Welcome from LACIS’ New Faculty Director, Dr. Sara McKinnon

Dr. Sara McKinnon

Greetings all,  

I am pleased to offer my first back-to-school fall welcome as the new Faculty Director of LACIS. For those of you I’ve yet to meet, I am Sara McKinnon, Professor of Rhetoric, Politics & Culture in the Department of Communication Arts. My research examines foreign policy rhetoric in an era of globalization, considering as case studies collaborations between the United States, Mexico, and Central American countries since the 1980s to address regional issues such as drug trafficking, corruption, and migration. I am also currently working on a collaborative project to expand the information about US immigration and refugee programs and legal counsel available to migrants throughout Latin America as they consider safe options for movement and resettlement.  

It is a thrill to be joining the fantastic team at LACIS, working closely with Alberto Vargas, Sarah Ripp, and Maria Kraus to fulfill the program mission. I want to thank former faculty director, Gay Seidman for her enthusiasm, commitment, and service to the LACIS community. 

We have many exciting things planned for this year and I intend to write to you regularly to keep you aware of what’s happening at LACIS and ways you might get involved. First, we have two Tinker Visiting Professors this fall, who I encourage you to join me in welcoming to the UW-Madison. Javier Couso, Professor of Constitutional Law at Universidad Diego Portales in Santiago, Chile will be teaching Law 940: Populism and Constitutional Democracy. Jesús Arroyave, Professor in the School of Communication at Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla, Colombia will be teaching Journalism 822: Global Communication. Both scholars will be presenting this semester during our Tuesday Lunchtime Lectures, so keep an eye out for information about their talks.  

I am also pleased to welcome our four incoming MA students who will be joining our other MA and MA/JD students. I am very excited to get to know each of you and see how your projects and interests develop in study with us.  

I hope to see many of you in person or virtually at our Tuesday Lunchtime Lectures and other LACIS sponsored events. I also look forward to having a chance to get to know those of you who I’ve not met or worked with. I will be in the LACIS main office on most Tuesdays and Thursdays this semester, so feel free to stop in to introduce yourself, say hello, or let me treat you to a cup of coffee or tea.