04/21/2014 A Stronger Sense of Belonging.
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APRIL 21, 2014 www.HispanicOu tlook.com VOLUME 24 NUMBER 14
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LIMA, PERU--When I firstwent to South America in1965 on a fellowship todo graduate studies in Lima,Peru, the image of the regionwas "Tercer Mundistas", orThird World countries whichthe U.S. benevolently tolerat-ed for its resources and terri-torial self-interest.
As a journalist and later asan international bureaucrat, Ilived intermittently in LatinAmerica and traveled itslength and breadth; theAndes, the Amazon, theplains, and the coastal landsto the straits of Magellan.
It was never as bad orbackward as depicted bysome although statisticsmight belie this depending onhow one grades the regiontoday.How can you label Buenos
Aires with its tangos andEuropean-style living, Ro deJaneiro and its festive raisond'etre or Lima with itsSpanish/indigenous mix, asforever Third World genre?However, Argentina, amongothers, is again suffering fis-cally.
The Third World tag wasdue partly to its long historyof plundering of the natives
by the conquistadors and thenatives' resistance to OldWorld mores imposed uponthem.It was followed by a group
of leaders, mostly military, orsupported by the military,who applied their own formof oppressive, corrupt gov-erning.
The Southern Hemisphere,for me, has a unique politicalhistory and characters andabove all, a rich indigenousculture, slow to blend in withits Spanish conquistadorsand then socially and eco-nomically ostracized; a histo-ry which has always fascinat-ed me.In my youth in Texas, I
knew the region only as thatfaraway continent whereSpanish was spoken andmany of the people lookedlike me; a place that onecould only fantasize about.
I liked the people's senseof humor even when thingswere bad. One of my favorites true, some swear is howthe popular DominicanRepublican dance, themerengue, came into being.
Dictator Rafael Trujillohad a peg leg but loved todance. His shimmy towardthe dance floor was the sig-nal, or command, for theother dancers to join him onthe floor to stomp with thehot Caribbean music.
But the general had topush his bum leg across thefloor while boogying with theother. His subjects, wantingto show their loyalty to El Jefeby emulating his rhythm, alsodragged one leg as they
swung their partners acrossthe dance floor and thus themerengue rhythm was born. Another favorite, and a
historically true story, is whenPeruvian strongman, Gen.Manuel Odra chasedPeruvian hero, Victor Haya dela Torre, into the Columbianembassy near downtownLima where under diplomaticprotection, he remained forfive years without daring tostep out the embassy's doors.Shortly after his release, a
classic photograph showsHaya de la Torre in a bigbrotherly "abrazo" with Odraafter they collaborated inpolitical mischief against two-time president, FernandoBelaunde.Politically, things are a bit
more settled in Peru andelsewhere and coups by mili-tary strongmen are a thing ofthe past.The latest military man to
show caudillo tendencies wasthe late Venezuelan president,Hugo Chvez, who preferredto be known as "ElCommandante" and earnedhis spurs mostly by railingagainst U.S. policies andleaders.There are still a few
blowhards who believe it'salways good politics to showa little machismo and oppor-tunely vent against that colos-sal to the north, the UnitedStates.I marvel at the current
economic and political stabil-ity of some countries, particu-larly Peru, where I returnedmany years later to live andwork for 10 years for an
international bank.It was then on the skids, a
country laid low by bad poli-tics, bad economic policiesand bad social planningwhich left many people indespair.
With a population of 27million, Peru has one of theworld's fastest growingeconomies now classified as40th largest in the world ingross domestic product.Poverty has decreased
dramatically, perhaps ostensi-bly in areas, from the nearly60 percent in 2004 to 25.8percent in 2012 although thesocioeconomic disparitiesare still high.
The International MonetaryFund pegs economic growthfor Peru in the next six yearsat 7 percent annual growth.I'm happy for Peru. I am
Mexican-American but two ofmy children are married toPeruvians and six of mygrandchildren carry thatancestry.
Letter From Lima
Carlos D. Conde, award-winning journalist and com-mentator, former Washingtonand foreign news correspon-dent, was an aide in theNixon White House andworked on the political cam-paigns of George Bush Sr. Toreply to this column, contactCdconde@aol.com.
by Carlos D. Conde
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APRIL 21, 2014
Cover photo of Michigan State University
Michigan Universities Reach Out to GrowingLatino Population by Michelle Adam
MOOCs Are All the Rage by Frank DiMaria
College Completion Rates Stable But PathwaysAre More Diverse by Angela Provitera McGlynn
Masters- to- PhD Bridge ProgramIncreasing Minority Doctoral Students inSciences by Gary M. Stern
Niagara University: Advancing Hispanicsin the Hospitality Industry by Jeff Simmons
Spains Gilded Age On Display at SMUsMeadows Museum by Rosie Carbo
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DEPARTMENTSPolitical Beat by Carlos D. CondeLetter From Lima
Book Review by Mary Ann CooperThe Changs Next Door to the Dazes
Targeting Higher EducationSTEM Careers: Boom or Bust? by Gustavo A. Mellander
Interesting Reads 7
Priming the Pump... by Miquela RiveraOn Developing Self-Identity
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ccording to an old Irish expression, There are two certain things: winter will always end andspring will always have its turn. And as much of the country finally begins to recover from a cold and cruel winter, greenshoots of spring are finally beginning to emerge. The same can be said about the evolution of higher education. As theeconomy continues to slowly improve, schools are looking forward to finding ways to attract and retain their students as wellas produce graduates who can meet the needs of the 21st century world and marketplace. In this issue, we exploreinnovations in higher education to meet those needs. One example is Vanderbilt Universitys partnership with Fisk University,which has produced a program to encourage more minorities to earn doctorates in physics, biology, biomedical sciences,astronomy and materials science. This was in response, in part, to the Council of Advisors on Science and Technologydeclaration that over the next decade, 1 million additional STEM graduates would be needed worldwide to keep up with thedemand by employers for these jobs. STEM professions are not the only jobs that will be in demand in the not so differentfuture. Elsewhere in this issue we spotlight schools that are expanding their travel and tourism curricula (where fluency inSpanish is a definite plus) and are conducting outreach programs to Hispanics through community engagement andexpanding the opportunities to earn a college degree through online course delivery (MOOCs) and rein