What are you most looking forward to accomplishing teaching for the upcoming MIA? What most excites you about the prospect of this globally-focused program?
It is very exciting to have a degree in international affairs. New York City is home to a large range of organizations and institutions that work locally, regionally, and globally and is also home to significant population concentrations from every region in the world and most countries. New York City is a place where international affairs happens through global and international institutions located in the city but also to a large range of community groups, organizations, and service providers that articulate and represent the interest of the various immigrant communities in the city and that connects immigrant communities to the countries and communities of origin. We think of global policymaking as being not only the work and turf of large international organizations but also a large range of diaspora institutions that articulate needs, provide resources to the countries of origin, and refers to the countries of origin in the U.S.
I am most excited about working with students from all over the globe interested in learning more about issues of trade, economic development, social and public policy, organizational development, and all of its international components and connections. The Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College has the unique potential to bring together people and institutions operating at all levels from large international NGOs to the smaller grassroots and community-based institutions - and the sharing of diverse experiences creates opportunities to develop new knowledge.
Tell us about your recent sabbatical. What did you set out to accomplish and how did it go?
Last year while on leave I focused on a project on poverty in Puerto Rico and I contributed to the work of a research team that produced four volumes examining issues of poverty, economic development, social and economic inequality, and the public welfare infrastructure. The research focused on how changes over time and a collapse of the economic structure in Puerto Rico has led to a social, economic, fiscal, and political crisis. We looked at Puerto Rico as compared to the United States but also in the context of the Caribbean and understanding the role it has historically played in the region. I also wrote an article published in the book by the Ministry of Regional Integration the Dominican Republic on how the role the diaspora communities from Latin America that are based in the U.S. play in bringing about regional integration from Latin America and the Caribbean.
Do you have any upcoming research projects or other publications you're working on?
Over this academic year, I will continue to work on research on poverty and have planned to continue to produce work on the role of community-based groups, organizations, and service providers in supporting the adaptation, incorporation, articulation of interests, public policies, and connections to country of origin with immigrant diaspora communities and the various countries and cultures that they come from. I'm also continuing to be involved in discussions of regional integration in Central America and the Caribbean and work looking at economic development in the Caribbean basin with a focus on Puerto Rico.