The directors of CONEXIONES 2010 have extensive experience teaching on Latin American topics and leading summer international programs. Dr. Michael Thomas, is a cultural anthropologist and professor in the University Honors Program (UHP). Dr. Thomas, Director of Conexiones/Nicaragua 2010 and 2012 has directed and co-directed Conexiones/Mexico during numerous summer programs since 1985. Dr. Anton Daughters is a postdoctoral fellow in anthropology at Cornell College in Iowa. He conducts research in rural southern Chile and has traveled extensively through South America and Mexico.
The CONEXIONES staff will be rounded out with faculty and instructors from the UNM department of Spanish and Portuguese. The CONEXIONES 2012 staff will bring their talents and experience to a unique and dynamic program.
The key to the dynamism and reputation of the CONEXIONES approach is integration. CONEXIONES fuses language study with cultural exploration. A unique feature of CONEXIONES is culture shock training that helps students to understand culture shock as a positive (if sometimes uncomfortable) experience. The program is open to all applicants. Prior participation in the University Honors Program is not required.
Note: As In 2010, Conexiones/Nicaragua 2012 students will have a unique opportunity. Dr. Enrique Lamadrid, professor of Spanish, and Miguel Gandart, photographer and professor of journalism are conducting a brief research project focusing on a NIcaraguan village fiesta (the fiesta of San Juan, June 24, 2012). Conexiones students will be able to participate in this project. Student participants will therefore, have occasion, rare for undergraduates, to learn and apply the skills of field ethnographic/folkloric research, photographic documentation, and field audio recording.