About the Institute of the Americas

The Liza and Jack Lewis III Institute of the Americas was established to promote better relations and understanding among the people and nations of the United States, Mexico, Canada, Central and South America through cooperative study, research, service and dialogue. The Institute is designed to serve as a central resource for information and analysis on critical issues of common concern, bringing people together to exchange views, build expertise, expand business opportunities and develop policy options.


UNAM Speaker Series

A five-part series featuring presentations by noted scholars and authors Eduardo matos Moctezuma, Javier Garciadiego, Rodrigo Martínez Baracs and Erika Pani.

Medical Tourism Semiar

With the support of Centro Fox and the State of Guanajuato's Ministries of Health, Tourism, Education and Migrant & International Affairs.

Presidential Speaker Series

Check back for news about the inaugural presentation of the Institute's Presidential Speaker Series.

Current Initiatives

health professional students

Mental Healthcare Development

IOA has partnered with the Alliance for Community Wellness (ABC), whose overall goal is to train students in the U.S. and Mexico in culturally-sensitive mental health promotion through participatory action research, study-abroad experiences, and sustainable education. ABC’s goal is consistent with UIW’s Mission to "support each other in the search for and communication of truth, thoughtful innovation, care of the environment, community service, and social justice".

students of UIW Mexico campuses studying

Binational Education

The Liza and Jack Lewis III Institute of the Americas is currently offering binational courses through the University of the Incarnate Word. This collaboration between the UIW campuses in Mexico (Campus Bajío in Irapuato and Centro Universitario Incarnate Word in Mexico City) and UIW San Antonio offers students the opportunity to interact with each other and simultaneously work together on projects benefitting both countries.

In-Development and Upcoming Initiatives

The Presidential Speaker Series offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to hear directly from former presidents of countries throughout the Americas. The Presidential Speaker Series will focus on topics of common interest and will include a symposium and a dedicated publication.

The Institute of the Americas will print the English-language edition of "The Migratory Phenomenon in Guanajuato: Diagnosis and Public Policy Proposals," which focuses on research on public policy proposals created in collaboration by the Ministry of Migrant and International Affairs of the State of Guanajuato, universities in Mexico (CIDE, UdGTO, and COLMEX) and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, a German political foundation. This publication promotes awareness and possible solutions to the migratory phenomenon in Guanajuato.

This collaboration between the Liza and Jack Lewis III Institute of the Americas, UIW Center for Medical Tourism Research (CMTR) and Centro Fox in Mexico will offer seminars and certificate programs in medical tourism and health with an emphasis on the issues surrounding the mobility of people between countries for medical reasons, such as research, standards, procedures and needs.

The goal of the International Center for Migrants (ICM) is to bring forward practical and realistic solutions to an international crisis and create opportunities for the region. The ICM will provide comprehensive care for people wanting to reach the United States, serving as a humanitarian instrument in containing, ordering, channeling, and offering alternatives to the migrant population, as well as collecting data and preventing further risks. The program would help migrants develop vocational and technical skills that will enable them to find jobs in Mexico. It will also help develop policies in both countries to in order to mitigate this crisis.


IOA International lounge rendering

International Lounge

IOA International forum rendering

International Forum

Institute of the Americas Leadership

Marcos Fragoso

Marcos Fragoso

Mr. Marcos Fragoso was the rector of the Centro Universitario Incarnate Word in his native Mexico City from 2004 to 2010. He was named UIW’s vice president for International Affairs in June of 2010 and has lived in San Antonio since that time. Mr. Fragoso is responsible for all the international initiatives and affairs for the University including sister school and exchange agreements, study abroad programs, faculty led trips, UIW Global On-Line programs, and the Liza and Jack Lewis III Institute of the Americas. Furthermore, he oversees the UIW Mexico campuses in Mexico City and Irapuato, and the UIW European Study Center in Strasbourg, having played an instrumental role in their creation and launch. Prior to joining the University, Mr. Fragoso worked for four years with an educational group overseeing 12 different K1-12 schools and universities in Mexico. He has a Master of Business Administration in International Business and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of The Incarnate Word.

Marcos Fragoso

Dr. Rafael Hoyle

Rafael Hoyle joined the University in July of 2019 and became the director of the Liza and Jack Lewis III Institute of the Americas in June of 2021. Dr. Hoyle sits currently on the Board of Directors for UIW’s Mexico campuses and served previously as UIW’s Associate Vice-President for Planning and Campus Management. Prior to joining UIW he was the managing director of International Studies Abroad, one of the largest providers of study abroad programs for U.S. students, known for its strong offering of programs in Latin America. Dr. Hoyle’s experience in Higher Education also includes 6 years as an instructor of Spanish at the University of Arizona and University of Texas, and most recently he taught Multicultural Education at the University of Virginia. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and a Master’s Degree in Spanish from the University of Arizona, and a Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a native Spanish speaker and feels a strong connection to the city of San Antonio, due in no small part to his northern Mexican heritage.

Marcos Fragoso

Dr. David George Vequist IV

Dr. David George Vequist IV is a professor of management in the H-E-B School of Business & Administration and the founder/director of the UIW Center for Medical Tourism Research, part of the Liza and Jack Lewis III Institute of the Americas. He is also a managing editor for the Journal of Health Care Management Standards. Before joining UIW, Dr. Vequist was an executive for Methodist Healthcare and consulted for Ernst & Young. Dr. Vequist is an accomplished speaker, author, and researcher and has been interviewed & featured in numerous media on five continents. His focus on international healthcare has exposed him to diverse perspectives on health & wellness, and shaped his approach in the classroom and the content of his courses. In Latin America, Dr. Vequist has presented at conferences in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, Guatemala and Panama. His cross-border experience has translated into a broader worldview and appreciation of how globalization has impacted health systems over the last few decades.