Lenny Ureña Valerio
Associate Director for Program Development
Lenny A. Ureña Valerio received a B.A. in History from the University of Puerto Rico and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Central/East European History from the University of Michigan. Her primary research interests include imperial and colonial studies, European migration to Latin America, Polish and German diasporas in Brazil, and the history of medicine and public health. Her dissertation, “The Stakes of Empire: Colonial Fantasies, Civilizing Agendas, and Biopolitics in the Prussian-Polish Provinces, 1840-1914,” was awarded the Distinguished Dissertation Award in Polish Studies by the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America (PIASA) in 2010. Her book, Colonial Fantasies, Imperial Realities: Race Science and the making of Polishness on the Fringes of the German Empire, 1840-1920, was the winner of the 2020 Kulczycki Book Prize in Polish Studies and honorable mention for the 2020 Heldt Prize for the best book by a woman in Slavic/East European/Eurasian Studies, awarded by the Association for Women in Slavic Studies. She is currently working with Katalin Rac on an edited volume, titled: Jewish Experiences across the Americas: Local Histories through Global Lenses, forthcoming with University of Florida Press in spring 2022. Ureña Valerio is also the President of the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP). As Associate Director for Program Development at LAII, she oversees grant initiatives, supports the Latin American Studies program, coordinates the less commonly-taught languages (LCTLs) initiatives and support for students, and provides assistance and input on broader research and program development.