Director of OU Programs in Mexico
Armando Garcia has worked in international education for almost ten years. He first began his career when he was appointed as Service Learning Coordinator at UDLAP (Universidad de las Americas Puebla), where he collaborated for five years, recruiting and placing international students in short-and long-term service learning projects throughout Mexico.
Most recently, Armando worked for UPAEP University (Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla) where he was appointed Service Learning Coordinator and then promoted to Director of the International Affairs Office. In this position, Armando was in charge of the Internationalization Strategy of UPAEP where he coordinated efforts between the President’s Office and faculty members. He also oversaw the international and local exchange program division at UPAEP, working with faculty-led experiences abroad and short-term programs with visiting universities. The OU College of International Studies now warmly welcomes Armando as Director of OU Programs in Mexico and Co-Coordinator of Latin American Partnerships. He will be based at OU’s new study center in beautiful Puebla, Mexico.
OU in Puebla Faculty-in-Residence
Dr. Laurel C. Smith is an Associate Professor in the OU Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability, where she has taught cultural geography, critical theory and qualitative research methods since 2007. She also serves as affiliate faculty with the Film and Media Studies and the Women’s and Gender Studies Programs at OU. Dr. Smith’s interest in Indigenous regions of Latin America began when she was a geography graduate student at the University of Kentucky. During a field study course in Oaxaca, Mexico she encountered for the first time a video made by comunicadores indígenas. She then spent four years in Oaxaca, learning Spanish and studying how and why Indigenous individuals and collectives collaborated with others to mobilize video technologies to represent their communities’ situations, stories, and strategies. Dr. Smith’s scholarship focuses on the ways Indigenous videos rework notions of authorship and academic authority. In the classroom, Dr. Smith often screens and teaches about these kind of videos so students can learn about – and from – Indigenous communities’ perspectives on and proposals for environmental and social justice. She is married to Filoteo Gómez Martínez – an Indigenous media maker from la Sierra Mixe of Oaxaca. Together they parent and collaborate with others on various video projects that examine social, environmental, and/or intellectual geographies.
Grady C. Wray, Associate Professor of Spanish, received his Ph.D. from Indiana University at Bloomington in 1999 and joined the faculty of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics in 2000. Specializing in women writers of colonial Spanish America, Professor Wray's major investigatory focus concerns the religious writings of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. His book, The Devotional Exercises/Los Ejercicios devotos of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Mexico’s Prodigious Nun (1648/50-1695), is the first critical study and bilingual annotated edition on Sor Juana's devotional work.
Professor Wray has won numerous teaching awards including the Longmire Prize, the Cecil W. Woods Memorial Award, and the Regent's Award for Superior Teaching. He is also a Who's Who Among America's Teachers Award Recipient. Typically he teaches graduate courses in colonial Latin-American literature as well as undergraduate courses in Spanish conversation and Latin-American literature. He has led the OU in Buenos Aires program several times and will be faculty in residence at the OU Center in Puebla, Mexico in the spring of 2019.