Memo of Understanding

Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, CUNY,
Institute for Urban and Minority Education at Teachers College, Columbia University,
and the Center for Latino, Latin American, and Caribbean Studies, University at Albany, SUNY

Whereas, the New York Latino Research and Resources Network (NYLARNet) will be created with the main objective of bringing together the combined expertise of U.S. Latino scholars and other professionals across three research institutions within New York State in four target areas: 1.) Health, 2.) Education, 3.) Immigration, and 4.) Politics and Public Policy; and

Whereas, this network will be constituted by recognized scholars and other professionals who will engage in critical thinking, dialogue, and the dissemination of information on U.S. Latino issues; and

Whereas, NYLARNet will be ready to address a broad spectrum of concerns related to the four target areas mentioned above, and provide information services to legislators, public agencies, community organizations, and the media on U.S. Latino affairs; and

Whereas, NYLARNet also will pay special attention to the realities and needs of the largely neglected Latino populations throughout New York State and outside of New York City; and

Whereas, the proposed network partnership will initially include the Center for Latino, Latin American, and Caribbean Studies (CELAC) at the University at Albany, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, and the Institute for Urban and Minority Education at Teachers College, Columbia University; and

Whereas, NYLARNet can later be expanded to include other institutions throughout the State of New York with strong faculty resources in US Latino-related studies.  A database of experts on the four target areas will be created as well as a website that will provide regular electronic briefs on Latino issues; and

Whereas, each of the NYLARNet partners brings to this consortium extensive center-focused research capacity and faculty resources as described below:

Center for Latino, Latin American, and Caribbean Studies (CELAC),
University at Albany, SUNY

CELAC was established in 1984 as a structured mechanism for focusing collective expertise and collaborative research and development efforts, and for providing dissemination and resource services to the public pertinent to these regions. It provides an international focus for the work of numerous departments and scholars, and brings together specialists on Latin America and the Caribbean and their corresponding U.S. Latino populations from a wide variety of disciplines.

The main functions of CELAC are:
l.) to promote and facilitate research and scholarship dealing with Latin America and the Caribbean and the U.S. immigrant populations from these regions;

2.) to provide the necessary infrastructure for generating linkages and collaborative agreements with other relevant public and private institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean and the United States, with the goal of promoting research, training and educational exchanges of faculty, students, and resources;

3.) to engage in the publication of monographs, occasional papers, instructional materials and other projects pertinent to these regions;

4.) to house a database which will gather and disseminate information on research publications focusing on Puerto Rican women;

5.) to disseminate information through newsletters and directories and make research information more widely available to scholars, educators, the business community and other organizations;

6.) to provide technical and consultant resources in specialized areas to public and private institutions in the U.S. and abroad;

7.) to organize conferences, lectures, and workshops that enable scholars to discuss and advance the current state of research on a particular topic or to provide specialized training to particular constituencies (e.g., social studies and foreign language teachers, policy makers);

8.) to provide a vehicle for the faculty to seek external funding for individual and collaborative research projects; and

9.) to encourage greater communication and cooperation among Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. communities, and a greater appreciation of Latino multicultural diversity within U.S. society.

CELAC has a long standing record of coordinating research projects, publications, conferences, collaborative agreements, technical assistance services, and other activities related to the Latin American, Caribbean, and US Latino populations.  A few of CELAC’s most recent activities include: serving as the Secretariat for the Puerto Rican Studies Association (PRSA) and publishing the book Adiós, Borinquen querida: The Puerto Rican Diaspora, Its History, and Contributions in collaboration of the Department of Culture of the municipal government of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

University at Albany Faculty Resources

Edna Acosta-Belén, Distinguished Service Professor of Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS), and Women’s Studies.  Areas of specialty:  US Latino cultural history; Puerto Rican cultural studies

Jeanette Altarriba, Associate Professor of Psychology and LACS.  Areas of specialty: cognitive psychology; bilingualism

Christine E. Bose, Professor of Sociology, Women's Studies, and LACS. Areas of specialty: women's work; social stratification

José E. Cruz, Associate Professor of Political Science and LACS.  Areas of specialty: Latino politics

Alethia Jones, Assistant Professor of Public Administration and Political Science

Blanca Ramos, Assistant Professor of Social Welfare.  Areas of specialty: Latino community development; Latino health

José Rossy Millán, Psychologist. St Mary's Hospital, Amsterdam, New York

Patricia Strach, Assistant Professor of Public Administration and Political Science

Frank J. Thompson, Dean of Rockefeller College

James Wyckoff, Professor of Public Administration

The Institute for Urban and Minority Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

Located at Teachers College, the graduate school of education at Columbia University, the Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME) was founded in 1972 and is committed to better understanding and influencing the educational, psychological and social development of urban and minority group populations. Historically, the work of IUME has been organized by the themes of (1) education as an anti-poverty strategy and as a means for upward social and economic opportunity and mobility; (2) equality of educational opportunity and strategies for achieving equity; (3) diversity and multiculturalism; and (4) the reform of urban schooling.

The Institute approaches the problem of improving the quality of urban education and minority education in three ways: (1) by conceptualizing fundamental problems and formulating systematic research programs to discover solutions; (2) by translating and disseminating this knowledge and applying it in practical situations; and (3) by developing new programs, techniques, instruments, and materials that can be disseminated in a variety of educational settings. These are accomplished through programs of research, professional development, technical assistance, knowledge dissemination, public awareness, and youth services.

Because the work of the Institute is problem-centered, it has a staff from many disciplines, who take an activist role in solving the problems of urban and minority education.

Teachers College, Columbia University Faculty Resources

Edmund W. Gordon
Director, IUME, Associate Director for Research and Development
[email protected]

Paola Heincke
Assistant to the Director
[email protected]

Veronica Holly
Assistant Director
[email protected]

Brenda Mejia - Smith
Research Coordinator and Research Assistant
[email protected]

Shikha Nandkeolyar
Project Manager
[email protected]

Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College, City University of New York

 The Center for Puerto Rican Studies/ Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños (Centro) is a university-based research institute whose mission consists of two components. One is to collect, preserve and provide access to archival and library resources documenting the history and culture of Puerto Ricans and Latinos. The other is to produce, facilitate, and disseminate interdisciplinary research about the diasporic experiences of Puerto Ricans and to link this scholarly inquiry to social action and policy debates.

 Centro is the only university-based research institute in the United States devoted to the interdisciplinary study of the Puerto Rican experience and the oldest and largest Latino research and archival institution in the Northeast. Founded in 1973 by a coalition of faculty, students and community leaders, Centro seeks to link scholarly inquiry to social action and policy debates through its network of education, research, archival, advocacy and community-based partners. Centro research bears important implications for the study of Puerto Ricans, Latinos and other racial and ethnic communities in the U.S. Centro is also a founding member of the Inter-University Program for Latino Research [IUPLR] since 1989. The IUPLR, currently composed of 16 affiliate centers, is the most extensive consortium of Latino research centers in the US.

As a university-based Puerto Rican research center, Centro staff and researchers are interested in a comprehensive understanding of the Puerto Rican diasporic experience in the US and in relevant socioeconomic and historical aspects regarding Puerto Rico. Given its history and role within CUNY, the Centro is particularly interested in New York's Puerto Rican and ethnic communities. One of the most important units at Centro is the Library and Archives: the principal Puerto Rican Studies research collection in the United States and the most extensive Latino research and archival facility in the Northeast. It is also the only library and archives in the State of New York exclusively dedicated to Puerto Rican and Latino documentation. Over the years the Library and Archives has evolved to meet the needs and demands of an ever-expanding constituency. It is open to the public and serves diverse users, scholars and the general public from the New York area, from other parts of the U.S. and from abroad.

Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College, CUNY, Researchers


Dr. Edwin Meléndez
(212) 772-5695
Room- E1409
E-mail: [email protected]


Pedro Pedraza
(212) 772-5711
Research - Room 1403E
E-mail: [email protected]

Raquel Z. Rivera
(212) 772-5692
Research - Room 1405E
E-mail: [email protected]

Carlos Vargas Ramos
(212) 772-5707
Research - Room 1402E
E-mail: [email protected]

Library and Archives

Alberto Hernández
(212) 772-5685
Chief Librarian and Archivist - 3rd Floor East
E-mail: [email protected]

José A. Camacho
(212) 650-3067
Centro Library - 3rd Floor East
E-mail: [email protected]

Pedro Juan Hernández
(212) 772-5151
Library and Archives - 3rd Floor East
E-mail: [email protected]

Jorge Matos
(212) 650-3069
Centro Library - 3rd Floor East
E-mail: [email protected]

Paola Mata-Peñafiel
Library and Archives - 3rd Floor East
e-mail: [email protected]

Mario Ramírez
(212) 772-5693
Library and Archives - Room 1442E
E-mail: [email protected]

Félix Rivera
(212) 772-5704
Centro Library - 3rd Floor East
E-mail: [email protected]


Therefore, be it resolved, the three institutions mentioned herein wish to formally establish the New York Latino Research and Resources Network (NYLARNet) – a consortial arrangement poised to respond to the need to better understand the experience of Latinos in New York State, particularly those in emerging communities in areas outside of New York City, with full recognition of the role of New York State’s major urban centers in this process of demographic growth and change;

Therefore, be it resolved, this non-binding agreement will provide a framework for NYLARNet’s partners to closely work together in the pursuit of realizing the aforementioned goals through institutional collaboration, the sharing of resources and expertise, and a common sense of purpose.  If at anytime, a member should elect to withdraw its participation from the consortium, they may do so without reason or justification following written notification.

Therefore, be it resolved, this Memorandum of Understanding shall take effect immediately.


2004 NYLARNET Copyright.
Maintained by Jacqueline Hayes, updated 02/25/07