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About Dr. Joseph Gonzalez

For the past 20 years, Dr. Joseph Gonzalez has engaged in a broad and deep approach to understanding Cubaits history, music, food, dance and other aspects of its people and culture. His research crosses disciplinary boundaries and includes relationships in Havana with the University of Havana and the Institute for Cuban History. His engagement makes Appalachian State University a pioneering institution in Cuba and has led to study abroad opportunities for students, through which they learn to be “travelers, not tourists” who develop important skills in working with people of different cultures and languages.

Among the courses Gonzalez teaches are Global Studies 2000, an introduction to the history and practice of global humanitarianism as part of a larger survey of current events and issues, and Cuba Libre, a survey of Cuba’s political and social revolutions through the prism of race. From 2013-2017, he served as director of Appalachian’s Global Connections, an academic certificate offered to students of all majors who demonstrate competency in both academic and experiential areas of global learning.

Areas of Expertise
Cuba and United States relations and policy
Cuban history
Global learning
Collaborative learning and inquiry-based learning pedagogies and their link to learning outcomes


Present Faculty Member, Appalachian State University College of Arts and Sciences
Present Associate Professor, Appalachian State University Department of Interdisciplinary Studies

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Honors and Awards

  • Harvey R. Durham Outstanding Freshman Advocate Award, Appalachian State University, 2012
  • Wayne D. Duncan Faculty Enrichment and Teaching Fellowship, Appalachian State University, 2008
  • University of North Carolina Board of Governor's Excellence in Teaching Award, 2018
  • Honors College Teacher of the Year, 2017
  • Richard Henson Outstanding Advisor Award, College of Arts and Sciences, 2018


  • GLS 3020 Cuba Libre: Perspectives on the Cuban Revolution
  • GLS 2000 Contemporary Global Issues
  • GLS 3000 Critical Perspective of Global Studies


2002 Ph.D., The University Of Michigan ‐ History
1993 M.A., The University Of Michigan ‐ History
1986 B.A., Albion College ‐ Political Science

Contact Information

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