UC Santa Cruz prof will lead Latin American Studies Association

Sonia Alvarez, an associate professor of politics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has been elected to lead the Latin American Studies Association.

Alvarez will begin her 18-month term as vice president in May and will serve as president from November 2004 through April 2006, presiding over the group's international congress in March 2006.

With 5,500 members, 30 percent of whom live outside the United States, the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) is the largest professional association for individuals and institutions studying Latin America. It brings together experts on Latin America and hosts an international congress every 18 months. The next congress will be held March 27-29 in Dallas, Texas.

Alvarez joined the UCSC faculty in 1984. Her interests include Latin American politics, democratization, social movements, contemporary democratic theory, gender and politics, race and ethnicity in the Americas, and feminist theory.