Border Studies Program


  • We are still accepting applications for the Spring 2015 Border Studies Program! The deadline for applying is October 17, 2014. Apply now!
  • The BSP is excited to announce that we have new staff and family member, Alisha Vasquez! Read her bio and a brief Q&A here!
  • Maddie Taterka, Contributing Editor for Autostraddle and Fall 2012 BSP Alum, recently published a piece on the detention of child migrants in Arizona.
  • Spring 2014 Border Studies Program alum Alex Cook is working this summer with migrant advocacy group Migrant Justice. Read about his work with the Vermont based organization here.
  • Marcos Ramos, Earlham grad and Spring 2013 BSP alum is spending his summer in his native Brazil after having won a Davis Project for Peace Grant for his project “Navigating Discourses of Sexuality: Resistance to Homophobia in Brazil”. Read more here.
  • Read the participants' updates from the Borderlands and follow their experiences throughout the semester at our Border Studies blog.
  • Read BSP Instructor Katie Sharar's piece for NACLA's Border Wars blog on immigration enforcement in Texas' Big Bend region.
  • Click below to check out our Facebook & Twitter pages and follow what the BSP is currently up to!
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Faculty and Staff

On-Site Faculty and Staff | Faculty Advisory Committee

The Border Studies Program Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee visits the program and advises the program managers.  The current members are:

Steve Volk, Oberlin College

Steve Volk is Professor of History at Oberlin College where he teaches Latin American history (from the pre-conquest period to the present), U.S.-Latin American relations, museum studies, and courses in visual methodologies. His research has produced publications in a number of fields including gender, violence and the border (cultural responses to femicides in Ciudad Juárez), Frida Kahlo and Mexican nationalism, and a body of work on 19th and 20th century Chilean history. At Oberlin, Volk chairs Latin American Studies and is the Director of Oberlin’s Center for Teaching Innovation and Excellence.

Glen David Kuecker, De Pauw Univeristy

Glen Kuecker is an Associate Professor of History at DePauw University. Glen specializes in Mexican history with a special focus on the port city of Tampico. His current research projects focus on how people in Latin America organize in resistance to neoliberal economic reforms. He served a three-year term as coordinator of DePauw University’s Conflict Studies program, and was the Resident Director of the Border Studies Program Fall 2006.

Elliott Young, Lewis and Clark College

Elliott Young is Professor of Latin American and Borderlands History at Lewis & Clark College. He currently serves as chair of the History Department and director of the Ethnic Studies program. He has published Catarino Garza’s Revolution on the Texas-Mexico Border), which examines the little known story of a rebellion launched from Texas against the Díaz government in Mexico in 1891, and Continental Crossroads, which presents a series of essays on borderlands history.

Howard Lamson, Earlham College

Howard Lamson is Professor of Spanish Language and Literature at Earlham College.  He has extensive experience in Spain and Mexico and developed and led many off-campus study programs in Cuautla, Morelos, Mexico over the past twenty-five years. He is a founder of the Border Studies Program and served as Resident Director in 1998. His current work focuses on San Antonio Huitepec in the state of Oaxaca. Howard has been an innovator in language learning and teaching and is a founding member of Amigos, the Richmond Latino Center.

Joanna Swanger, Earlham College

Joanna Swanger is an historian and Director of Peace and Global Studies Program and Assistant Professor of Peace and Global Studies.  Joanna served as the Border Studies Program Resident Director for eight years when the program was based in El Paso/Ciudad Juarez.  Her research specialty is on labor history and she has produced many articles and essays about the borderlands, including serving as Editor for a special issue of the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education on The Border Studies Program:  Ethnography as Pedagogy in Undergraduate Education.

Jennifer L. Johnson, Kenyon College

Jennifer L. Johnson is Associate Professor of Sociology at Kenyon College where she teaches courses on globalization, social movements and the law. She currently serves as Chair of the Sociology Department and contributes to Kenyon’s International Studies and Law & Society programs. Her research focuses on extralegal policing, indigenous justice administration and changing understandings of citizenship in Guerrero, Mexico. More recently, she initiated an ethnographic project on the civilian border patrol movement at the U.S.-Mexico border. She is committed to experiential learning for undergraduates and, in coordination with the Border Studies Program, teaches a semester-long Borders & Border Crossings course with a field component at the border.

Amy Morris, Surdna Foundation

Amy Morris is a Program Officer in the Strong Local Economies program at the Surdna Foundation, where she focuses on supporting work to improve job quality in low wage sectors of the economy.  A long-time educator, Amy has worked to build the movement for social change through developing young people’s leadership skills and knowledge of critical social issues. She was the Resident Director of the Border Studies Program in 2007-08 and transitioned the program from its previous location in El Paso/Ciudad Juarez to Tucson.  Amy was also the Coordinator of New York Union Semester program at the City University of New York (CUNY).  In other past lives, Amy served as a union researcher for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in Miami, FL, a popular educator and policy monitor with Witness for Peace in Nicaragua and Colombia, and a high school Social Studies teacher in St. Paul, MN.  She holds a Masters in Public Policy with concentrations in Immigration & Human Rights and Global Policy from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, and a B.A. in Latin American Studies and Urban Studies from Macalester College.

Patty Lamson, Earlham College

Patty Lamson is Director of International Programs at Earlham College and Director of the Border Studies Program.  She oversees off-campus study program and international student programming.  She has co-led several programs to Mexico and served as Resident Director of the Border Studies Program in 1998.  She is a founding member of Amigos, the Richmond Latino Center and is coordinator of the English Language Program in that organization.

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