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Chicano Studies Institute


The Chicano Studies Institute at UC Santa Barbara facilitates interdisciplinary and field-specific research as scholars and students from all disciplines pursue work that helps policy makers, fellow researchers, educators, service providers and the interested public better understand the most pressing issues pertaining to Chicana/o and Latina/o populations.  Addressing topics such as community formation, academic achievement, health education, cultural literacy, and math/science proficiency from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, the rich collaborations at the Institute cultivate a better understanding regarding the ways that local, state-wide, national and international forces interact, often times with profound impact.  Of crucial importance is the Institute's role in training future generations of scholars equipped to tackle these fundamentally important issues.


In recent years, the CSI has implemented several new initiatives to help UCSB meet its Hispanic Serving Institute mission to improve educational outcomes for Chicano/Latino undergraduate and graduate students. We have achieved this goal by developing a formal mentoring program for first generation ethnic minority undergraduate students, providing a dedicated computer lab for graduate students to facilitate their research progress, developing a CSI graduate student affiliates group to foster networking with graduate students working on Latino issues across campus, and providing an undergraduate student research lab for faculty and graduate students to work with undergraduate students on research or collecting data. 

The Institute ’s research activities serve the intellectual interests of Chicana/o Studies students, researchers and faculty from all departments and units on the UCSB campus. Together with the Chicana and Chicano Studies Department, the Institute supports research that promotes the growing national and international stature of the field and assists in the recruitment and retention of Chicano/Latino faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates at UC Santa Barbara. Along with the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, the Institute hosts the Luis Leal Endowed Chair, currently held by Professor Aida Hurtado.

CSI provides faculty and students with funding opportunities to further their research and scholarly endeavors.  The Institute awards Graduate Student Dissertation Awards, Faculty Seed Grant Awards, and Conference Grant Awards. The Institute also promotes cultural education for the campus and community by sponsoring events and programs that draw from Chicana/o, Mexican and Latin American music, dance, theater, film, art and literature.  In addition, the Institute houses a publishing unit.  In this vein, the Institute produces Ventana Abierta, an internationally renowned Spanish-language journal devoted to literature written in the United States.