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Avery Dickins de Giron

Executive Director, Center for Latin American Studies (health, development, and culture in Guatemala)
Senior Lecturer in Latin America Studies

Avery Dickins de Girón is the Executive Director of Vanderbilt University’s Center for Latin American Studies and a Senior Lecturer in Latin America Studies.  She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Vanderbilt (2008).  Avery oversees CLAS operations, including center programming, outreach, NRC and FLAS budgets, and grant-writing.  She spearheads our collaborations with Minority Serving Institutions, most recently working with Tuskegee University to establish a Portuguese language program, and with Meharry Medical College to provide medical Spanish and expand clinical experiences abroad.  Avery also manages the Latin American Garden and its related database.  The garden houses over 50 species of plants native to Latin America, and is used as an interactive learning tool for Vanderbilt students, faculty, and staff, as well as the Nashville community.  Avery works with faculty across the university to support coursework relating to Latin America, and regularly contributes to our professional development activities for K-16 educators. 

Avery’s research examines insecurity in Guatemala, and international development programs in Q'eqchi' Maya communities in Alta Verapaz.  Avery teaches seminars on Central America for pre-specialty nursing students as part of their Community Health course, a first-year student seminar that highlights the Latin American Garden, and other courses focused on health, development, and culture in Guatemala.

Avery is the national Coordinator for the Guatemala Scholars Network, which brings together over 400 scholars and hosts a bi-annual conference in Guatemala.  She sits on the board of the Inter-American Health Alliance that supports the Primeros Pasos clinic in Quetzaltenango, and helps coordinate students carrying our research and volunteering at the clinic. Avery regularly serves as a Mentor Committee member for MPH students working in Latin America.

Specializations

health, development, and culture in Guatemala, insecurity in Guatemala, and international development programs in Q'eqchi' Maya communities in Alta Verapaz