Academics | Latin American & Caribbean Studies

Latin American & Caribbean Studies

The study of Latin America and the Caribbean is a vibrant field that draws on a wide range of liberal arts and sciences disciplines, including anthropology, archaeology, art history, economics, history, literature, politics and government, religion, and sociology. Not only do our students learn about a vast region of crucial importance to the United States, but they also develop the ability to analyze complex social and cultural issues from multiple intellectual perspectives.

This interdisciplinary approach casts new light on old problems and unexamined assumptions, and it encourages students to be creative in designing a course of study, travel, and research that best suits their interests.

The adventure begins with our gateway course, “Introduction to Latin American & Caribbean Studies” (LAC 201).




Brian Bockelman

Linda Clemente

Martin Farrell

Brian Smith

Geoff Guevara-Geer

Soren Hauge

Emily Stovel



Ripon College encourages all students to embrace a Four-Year Career Development Plan. This plan is based on the premise that career planning is a development process that involves learning and decision-making over an extended period of time.

First Year

  • Incoming students are assigned a Faculty Mentor based on their interest area(s). Please see the FACULTY tab under your major area;
  • All Freshman are required to enroll in a First-Year Seminar, which is designed as a transition from high school to college learning, providing an interdisciplinary introduction to the liberal arts and the pursuit of in-depth study;
  • Freshman are encouraged to meet the career development staff early on and complete interest and skills inventories, and self-assessment tools; and,
  • Attend the pre-Fall Break “Major Fest” to explore the various major options and career tracks.

Third Year

  • Assume leadership positions in on-campus clubs and organizations;
  • Participate in mock interviews with the Career Development Office;
  • Attend the Wisconsin Foundation of Independent Colleges Job Fair in February and other relevant career fairs;
  • If relevant, begin to research potential graduate school programs and take the appropriate entrance exam(s);
  • Continue to meet regularly with your Faculty Mentor;
  • Continue to build a solid network and a list of work references, and build your resume;
  • Consider off-campus study: Semester and/or alternative Spring Breaks;
  • Continue to job shadow; and,
  • Gain further career experience associated with your education during the academic year and as part of a summer job or internship.

Second Year

  • Get involved with on-campus clubs and organizations, athletic teams and/or intramural sports;
  • Attend the pre-Fall Break “Major Fest” to explore the various major options and career tracks;
  • Declare a major;
  • Meet regularly with your Faculty Mentor or match your interests with a faculty member in your major department. Determine which professors have areas of expertise most similar to your interests. Talk to people in the academic department to find out about faculty research, scholarly, and creative interests;
  • Attend on-campus career workshops;
  • Work with the Career Development Office to create an approved resume;
  • Job shadow people involved in various careers and professions of interest; and,
  • Gain further career experience associated with your education during the academic year and as part of a summer job or internship.

Fourth Year

  • Complete a Senior Capstone/Thesis in your major area(s);
  • Continue to meet regularly with your Faculty Mentor;
  • Perfect your interviewing skills;
  • Expand your existing network of contacts;
  • Finalize your resume and prepare cover letter;
  • Build a credential file in the Career Development Office;
  • Interview with on-campus recruiters;
  • Set-up informational interviews with target companies;
  • If relevant, apply to graduate school programs, and if necessary, re-take entrance exams; and,
  • Practice career goal-setting.


Off Campus Study

Ripon College offers a variety of interesting study abroad opportunities in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. Ranging from In Focus courses to summer, semester, and year-long programs, these valuable research and study experiences are strongly recommended for students planning to major or minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Current ACM programs include programs in Costa Rica; two Semester Exchange programs in Brazil, one in Environmental Studies and the other in Liberal Studies; and the Service Learning and Language Immersion program in Mexico.

Students may also earn credit toward the Latin American and Caribbean Studies major or minor through affiliated CCSC programs in Argentina and Spain. Previous Maymester courses and collaborative student-faculty summer research trips have been offered in Jamaica, Peru, Chile, Mexico, Guadeloupe, and Costa Rica.

To learn more about opportunities to study abroad, visit our Off-Campus Study page.