Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies
Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies

MALS Student Professional Development Award

The Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies (MALS) offers financial assistance designed to help current undergraduate and graduate students at The University of Texas at Austin complete their studies and go on to successful professional careers. This financial assistance was established by former UT President Bill Powers and his commitment to the students, faculty, staff, and community that MALS serves.

The MALS Student Professional Development Award is intended to support the professional development of enrolled undergraduate and graduate students at The University of Texas at Austin. Recipients must demonstrate superior qualifications and be completing a program of work consistent with the scholarly aims of the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies. The award requires that recipients be participating in either the Bachelor of Arts degree program in Ethnic Studies (Mexican American Studies), the Master of Arts degree program in Mexican American and Latina/o Studies or the Graduate Portfolio Program in Mexican American and Latina/o Studies.

The award will be applied directly by MALS toward the travel costs for a student to attend a major professional meeting to present an original paper or to travel to a research site in the continental United States to conduct research in support of a thesis or dissertation project. Travel can be by airline (flight directly paid for by MALS) or by car (mileage to be reimbursed based on UT Austin criteria). MALS will determine the most cost effective option. Awards can also be applied toward the registration fee to attend a conference, so that applicants can request funds for both travel and conference fees up to $500.

Applicants must provide MALS with the following:

  1. a cover letter describing the benefit the award will provide the student, MALS and The University of Texas at Austin;
  2. a complete MALS Student Professional Development Award Application;
  3. a complete MALS RTA Form;
  4. verification that the student will be attending a professional conference or conducting academic research;
  5. confirmation from the student's home department that they will not be receiving travel assistance to the conference or research site (as would be the case for a student in the Graduate Portfolio Program in Mexican American and Latina/o Studies); and
  6. A copy of the abstract submitted to the conference.

A copy of possible flight itineraries is helpful.

Applicants must submit the cover letter, application form, RTA form, and verification at least 30 days prior to travel so that MALS can secure the best rate for an airline flight.

All professional development award materials must be submitted to:

Natasha V. Saldaña, Senior Academic Coordinator
Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies
University of Texas at Austin
GWB 2.102D, F9200
Austin, Texas 78712

Questions regarding the MALS Student Professional Development Award can be directed to Natasha V. Saldaña, MALS Senior Academic Coordinator, at (512) 471-2134 or nvs@austin.utexas.edu.