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The Department of Hispanic Studies at Illinois Wesleyan University is able to offer Luis Leal Endowed scholarships to qualified Hispanic Studies majors and minors who participate in an IWU-approved study abroad program in a Spanish-speaking country and conduct an appropriate research project while abroad. Two awards are available annually for approximately $1000 and for $250, respectively, depending on the market value of the endowment. Students awarded scholarships commit to documenting and sharing their research during and/or after the off- campus experience.
This scholarship is named for Dr. Luis Leal, one of the foremost critics of Mexican, Chicano and Latin American Literature. He was born in Mexico to a modest family, but decided to further his education in the United States. He was always grateful for the institutional support he received. Throughout his life, Dr. Leal realized his own individual intellectual potential and fostered that goal in others by living and teaching within a framework of social justice, global citizenship, and respect for diverse communities -- values that both the Department of Hispanic Studies and IWU carry in their mission statements and that the department honors with this award.
He was always a dedicated generous teacher, who made everybody feel included in his classes regardless of age, gender, abilities or background. Racial equality was extremely important to him and he committed to it in his personal and professional life. Along those lines, he is known for being among the first critics to teach Latin American and Chicano writers, both as part of the Spanish curriculum and as independent fields in their own right. In recognition of his founding role in the field of Latina/o Studies, he received the Distinguished Scholarly Award from the National Association of Chicano Studies.
The award is open to students studying abroad on an IWU-approved program in a Spanish-speaking location.
Students awarded a Luis Leal Endowed Scholarship commit to undertaking a research project while abroad and to documenting and sharing their work with the wider IWU community. Students might do so by
Creativity is encouraged.
A complete Luis Leal Scholarship applications must include the following:
The faculty of the Department of Hispanic Studies will evaluate all applications. Recipients will be selected of the basis of their academic record, financial need, and demonstrated value of the program to the students’ course of study.