Mission & Goals


The Institute for the Study of Latin America and the Caribbean encourages and facilitates interdisciplinary inquiry in understanding Latin America, the Caribbean and Latino/a/x issues in the US. It supports decolonizing the sciences and humanities through the promotion of diversity of its staff, events, invited speakers, and scholarly practice. Faculty and students are drawn from social sciences, natural sciences, humanities, arts, and human service fields, including Engineering, Business, Public Health, Mental Health, and Education.
ISLAC is a uniquely placed member of the USF academic community. It is distinct from other units on campus and other centers around the state by facilitating multidisciplinary, applied scholarship; by furthering knowledge and understanding of countries and cultures from Latin America and the Caribbean as well as Latino populations in the US. Furthermore, ISLAC promotes an anti-racist learning environment, research agenda and community engagement and underscores Tampa’s unique, historical and cultural relationships with the Latin America and Caribbean regions and Latino/a/x populations.

To meet its mission, ISLAC is committed to the following:

Integrated, Interdisciplinary Inquiry

ISLAC is, by its very nature, a multidisciplinary partnership of faculty, staff, students, and community stakeholders. As such, the Institute provides an institutional framework for interdisciplinary research, teaching/learning and outreach. This collaboration results in scholarly endeavors that yield creative solutions to diverse problems and improve the quality of life across Latin America, the Caribbean and among Latino populations in the US, reaching global relevance.

Research and Innovation

ISLAC is dedicated to generating, disseminating, and translating new knowledge across disciplines and to design and support sustainable, healthy communities. To this end, the Institute is committed to establishing collaborative institutional linkages and attracting external funding from both public and private sources to establish a strong and sustainable base to support faculty and students led initiatives.

Global Literacy and Impact

The study of Latin America, the Caribbean and Latino populations is inherently global. ISLAC-affiliated faculty are at the forefront of projects that foster global understanding, address global issues, and prepare for an increasingly globalized world. Additionally, ISLAC-affiliated faculty and students value proficiency in world languages, study abroad opportunities, and applied work in communities. ISLAC plays an important role in adding value to undergraduate and graduate curricula regardless of discipline or area of study.

Community Engagement

 ISLAC facilitates a wide variety of outreach initiatives that engage with local, regional and global communities. The Institute and ISLAC-affiliated faculty participate in strategic partnerships, applied research, service-learning projects and community engagement initiatives that advance awareness and understanding of Latin America, the Caribbean and Latino/a/x issues.

Students’ success 

Students are at the core of our mission. ISLAC is committed to strengthening students’ success in both academic and professional life by offering and supporting alternative pedagogies, high quality learning environments, mentoring opportunities and internships venues, as well as local and global engagement opportunities in Latin America, the Caribbean and Latino institutions.  Our training render globally competitive undergraduate, graduate and professional students.