Montecinos Wins Spirit of Internationalization Award

Verónica Montecinos, professor of sociology, will be honored by International Programs in March with a Spirit of Internationalization Award. Dr. Montecinos is one of six women who will be presented with this award in honor of International Women's Day.  The award was established to "honor women with international interests who have shown extraordinary strength of character and commitment to the cause of internationalization." (

Dr. Montecinos was recognized for her leadership on the Greater Allegheny campus and beyond to move the curriculum to reflect a global perspective. She is also an internationally recognized researcher whose work encompasses technocracy, public policies, social patterns, and economics of both North and South America.

The highly successful curriculum project she instituted and leads began with Teaching Haiti 2004. This year-long focus included participation by full-time and adjunct faculty alike in weaving some aspect of Haitian history, culture, art, literature, or social science into one or more courses. The Haiti project led to a lasting scheme for internationalizing the curriculum called Teaching International, in which faculty identify an area of the world on which to focus. For the 2005-06 academic year, the theme was Africa, for 2006-07 India, and for 2007-08 is South Asia, with Latin America and East Asia planned for the next two years, respectively.

As part of Teaching International, Dr. Montecinos has led faculty, staff, and students in initiatives including campus poster sessions, photo essays, and invited international speakers. In just this past year, Dr. Montecinos invited guest speakers to the campus to discuss issues of global citizenship.  She organized Penn State Greater Allegheny students speaking on South Asia to local area high schools and took students and faculty to visit the Pittsburgh Buddhist Center.  Dr. Montecinos organized the campus co-sponsorship of the Silk Screen Asian Film Festival in Pittsburgh.

Dr. Montecinos has worked with Penn State faculty across campuses and with faculty from other institutions.  She traveled to Tanzania during Spring Break 2007 and participated in two follow-up retreats with a delegation of Penn State faculty. She is a member of the Regional Advisory Board for the West European Studies/European Union Center at the University of Pittsburgh and a member of the advisory board for the Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

Dr. Montecinos has explored international issues in a variety of papers, book chapters, and books, including the forthcoming book with John Markoff, Economists in the Americas, to be published by Edward Elgar. Dr. Montecinos co-authored four chapters of this volume. Her work has gained significant international attention. Dr. Montecinos traveled to Chile to present ?Pension Reform, Gender, and the Coming Legislative Debate?.  She is also a member of the board of the Penn State University Press, evaluating manuscripts dealing with Sociology and Latin American Studies.