International Professor Stories: Meet Dr. Ioris

Rafael R. Ioris is originally from Porto Alegre, Brazil. Got his P.H.D from Emory University in 2009 and that same year got a job here at The University of Denver. Dr. Ioris’s an Associate Professor of Latin American History at the History Department and an Affiliated Faculty at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. He is also a Researcher at the Institute for the Study of the United States in Brazil and author of several articles and book chapters on the history of development in Brazil and other parts of Latin America. 

He came to the United States the first time as a high school exchange student. One of the most memorable moments of his study abroad experience was when he was walking down the hall and a student said “what’s up?” and he actually looked up. You can study a language with books all the time you want, but the only way you will learn the informal expressions is by submerging yourself in that culture. After high school in the United States, Dr. Ioris went back to Brazil and got his bachelor’s degree at the University of Porto Alegre. However, when he started his Masters Degree in Brazil, he was offered a fellowship here in the U.S, and never left. 

For him, being Brazilian is being part of a diverse, resilient group of people, in a large country, with a mix of cultures, foods and music. He is proud to represent his country while he lives abroad. During his classes, Dr. Ioris makes it a point to emphasize the historical and cultural similarities between all Latin American countries and the United States. He does this, because in such a divided world, he wants his students to connect with each other and come together, not see focus on their differences. 

When asked what places he would recommend all students to visit in Colorado, Dr. Ioris struggled to pick one! Ultimately, his “must see” places in Colorado are Garden of the Gods, Red Rocks and Telluride. He thinks DU’s campus is already a wonderful, welcoming campus, with beautiful buildings. 


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