Dear SPIA Community,
September 15 marked the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month in the U.S., running formally through Oct. 15. During this time, we celebrate the many ways the largest minority group in the country enriches our society and our communities. Please join me this month, and throughout the year, in honoring and uplifting all members of the SPIA community who identify as Hispanic, Latino, Latina, and Latinx Americans. Your presence and perspectives enrich our School, and I am grateful you have chosen to study, teach, research, and work here.
As you know, one of my priorities as dean is to continue to expand and invest in our community, including increasing representation of individuals of Hispanic descent. We’re privileged to have added Amb. Juan Carlos Pinzón, former ambassador of Colombia to the U.S. and MPP Class of 2010, to our ranks this academic year as a John L. Weinberg/Goldman Sachs & Co. Visiting Professor and Lecturer. Eduardo Bhatia ’86, former Senate president of Puerto Rico, joined us last academic year as well, also as a John L. Weinberg/Goldman Sachs & Co. Visiting Professor and and Lecturer. This summer, portions of our Race, Power, and Inequality half-term course focused on vital Latino issues, including migration — led by post-doc course facilitators of Hispanic heritage: Etienne Rosas and John Maldonado.
My leadership team and I are actively engaged in efforts to recruit more scholars who are experts in Latino politics and society, and, in October, our graduate admissions team will head to Mexico, Colombia, and Chile to spread the word about our fully funded graduate degree programs to those interested in policy and public service.
These efforts are ongoing, but there are many ways to celebrate Hispanic heritage on campus right now. The Carl A. Fields Center for Equality + Cultural Understanding — the University’s unique cultural center — is hosting a variety of celebrations and learning opportunities open to all: I hope you will check out their calendar!
Finally, I’d also like to recognize the DEI student representatives of the Princeton University Policy Student Government (known around SPIA as PUPSG) as well as the Latine Student Caucus, who co-hosted a celebratory dinner Sept. 20 at the Fields Center. Many sincere thanks to the PUPSG DEI representatives: Johana De La Cruz MPA ’23; Paco Garcia Bellego MPA ’23; Ryan Sasse MPA ’23; and Avery Barnett, a Ph.D. candidate in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy (STEP) — and to all the dedicated members and leaders of PUPSG for everything you do.