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Richard Reitsma, PhD, chair and assistant professor of modern languages, accompanied undergraduate students to the Ibero-American University in Puebla, Mexico in June for either a two or four week intensive language immersion. Canisius students studied Spanish language and Mexican culture in classes, home-stays and excursions. Students and faculty were also able to meet students from other universities in the U.S. and preeminent scholars from Mexico and Cuba. Reitsma taught a graduate course on “Chronicle and Testimonial Literature” for the master’s program in literature and gave two lectures as part of a month-long series on human rights at IBERO.

The first talk, entitled “The Development of LGBTQII+ Rights in Cuba,” explored historical challenges and achievements in the queer movement. The second talk, entitled “Local and Jesuit Responses to the Migration Crisis in the U.S.,” drew on work at Canisius as part of the Borders Initiative and Migrants and Borders Week. The lectures were sponsored by the Department of Humanities and the Office of Human Rights.

More information about the Ibero-American University Summer Intensive program can be found here.

For more information about Canisius College Borders Initiative, click here or contact Reitsma at

Submitted by: Maureen Kanczak, administrative associate, Modern Languages