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Posted on Sep 9, 2011

Building Bridges Within the Latvian Diaspora

Ilze Garoza, recipient of the 2009 Grundmanis Fellowship, gives AABS an update on her research in this post.

2009-grundmanis-300As a Grundmanis Fellow, my graduate studies were in Comparative and International Development Education Program in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development, University of Minnesota. Due to the complexity of my master’s thesis project, I am actually still working on my thesis writing. I currently hold a Graduate Fellow position at the Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota.
The Grundmanis Fellowship allowed me to pursue and advance my graduate studies and conduct research focusing on the Latvian diaspora in the United States.

Titled “Building bridges between two immigrant generations from Latvia: A case study of Latvian supplementary schools in the United States,” my research focuses on relationships between Latvian Americans who came to the U.S. as a result of World War II and Latvians who have come to the U.S. in 1990 or later. Through this interdisciplinary case study I am trying to assess the existing relationships between Latvian Americans and recent immigrants from Latvia, what hampers and what promotes relationships between the two groups, and what role do Latvian supplementary schools in the United States play in bridging them. I plan to complete the research and defend my thesis by the end of this year.

With the help of Grundmanis fellowship, I have been able to finish up the required coursework to complete M.A. studies in the program of Comparative and International Development Education, as well as to start conducting my masters research, gather data, and participate in several academic conferences. The fellowship has been of extraordinary value in my process of graduate studies at the University of Minnesota. Thank you so much for that!