At the invitation of the Ministry of the Presidency of Panama, Associate Clinical Professor Miguel González Marcos travelled to Panama last month to deliver three lectures on the constitutional studies of Latin American governments. The lectures were part of the bicentennial celebration and commemoration of the birth of Justo Arosemena, famed jurist and founding father of the Republic of Panama.
“I was invited by the Ministry of the Presidency of the Republic of Panama,” González Marcos said. “In the 1990s, my research focused on constitutional studies and the governments of Latin America, and I edited and wrote the introduction to the two-volume work, Constitutional Studies of the Governments of Latin America by Justo Arosemena, published by the National Assembly of Panama. I was invited to Panama for the commemoration to discuss that work and why it remains important.”
“Justo Arosemena was recognized as one of the greatest jurists of all time for his political and policy proposals to improve constitutional institutions in Latin America,” González Marcos said. He said it was an honor to participate in the commemoration of the birth of the “founding father of the Panamanian nation.”
González Marcos gave lectures at three universities in Panama: The Autonomous University of Chiriquí, the University of Panama Regional University Branch of Veraguas, and the Catholic University Santa María la Antigua, Panama.
“Going to the University of Chiriquí was very inspiring,” González Marcos added. “I was involved in the creation of this university, and particularly its law school. I was advisor to the president of the University of Panama at the time. It was nice to see how former students are now becoming deans and advancing in their careers and I loved seeing all the people there. It was really very moving to go there.”
In preparation for his trip, González Marcos said he utilized the Distance Education and Technology Services unit (DETS) on campus at UMD to record his lecture. In addition to the assistance from DETS, González Marcos added that his efforts were also supported by Michael Goodhart, assistant director of Executive Programs at SPP and by Marty Ronning, assistant director at DETS. “One of the pleasures of working here is that I always feel supported by our School and our University, and I want to recognize those efforts,” he said.
González Marcos added that travelling abroad to deliver lectures enhances his work at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy. “It gives me an opportunity to learn about what other universities and governments are doing,” he said. “It gives me an opportunity to make connections with colleagues, with my students and other students. The new generations have more in common across cultures than not.”
He also said he is able to observe policy and legal concerns in other countries that can be used in his classes at SPP. “Hopefully in the future we can engage in more cooperation with these universities and governments,” González Marcos said. “I believe every such experience contributes to our work because it also gives you new ideas for research, collaborations, and projects”
You can watch a video of González Marcos’s lecture here.