Specialization Coordinators: Mary Risner

The specialization in Education in the Americas focuses on educational research, theory, and practice relevant to Latin America and Latinx communities in the United States. The curriculum of Education in the Americas supports comparative and regional analyses of educational policy, curriculum, and pedagogy across contexts ranging from K-12 education, higher education, and public education. Through a multi- and interdisciplinary approach, this specialization helps students prepare for careers in education, public policy, academia, and transnational organizations.

  • To help students and advisors to navigate the vast and constantly shifting curricular landscape supporting Latin American Studies at UF.
  • To foster connection and collaboration around shared interests among current and prospective UF faculty, students, and partners.


  • EDF 6812:  International and Comparative Education
  • EDF 6820:  Education in Latin America  
  • EDF 6636:  Theorizing Race and Racism in Educational Research  
  • EDG 6930: Global Studies for Educators 
  • EDG 6931: Multilingualism from a Global Perspective
  • LAS/EDG Teaching Latin America

Elective Courses 

Select up to 6 hours of coursework related to the specialization

Center for Latin American Studies:
  • LAS 6938:  Latino/a Culture
  • LAS 6938:  Latina/os in Contemporary Society
  • LAS 6938:  Race and U.S. Latina/os
  • LAS 6938:  Latin American and Caribbean Migration to the US
School of Teaching and Learning:
  • FLE 6165: Bilingual-Bicultural Education       
    Foundational principles and practices in the field of bilingual-bicultural education in the U.S. and in other nations. Critical examination of theories and practices related to language policy in education.
  • FLE 6167: Cross-Cultural Communication for Educators
    Critically explores ways educators can establish equitable and culturally responsive classrooms. Examines theories related to language, culture, and social justice.
  • LAE 6446: Multicultural Literature for Children and Adolescents 
    Examines diverse cultures and theories in multicultural literature.
  • EDF 6939: Critical Race Theory
  • EDG 6931: Language and Educational Issues in Migrant Populations
  • EDG 6931: Technology Integration in Higher Education: International Perspectives
Agricultural Education and Communication Program:
  • AEC 5454: Leadership Development for Extension and Community Nonprofit Organizations Application of concepts related to developing leaders for organizing and maintaining extension and community nonprofit organizations.
  • AEC 6419: Communication and Competencies for Global Leadership
    Identifying and developing the personal and professional competencies required for effective leadership in an increasingly global society. International communication
Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies
  • SPN 6735: Spanish as a Heritage Language
    Varying topics of Spanish linguistics relevant to second language acquisition, sociolinguistics, and historical linguistics
Frequency of course offerings

Before each semester, the Center compiles and posts online a Guide to hundreds of LAS-related courses available the coming semester.  Some courses contributing to specializations are offered every semester, others once every few years. The list of courses provided here is not intended to guarantee any curricular offerings, but rather to open horizons to topics that have been and may be offered in widely varied programs around UF.

Additional courses

Each specialization offers students the opportunity to craft personalized programs of study and to add their own contributions. Students may identify additional courses relevant for a specialization, including new and one-time offerings, and may seek approval from the Specialization Coordinator to count such courses toward specialization credits.



Mary Risner, Ed.D. Latin American Studies. Teacher Education, Languages for Specific Purposes (LSP), Globally Networked Learning Environments (GNLEs)


Suzanne Chapman, Ph.D. Curriculum and Instruction, Literacy, Children’s Literature

Jennifer Wooten, Ph.D. World Languages, Teacher Education

Crystal Marull, Ph.D. Online Learning, World Languages

Mark Pacheco, Ph.D. Bilingual education, ESL language,  literacy development, Latino Studies

Diego Pascual y Cabo, Ph.D. Heritage speaker bilingual development, Spanish in the US

Cecilia Suarez, Ph.D. Cultural studies, Leadership education, Critical race theory, Latin@ studies 

Swapna Kumar, Ed.D. Educational Technology, Online and Blended Learning, Open Education, Global Education

Heather Vrana, Ph.D. History, student activism, Latin American Youth