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Latin American Expert to Speak in Rock Springs

September 22, 2011

A retired U.S. State Department official will assess the current situation in Latin America at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, in Room 1302 at Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs. The forum is free and open to the public.

John Ritchie, former U.S. Department of State senior staff member, will discuss "Populism and Democracy in Latin America: Regional Trends and Challenges."

Ritchie's visit is part of the statewide International Studies Scholar Lecture Series, now in its third year. The series is funded by a U.S. Department of Education grant the University of Wyoming International Studies Program received in partnership with all seven of Wyoming's community colleges.

"Our International Studies consortium among Wyoming colleges has created a broad-ranging dialogue on international issues and illustrates our commitment to share resources to bring significant speakers on a variety of global issues to Wyoming," says Jean Garrison, UW director of international studies. "Our next goal is to sponsor a new World to Wyoming Initiative to build support to sustain this project beyond this fall."

During his 30-year career in the State Department (1976-2006), Ritchie served as the coordinator for U.S.-Mexico Border Affairs, Consul General at Monterrey and counselor for labor affairs. He has taught political science at Southern Methodist University, the University of Central Oklahoma and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from Southern Illinois University.

The lecture series is also sponsored by Western Wyoming Community College, UW International Studies Program and the Wyoming Humanities Council. For more information contact Garrison at or (307) 766-6119.

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