LASER (Latino & Latin American Space for Enrichment and Research) is the country's first hub for scholarship and mentoring that centers on Latinos and the knowledge and cultural production of the Latin/o Americas. LASER provides the forum for faculty, students, and staff to build a scholarly community on campus and to make The Ohio State University a visible center for knowledge production in and around the study of Latino and Latin Americas and as a space for preparing, recruiting, and retaining Latino scholars from high school through graduate school.
LASER utilizes a total system for mentoring Latinos from high school to college and professional schools as well as those who seek to learn more from one another's research concerning Latino and Latin American history, culture, economics, literature, geography, and other areas.
LASER promotes state-of-the art research and exchange in the field of Latino and Latin American studies and seeks to cultivate through the LASER/Humanities Institute Graduate Student In Residence Fellows Program, a new generation of scholars who bridge different learning environments.
To create a network of mentorships between graduate students and Latino undergraduates as well as between undergraduates and Latino high school students
- Through the LASER Mentor Program, Latinos in Columbus high schools are prepared for successful entry to Ohio State – and other schools – then supported with mentoring through undergraduate then graduate and professional school. In addition, LASER mentees are also active within other universities such as University of California - San Diego, Kent State University, Duke University, and Columbia University. This is a total mentoring system – a pipeline and network – that begins in 9th grade and runs through college, and also includes programs such as the LASER/Humanities Institute Graduate Student In Residence Fellows and Latino Role Models Day.
To establish a strong presence for Latino and Latin American studies at Ohio State through programming initiatives – both scholarly and creative – that build bridges within and between Ohio State and the community at large
- By bringing speakers, artists, authors, and scholars from across the nation, LASER seeks to bring visibility to Ohio State as a center for knowledge production in and around the Latin/o Americas; this, in turn, creates bridges between students, staff, and faculty on campus as well as with the greater Columbus community, building a model center for the affirmation of the next generation of innovation and creativity produced by Latinos of the Americas.
The Latino presence in the state of Ohio has jumped more than 76% from 2000-2013, and this is a young population. LASER is the net that catches this young group beginning in 9th grade and works closely with them through successful entrance to Ohio State. Once at the university, LASER's total mentoring program ensures that LASER grows these students. LASER makes sure this young Latino population in Ohio will become college ready, succeed once in college, and become professionals who are actively shaping tomorrow.