

Analisa DeGrave
  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin - Madison (Spanish)
  • M.A., University of Wisconsin - Madison (Spanish)
  • B.A., Gustavus Adolphus College: St. Peter, Minnesota (Spanish and History) 
Teaching Interests
  • WMNS 422 Women's Lives and Experiences in Nicaragua
  • Spanish/LAS 475 Social and Environmental Justice in Latin American Literature
  • LAS 491 Latino/a Literature
  • Spanish 491 Nobel Prize Winners of Latin America
  • LAS 450 Latin American Studies Capstone
  • Spanish/LAS 367 Survey of Latin American Literature
  • Spanish/LAS 352 Contemporary Latin American Civilization
  • Spanish/LAS 312 Latinos in the U.S.
  • LAS 150 Introduction to Latin American Studies
Research Interests
  • Latin American and Latino/a poetry and constructions of utopia and dystopia.
Dr. DeGrave teaches Latin American literature and civilization and Spanish language courses. She also teaches Introduction to Latin American Studies.

During the summers of her college and graduate school years, Dr. DeGrave worked with Latino/a migrant communities in rural Minnesota at Migrant Head Start, Title I and Migrant Health Services. Her ties to the Midwest also led her to volunteer in León, Nicaragua through Project Minnesota/León. She is a proud member of Farmer to Farmer, a Wisconsin-based non-profit organization, and serves on the Board of Directors for Witness for Peace-Midwest.

Jeff DeGrave
  • Ph.D., University of Minnesota (Geography)
  • M.A., Florida State University (International Affairs--Economics)
  • B.A., Ohio University (Geography)
Teaching Interests
  • Regional Geographies: Latin America, Russia and Eastern Europe, Western Europe
  • Social Justice
  • Human Geography
  • Travel Seminars
Research Interests
  • Postcolonial Studies
  • Participatory Mapping
  • International Development
  • Social Justice
  • Global Economic Systems

DeGrave focuses on the geography of Latin America and recently completed his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota. DeGrave's dissertation, titled "Microturbines and 'Cost-Free' Electricity in Rural Honduras: But for whom... and for how long? A Spatial Analysis of Marginalization and Empowerment," examined power structures and issues of marginalization as they related the proliferation of micro-hydroturbines used to create electricity in the cloud forest of Central Honduras. DeGrave also recently led students on faculty-led study abroad programs to Argentina and Ecuador.

  • Ed.M., Harvard Graduate School of Education (International Education Policy)
  • B.A., Smith College (Sociology)
Coordinate faculty-led domestic and international immersion experiences on campus.
Bibiana Fuentes, LAS
  • Ph.D., University of Illinois - Chicago (Hispanic Studies)
  • M.A., Marquette University (Spanish and Latin American Literature)
  • M.A., Carthage College (Education Specialized in Second Language Teaching)
  • B.A., Universidad Pedagógica Nacional, Bogotá, Colombia (Spanish and English Education)
Teaching Interests
  • Spanish/LAS 367 Survey of Latin American Literature
  • Spanish/LAS 352 Contemporary Latin American Civilization
  • Spanish 301 Advanced Composition
Research Interests
  • Contemporary Latin American Literature

Dr. Fuentes teaches Latin American literature and civilization and Spanish language courses.


Recent Publications:

“Artistic Exploration and Subjective Transformation in Mario Mendoza’s Narrative.”Latin American Literary Review. Vol. 43 No. 86 July – December 2015 pp. 101-116 

“Psychotic Determination in Delirio by Laura Restrepo” Revista de Estudios Colombianos. Number 46 July - December 2015 pp. 25-32

Anne Hlas
  • Ph.D., Foreign Language Education, technology emphasis, University of Iowa
  • B.A., Spanish, UW-Madison
Teaching Interests
  • World language methods
  • Second language acquisition
  • Beginning to advance Spanish
Research Interests

Received the 2005 Emma Marie Birkmaier award for outstanding dissertation work from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and more recently received an ACTFL Research Priority Grant to explore high-leverage teaching practices. In 2014 she was honored to receive the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Excellence in Research Award. Research interests include second language teacher knowledge, teacher use of technology, and teacher target language use. 

Paul Hoff
  • Doctor of Arts (D.A.), Syracuse University
  • Master of Arts (M.A.), New York University
  • ACTFL Oral Proficiency Tester (Spanish)
    • Certified by The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
Teaching Interests
  • Spanish language and civilization
  • Translation and interpretation
  • World language education
  • Language assessment
Research Interests

I develop Spanish language instructional and assessment materials and have contributed to seven different textbook series.

Gerardo Licon
Meghan Licon
  • M.A., University of Wisconsin - Madison (Spanish)
  • B.A., St. Norbert College (Spanish and German)
Teaching Interests
  • Spanish Language Courses
  • Latin American Studies
  • Women's Studies
Research Interests
  • Visual Culture
Karen O'Day
Research Interests

Dr. O'Day has conducted research on the ancient artwork of Peru, Colombia, Panama, and Costa Rica. Her current research topic is the gold regalia created between 700 and 1550 in Costa Rica and Panama.


Dr. Karen O'Day is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art & Design at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where she teaches a variety of courses in art history. In addition, she is affiliated with the Latin American Studies program and the American Indian Studies program.

  • B.A., University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh (Spanish Language and Literature)
Carter Smith
  • Ph.D. University of Minnesota (Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Cultures)
  • M.A. New York University (Hispanic Civilization)
  • B.A. Concordia College - Moorhead, Minnesota (Spanish and German Education)
Teaching Interests

 All levels of Spanish language, literatures, and cultures

Research Interests
  • Contemporary Peninsular Literature
  • Theoretical Constructions of Space
  • Urban Space in Literature
Pedro Sottile
  • Ph.D., University of California, Irvine
  • M.B.A., University of California, Irvine
  • B.S., Universidad del Salvador
Teaching Interests
  • Principles of finance
  • Derivatives securities
Research Interests
  • Corporate finance
  • Business forecasting
Eric Torres
Jose Valero
Fabiola Varela-Garcia
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