2018 Latin American Studies Alumni Awards

The 2018 Alumni Awards were presented this year to Dr. Suzana Padua and Dr. Kristin Tennyson. Dr. Padua received the Lifetime Achievement award and Dr. Tennyson received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award.

2018 Latin American Studies Alumni Awards

October 8, 2018 - Patricia Alba

The UF Center for Latin American Studies (LAS) created the LAS Alumni Awards in 2017 to recognize Center alumni whose achievements positively reflect the goals, principles, and philosophy of the Center. The Alumni Awards are composed of two categories the Outstanding Young Alumni Award and the Lifetime Achievement Alumni Award.

The Outstanding Young Alumni Award recognizes alumni who are 40 years of age or younger, and who possess an unmistakable tradition of achievement and a commitment to further strengthening the Latin American Studies field. The Lifetime Achievement Alumni Award recognizes alumni whose achievements over the course of a number of years positively reflect the goals, principles, and philosophy of the Center. Award recipients are selected annually by the LAS Alumni Board and honored during the Fall Reception.

This year’s Fall Reception took place on October 5th. During the festivities, Dr. Kristin Tennyson was awarded the Outstanding Young Alumni Award and Dr. Suzana Padua was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Dr. Kristin Tennyson graduated from the University of Florida with an MA in Latin American Studies in 2004 and a Ph.D. in Criminology, Law & Society in 2009. Tennyson’s work pertaining to the region expands over 20 years and includes multiple positions in the Department of State. Throughout her professional career, Tennyson has held positions such as Assistant Professor at Indiana University Southeast, Intelligence Specialist for the United States Special Operations Command, as well as Foreign Affairs Analyst at the Department of State. As recognition of her work, Tennyson has received four medals of commendation as well as multiple awards.

Dr. Kristin Tennyson

In her current position, Tennyson is the Chair of the Western Hemisphere Area Studies at the Department of State. As part of her work, Tennyson is responsible for oversight of the Western Hemisphere Affairs Area Studies Program, teaching and coordinating interdisciplinary courses on Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada for employees assigned to work in or on those regions. She works with regional organizations, academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and international organizations to identify speakers and pedagogical materials/resources for the entire program. For her exemplary work and commitment to furthering the LAS field, it is an honor to award the Center’s 2018 Outstanding Alumni Award to Dr. Kristin Tennyson.

Dr. Suzana Padua graduated from the University of Florida with an MA in Latin American Studies with a focus on environmental education in 1991. After her graduation, she returned to her native Brazil and in 2004 she completed a Doctorate in Multidisciplinary studies at the University of Brasília. In 1992, working alongside her husband Dr. Claudio Padua, she founded the Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas (IPÊ). The mission of IPÊ is to develop and disseminate innovative models of biodiversity conservation that promote socio-economic benefits through science, education and sustainable business. To this extent, IPÊ created Brazil’s first Professional Masters degree in Conservation of Biodiversity and Sustainable Development, and also offers an MBA in Social-Environmental Business, which is designed to introduce sustainability as the basis for business professionals.

Dr. Suzana Padua

For her accomplishments and dedication, Padua has received multiple national and international awards, including a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Society for Conservation Biology, and a Margot Marsh Award for Excellence in Primate Conservation from the International Primatological Society and American Society of Primatology. Padua has also published over 50 articles and mentored over 30 students. To this day, Padua continues to lend her expertise to the Center’s Tropical Conservation and Development program, giving generously of her time and sharing her knowledge at many academic workshops and conferences on campus. She also serves on the Center’s Alumni Board. For her achievements and continued commitment to strengthening the field of Latin American studies, it is our honor to present Dr. Suzana Padua with the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award.

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