Liberal Arts in Action
Latin American & Caribbean Studies

Logan Tierney ’12 (Anthropology, Latin American & Caribbean Studies)

Logan TierneyProject Manager, Greater New York Hospital Association

I graduated cum laude from SUNY New Paltz with a dual major in Anthropology and Latin American and Caribbean Studies. I then went to SUNY Albany Anthropology Department and earned a master’s focused on biological anthropology in modern populations, including health disparities, maternal/child health and the intersection of health and culture. During these years I worked in the Department’s Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities Lab, as well as holding an internship within the New York State Medicaid Policy Office. The latter opportunity lead to a full-time staff position where I joined the core team to develop the NYS Medicaid policy programs Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) and Value Based Payments (VBP) from 2014–2017. Most recently, I joined the Greater New York Hospital Association and work on clinical quality improvement projects across the health care delivery system of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Overall, I feel like I have been able to apply my liberal arts education throughout my educational and professional career because of the critical and big-picture thinking practice a liberal arts degree cultivates. Liberal arts teaches a student to conceptualize projects and goals holistically, considering a multitude of outcomes based on an integrated landscape in any given field. This, combined with the interest in human health and culture shaped by an anthropologic lens, has benefitted me as I work in health systems policy and program management.

September 2017

Nora Lang ’09 (Latin American & Caribbean Studies, Spanish)

Nora LangPh.D. student and Spanish instructor at University of California, Santa Cruz 

I began my studies at SUNY New Paltz after having spent a year living and working in Paraguay. I knew that I wanted to improve my accuracy and fluency in Spanish, but I was unsure of the kinds of careers that a major in Spanish would prepare me for. Eventually, I chose to major in both Spanish and Latin American Studies. In addition to Spanish language courses at SUNY New Paltz, I had the opportunity to take a variety of content area courses conducted in Spanish, including those focused on literature, cultural studies and Latin American history. I also had the opportunity to study abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I enrolled in courses alongside Argentine students at a local university.

My interests lead me to move to northern Peru upon graduation, where I worked with a partner to design a summer school program for a small NGO. I also had opportunities to live and work in Ecuador, Mexico, Spain, and Thailand before deciding to pursue a master’s degree in Latin American Studies at the University of California, San Diego. While working on my MA degree, I applied to teach Spanish courses for undergraduate students at the university. Both my work as a Spanish instructor and my research on bilingual education programs in Latin America contributed to my decision to pursue a Ph.D. in education at the University of California, Santa Cruz. My current research explores program design and pedagogy for recent immigrant students (often referred to as “newcomers”) at the high school level.

My interests in the Spanish language, the complex nature of language learning, and issues surrounding equity in education emerged during my time at SUNY New Paltz. Today, I continue to work to weave those passions together, and to encourage undergraduate students not only to learn additional languages, but also to seek creative ways to examine the multiple intersections of language and education. 

 April 2016