Geni Flores: President Elect of SCOLAS

Sep 5, 2017 by

An Interview with Geni Flores: President Elect of SCOLAS
Michael F. Shaughnessy –
1) Geni, first of all, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your education and experience.

I grew up as a Park Service Brat which gave me the opportunity to live in several different places in the United States and its territories.  I came of age in New Orleans just as refugees were arriving from conflicts in Nicaragua and other parts of South America.  This piqued my interest in this area of the world.  I came to Eastern New Mexico University as an undergraduate and majored in Spanish along with Bilingual Education.  My master’s degree is in Education with an emphasis on languages.   I have taught elementary school and high school.  I now work at my alma matter, Eastern New Mexico University as an instructor of bilingual and ESL education and multicultural education. 

2) Now, I understand that you have just assumed a major role and position in a major organization. Tell us about this.

I was elected to become the president of the Southwest Council of Latin American Studies (SCOLAS).  This is a 6 year obligation.  The first two years, as President Elect, I have the responsibility of learning from the current president.  The second two years, 2018-2020, I will serve as president of the organization.  I will have to plan and organize conferences.  The final two years, I will serve on the executive board as mentor to the next president.

3) Why is this organization important, and what kinds of values does it espouse?

SCOLAS began in 1966.  Its purpose is to bring together scholars in
fields related to Latin America for interdisciplinary conversations and collaboration.  It builds bridges between the many countries of Latin America and the southwestern United States.  It values peace, free exchange of ideas, and intellectualism.

My first experience with SCOLAS came in 2001 when I attended a conference in Santa Fe.  I was nervous about presenting, thinking my ideas might not be valued or taken seriously.  Instead, I was surprised to find an organization that nurtures incoming scholars.  Those in attendance at my presentation offered wonderful insights and gave me solid ideas for continuing my research.  SCOLAS continues to be a nurturing, welcoming organization.
4) Why study and learn about that particular region of the world ?

The US and Latin America share the American continents.  Spanish speaking people, Portuguese speaking people, and English speaking people are neighbors, and the more we can know about each-other and understand each-other, the better we can work together for the good of the world.

Panel presentations are welcomed in all three languages.   

5) Are there any events or conferences planned ?

SCOLAS conferences take place every March, one year in the
United States and one year in a Latin American country.  The 2018 conference will be in the US.  Specific information will be available soon at
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