Dr Lorenz leads this spring term which is based in the border area of El Paso, Tex., and Juarez, Mexico. (The photo above is of the 2006 group overlooking the massive Copper Canyon, in Chihuahua.) In 2014, this project is being continued through an Alternative Break on the border. In each case, students design their own border related study involving the effects of public policy on a cross border issues. As a group the class meets with; representatives of government, nonprofit organizations, environmental and health advocacy groups and concerned citizens on both sides of the border. While learning public policy students have the opportunity to experience both cultural diversity and the extreme poverty in Mexican shanty-towns.
From this class, that has been offered at-least every other year since 1996, we have developed a special relationship with organizations in El Paso (such as Project Puente and Annunciation House) and beyond into the interior of Mexico. From the concern with rural change, especially the disruption of indigenous culture in the Sierra Tarahumara, has come the Common Table project (described on this website).
Three other intiatives related to the border have also come from this course. Twice class students arranged to take alumni to the border. Also, for the last several years a popular alternative winter break trip has evolved. Finally, a host of public affairs students have arranged individual internships with legal, health, agricultural, religious, and social service non-governmental organizations along the border.
To learn more about the course that is the source of this activity, please see the course syllabus... or see details from two classes below.
Chair & Reid-Knox Professor of History, Professor of Political Science & Public Affairs Director
Students overlook the border fence and talk to friendly Mexican boy.