Latin American, Latino/a
and Caribbean Studies at Miami University
Student Profile: Jonathan Lawson
Jonathan Lawson is a senior from Lima, OH, with majors in Latin American studies and business with minors in Spanish and entrepreneurship. Jonathan is a recipient of the 2011 President's Distinguished Service Award. He is looking forward to a career in Latin America.
"Hi, I'm Jonathan Lawson. I am a Latin American Studies and business major with minors in Spanish and entrepreneurship. My time at Miami has afforded me opportunities to embrace international cultures in many different ways: in the classroom in Oxford, on field study in the Caribbean, and in Europe, at Miami's Luxembourg campus.
Subsequently, I traveled through Spain, where I found myself in the midst of a Spanish-speaking country with little to no connections to my familiar world. This independent cultural immersion encouraged my comprehension of Spanish culture and language.
This recent spring break, I studied eco-tourism and sustainability on the island of Dominica in the eastern Caribbean! The program exposed me to the way of life of the Dominican people firsthand — through working the land with self-sustaining gardeners, completing a three-day home-stay, helping to prepare bananas to be shipped off to European countries, and in interviews with locals on their thoughts about tourism.
Through my experience I was able to gain knowledge and course credit while taking in the sights of a natural Caribbean paradise. In Dominica I discovered ways in which I could better my life by embracing a similar lifestyle, and ultimately, I am a more socially conscious citizen for it.
The course offerings put forth by the Latin American studies department are well-rounded and intriguing. In my classes we have gone into depth about U.S. involvement and revolution in Latin America, and we have studied Caribbean cultures and Latin American music and dance. Some courses can even be taken in Spanish and can count towards a Spanish major or minor.
My diverse experiences at Miami were unforeseen when I began my freshman year. I eventually found many easily attainable options to gain exposure to Latin American culture, and my involvement in LAS greatly influenced my life direction. I am now seeking internships and looking forward to a career in Latin America, using my experiences in Latin American Studies as a solid foundation.