About the Lewis Center of the Americas

The Liza and Jack Lewis Center 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 Lewis Center 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.

Lewis Center Faculty Network

A fundamental resource for the Lewis Center is the network of UIW faculty members, across the entire UIW system, whose perspectives have been shaped by formative cross-border experiences in the Americas.

Dr. Javier Arjona-Baez Headshot
Dr. Roberto Fajardo Headshot
Dr. Jose Moreno Headshot
Alicia Rubio Headshot
Alberto Rubio Headshot
Dr. Roberto Saldivar Headshot
Gabriel Saxton-Ruiz Headshot
Gabriella Scott Headshot
Dr. Kathleen Tilton Headshot
Teresa Trevino headshot
Dr. David George Vequist IV Headshot
Sister Martha Ann Kirk headshot
Armando Barrera Headshot
Dr. Javier Lozano Headshot
Dr. Lucero Martinez Delgado Headshot
Dr. Marco Antonio Pulido Rull Headshot
María Guadalupe Alba Aguilar Headshot
Dr. Russell Coates Headshot
Dr. Laura Cortes-Franco Headshot
Dr. Maria Felix-Ortiz Headshot
Maria Fortepiani  Headshot
Dr. Teresa Harrison Headshot
Dr. John Hooker Headshot
Dr. Yutaka Maki
Dr. Monica Mendez Headshot
Dr. Zazil Reyes Garcia Headshot
Dr. Scott Roberts Headshot
Dr. Matt Walk Headshot
Dr. Tim Wingert Headshot
Jeannette Wong-Powell Headshot

Lewis Center 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 Center 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.

Raphael Hoyle Headshot

Dr. Rafael Hoyle

Rafael Hoyle joined the University in July of 2019 and became the director of the Liza and Jack Lewis Center 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.

James Creagan Headshot

Ambassador James Creagan

Serving under nine U.S. presidents, Dr. Creagan led a diplomatic career spanning three decades. He retired from the Foreign Service in 1999, and became president of John Cabot University in Rome, Italy. In 2005, he was named President Emeritus. He was also Guest Scholar at University of Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute in 2005. In 2006, he joined the University of the Incarnate Word as Professor and Ambassador in Residence, and in 2022 he returns in that same capacity, this time also as a Fellow at the Liza and Jack Lewis Center of the Americas. His awards throughout his career include Honorary Citizen of Honduras, Boston Archdiocese’s Caritas Christi Award for Humanitarian Service, Cavalier of the Order of St. Gregory from the Holy See and the Italian Order of Merit, Commendatore, along with numerous U.S. government awards. Currently he is a member of the Cosmos Club of Washington, D.C., the Board of the San Antonio World Affairs Council, the Latin American Advisory Council of the University of Notre Dame, the board of the Texas Water Mission, the Advisory Council of the US Global Leadership Coalition, and the board of the San Antonio Council for International Visitors. He also works with the Fulbright Association of San Antonio. Ambassador Creagan graduated from the University of Notre Dame and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. He speaks Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.

David Vequist Headhsot

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 Center 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.

Featured Publications

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Events, Programs and Initiatives

The Kickoff to Welcoming Week 2022 will be held at the UIW Student Engagement Center Ballroom from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm and is free and open to the public. The program includes opening remarks by Mayor Nirenberg, a showing of the documentary The Price of a Dream, and a poetry declaration by Dr. Octavio Quintanilla. For a more detailed program description, please click on the full program flyer below.

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The Lewis Center's Leaders of the Americas Speaker Series was officially inaugurated on Wednesday, March 29th, with Mr. Vicente Fox as our featured presenter at the UIW Concert Hall. His much-anticipated speech, titled "Immigration: Challenges and Opportunities for Our Next Generation of Leaders," was heard live and in person by over 350 members of our community in attendance. The speech was also live streamed to our Mexico campuses. Prior to the speech, a select group of 30 students from the UIW Honors Program attended a meet-and-greet with Mr. Fox. Drs. Scott Dittloff and Verónica Acosta, who led the selection and invitation of students, were also present, along with Dr. Evans, Mr. Marcos Fragoso, Dr. Rafael Hoyle and Dr. Juan Hernández, Guanajuato's Minister of Migrant and International Affairs. The enthusiasm of students was beyond expectations. Following the speech, Dr. Evans and Mr. Fox signed a memorandum of collaboration to facilitate the development of UIW academic programs with Centro Fox.

The U.S.A. screening of Tombuktu Films’ Un Mundo para Julius, based on Alfredo Bryce Echenique’s novel by the same name, will be held at the UIW Concert Hall on February 19th at 6:00 pm. A question and answer with Peruvian director and founder of Tombuktu Films, Rossana Díaz Costa, will immediately follow. For further information, please contact Dr. Gabriel T. Saxton Ruiz, saxtonru@uiwtx.edu, Professor of Latin American Literature and Culture at the University of the Incarnate Word.

To download a promotional flyer for the event, click the button below. 

Download Event Flyer

The Lewis Center of the Americas will be the U.S. publisher and distributor of The Migratory Phenomenon in Guanajuato: Diagnosis & Public Policy Proposals, a book-length study offering an in-depth analysis of how the state of Guanajuato fits into the complex North American immigration landscape and the patterns of human movement across our continent. March 1st is the targeted delivery from the printer, with distribution beginning the weeks prior to the Presidential Speaker Series. Findings of the study are informing the development of our envisioned International Center for Migrants. The Center will offer assistance to vulnerable immigrant communities while facilitating additional data collection and analysis. For additional details please contact Dr. Rafael Hoyle, Director of the Liza and Jack Lewis Center of the Americas, hoyle@uiwtx.edu.

The Center for Medical Tourism Research delivered a 3-hour seminar on October 19th and 22nd to a mostly Mexican audience of 75 individuals. The seminar featured UIW’s Dr. David Vequist and Mr. Ilan Geva of the University of Chicago as the main presenters. Dr. Vequist is Director of the UIW Center for Medical Tourism Research, which now operates under the auspices of the Lewis Center. In response to the interest of Guanajuato government officials who attended the seminar, the CMTR is now designing a workshop to facilitate the development of a medical tourism industry cluster in Mexico’s Bajío region. For more information, please contact Dr. David Vequist, CMTR Director at vequist@uiwtx.edu.

The Alianza Bienestar Comunitario program is a cross-border initiative of cooperative research, education and service led by Dr. María Felix-Ortiz of UIW’s Department of Psychology. The program aims to promote mental health among vulnerable teenage and young adult populations in Mexico and the United States. With the help of a grant secured from the 100K Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund, the program is bringing together Psychology students and faculty from our San Antonio, Irapuato and Mexico City campuses, as well as from the University of Guanajuato and Mexico City’s Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatría Ramón de la Fuentes Muñiz. The program will provide hands-on research experience to students while delivering culturally-sensitive mental health support to the targeted populations through the use of bilingual social norms media marketing. The cross-border engagement and interaction among participants will take place virtually over the course of the 2021-2022 academic year. Participants will then come together for one week in San Antonio, and finally a 3-week internship in Mexico City at the Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatría. For more information, please contact Dr. María Felix-Ortiz at felixort@uiwtx.edu.

The Lewis Center is working with the UIW Department of Political Science to bring the UIW International Affairs major out of hiatus. The search is now underway for a dedicated faculty member to direct the major, and who will come on board through a joint appointment by the Department of Political Science and the Lewis Center of the Americas. The faculty member will teach a full course load under the direction of the Dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, and the Head of the Department of Political Science. The faculty member will also collaborate actively with the Lewis Center on various internationalization initiatives, one being the delivery of selected International Affairs courses through a binational modality of instruction that brings students from our Mexico and U.S. campuses into the same virtual classrooms. For additional details please contact Dr. Rafael Hoyle, Director of the Lewis Center of the Americas, hoyle@uiwtx.edu.

The Lewis Center of the Americas proudly collaborated with the Universidad Autónoma de Mexico, San Antonio on this 5-part series that featured lectures by renowned scholars Eduardo Matos Moctezuma, Rodrigo Martínez Baracs, Erika Pani, and Javier Garcia Diego. The series covered a range of topics and periods of Mexican history from the pre-colombiana era to the Revolución Mexicana. For additional details please contact Dr. Rafael Hoyle, Director of the Liza and Jack Lewis Center of the Americas, hoyle@uiwtx.edu.


Detailed architectural planning for the Lewis Center headquarters at Founders Hall is slated to begin in February of 2022. Completion of the renovation is targeted for Fall of 2023. The design of the Institute space will be informed by the Founders Hall feasibility study recently completed by Lake-Flato Architects. The images below are two of the renderings from the study.

rendering of the lounge area

International Lounge

rendering of the international forum area

International Forum

UIW Sister Schools in the Americas

UIW has over 35 sister school agreement with universities in the Americas. These relationships facilitate the exchange of visiting scholars, study abroad, collaborative research, and cross-border service learning, in order to promote a more global perspective at UIW and our valued partner institutions. For more information about agreements in each country, please use the buttons below:


The Lewis Center of the Americas collaborates with local and international strategic partners who share a belief that greater possibilities can be realized when we reach across borders to develop alliances and broaden our perspective.

Strategic Partners Listing

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