Georgia Tech associate professor of Spanish Juan Carlos Rodriguez has taken up the role as faculty co-director of the Atlanta Global Studies Center, an interdisciplinary center focused helping improve language learning and cultural competency in metro-area students.
Georgia Tech and Georgia State University jointly run the center, which is funded through a Title VI National Resource Center grant and aims to better connect the international education realm with the city’s cultural and economic life.
An award-winning poet who got his academic start in Puerto Rico, Dr. Rodriguez has taught in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts’s School of Modern Languages since 2008, joining from Rice University, where he served as a lecturer. Primarily a film scholar, his research focuses on urban issues in contemporary Latin American cities as shown through documentaries, and he has edited two books on the subject of media and culture in the region.
In his new role, he will work to boost awareness of global studies in the metro Atlanta region, improve language learning with partner institutions and develop and encourage programming and scholarship on international issues. Already he has worked extensively with the center, serving on the Foreign Language and Area Studies grants faculty committee, helping drive the Global Media Festival and speaking at the center’s events and its annual symposium.
Those involved with the Atlanta Global Studies Center say it has been a strong force for unification in a metro-area higher education community replete with innovative projects but sometimes short on cohesion. The center has aimed to better connect with companies and institutions outside academia to bring research and scholarship to bear in fueling the city’s growth.
“Atlanta is without a doubt a global city — a city of connections, distinguished by its leading role in the civil rights movement and the production of global media,” Dr. Rodríguez said in an Oct. 1 news release. “In the coming years, the Atlanta Global Studies Center must continue to serve as a platform to honor our city’s legacies, our commitment to strengthen international networks and immigrant communities.”