Active Participants on Master's Committees: Students can click HERE for the list of faculty members who are eligible to be nominated to serve on students' committees.



Bonnie Taub, Ph.D., Co-Chair, Latin American Studies
Rubén Hernández-León, Ph.D. Co-Chair, Latin American Studies

Patricia Arroyo Calderón, Ph.D., Spanish and Portuguese
Charlene Villaseñor Black, Ph.D., Art History
Stephen A. Bell, Ph.D., Geography, History
Adriana Bergero, Ph.D., Spanish and Portuguese
Verónica Cortínez, Ph.D., Spanish and Portuguese
Robin L. H. Derby, Ph.D., History
David Hayes-Bautista, Ph.D., Medicine
Susanna B. Hecht, Ph.D., Urban Planning
Rubén Hernández-León, Ph.D., Sociology
Efraín Kristal, Ph.D., Spanish and Portuguese
Steven Loza, Ph.D., Ethnomusicology
Elizabeth A. Marchant, Ph.D., Comparative Literature, Gender Studies
Cecilia Menjívar, Ph.D., Sociology
Jennifer Osorio, University Librarian, ex officio

José Luiz Passos, Ph.D., Spanish and Portuguese
Fernando Pérez-Montesinos, Ph.D., History
William Summerhill, Ph.D., History
Bonnie Taub, Ph.D., Public Health
Kevin B. Terraciano, Ph.D., History
Maarten Van Delden, Ph.D., Spanish and Portuguese



1st Year Students

Abigail Weinberg

New York University, Journalism and Spanish
Hometown: Boston, MA

Abigail has researched the medieval influences on early modern maps of colonial Latin America. She is interested in visual culture, cartography, and transportation policy.

Adela Arriola

University of California, Berkeley, B.A. in Global Studies with concentration in Global Societies and Cultures
Hometown: Lawndale, CA

Adela is interested in exploring the relationship between social issues and the production of visual culture to understand how Latin American and diasporic communities engage with art to empower and preserve their cultural identities. She is particularly interested in the public and institutional presentation and representation of materials from marginalized Latinx communities.

Dulce María López

Media Studies B.A. and Practice of Art Minor at UC Berkeley
Hometown: Tolimán, Jalisco, México

Dulce is an artivist and immigrant who is interested in culture-shaping initiatives and their impact on social, environmental, and economic justice in rural communities with the goal of addressing forced migration. Dulce plans to utilize her research not only to continue expanding on her political art strategies but also to enrich collaborations with transnational organizations that support and preserve rural and immigration-impacted areas.

Elisa Nesi Rocha

Social Sciences at Fundação Getulio Vargas and Business at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
Hometown: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Elisa is a published researcher and marketing professional specialized in accessible beauty brands. With a broad education and professional actuation, her interests are the relationships between social movements, the empowerment of black women, and the market of beauty products. With a background of the Brazillian context and reality, Elisa intends to expand her research to all the daughters of the Atlantic diaspore in the global south.

Emme Rackham

BA in Global Studies, UCLA
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Relying on Feminist scholars and educators throughout Latin America and the United States, Emme wants to connect education practices to reimagining justice and equity in our communities, including all migration experiences. Specifically, she wants to focus on a decarceral approach to justice that could revolutionize the way we perceive immigration. Emme is a Departmental Scholar who is pursuing the bachelor's and master's degrees simultaneously.

Kady Drorbaugh

Bard College, BA in Historical Studies and Spanish Studies
Hometown: Seattle, WA

Kady is seeking to delver further into the study of Indigenous, Spanish and Afro-Latinx accounts of Spanish colonization to explore historical narratives, their formation and their impact on dominant perspectives regarding historical periods and events. She hopes to combine this academic focus with the Master in Library and Information Studies to explore how historical archives and libraries, as well as the ease of access to the information they contain, impact collective historical consciousness.

Mati Castillo

University of Pittsburgh, BA in Anthropology and Spanish, Minor in Museum Studies
Hometown: Oxnard, CA

Mati is interested in the representation of Latinx people and their history within US monuments and museums. Through collaboration and community based participatory research, she hopes to give people the opportunity to be the stewards of their own culture and have greater input in how their stories are told. She is also completing a Master's in Library and Information Science.

Continuing Students

Fatima Gonzalez Gomez

BS in Latin America and Latino Studies/Politics, University of California, Santa Cruz
Hometown: San Francisco, CA

Fatima is interested in examining how Salvadoran political identities are passed down through generations and are tied to Salvadoran migration patterns in the larger Bay Area in the post Civil War-era. Her hope is to find how generational divides help shape ideas and how diasporic communities transform experiences across space and time.

Cesar Ovando

California State University, Dominguez Hills, B.A in History (with a minor in Anthropology and Indigenous Peoples of the America
Hometown: Riverside, California

Cesar is interested in researching the mechanisms of cultural resistance and adaptations that the Highland Guatemala Maya communities persisted against Spanish colonialism during the 16th-18th century. He intends to approach his research through an interdisciplinary lens by incorporating historical, archaeological, ethnographic, gender/sexuality studies, and comparative literature methods.

Cristian Reyes

B.A. in History, UC Irvine, JD/MBA, Southwestern Law School
Hometown:  La Verne, California

Cristian is interested in studying the experiences of early modern Afro-descendant peoples living within the Spanish Atlantic World. Utilizing methods from anthropology and literary studies, he hopes to explore the ways in which Afro-Latin Americans deployed multiple, overlapping identities to carve out spaces of freedom within the confines of Spanish colonial rule.

Alejandra Rios Gutierrez

B.S. in International Studies & Business Administration (International Business & Economics), Saint Louis University
Hometown:  Guadalajara, MX and Aurora, IL

Alejandra is interested in exploring social and spatial justice issues in Latin American cities. As part of the dual degree program, she is also completing a degree in Urban Planning where she focuses on transportation planning. Alejandra hopes to combine her interests by engaging in comparative urban planning to learn better strategies for planning equitable and just cities.

Christina Rodriguez

University of California, Riverside B.A. in Psychology; University of California, Los Angeles M.S.S.
Hometown: San Francisco, California

Christina's research interests are the mental health and well-being of Indigenous Mayan women in Guatemala and how culture and traditions can help or influence these outcomes.

Juan Venegas

CSU Dominguez Hills, Chicana/o/x Studies
Hometown: East Side San Jose, California
Juan's research interests are Afro-Mexican History and lived experiences. In addition, exploring the overwhelming amount of Black and Brown coalitions such as the Mexican Underground Railroad and how it can conspire racial solidarity.

 Diana Blanco

B.S. Marketing and B.A. Arts Administration with concentration in Studio and Graphic Arts
Hometown: Bogota, Colombia

Diana's research concentrates on Latin American and Latinx centered cultural production across disciplines of film, media, art, architecture, and digital humanities, with a focus on the relationship between art and social movements, activism, and human rights. Her Digital Humanities certificate research focuses on Land and Environmental Defenders in Colombia and her recent field work includes time spent in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia with Wiwa and Arhuaco filmmakers and audiovisual collectives. Her goal is to become an advocate for Latin American and Latinx indigenous and gender minorities through art and culture. In her free time, Diana enjoys music, dancing, films, and traveling.

  Theresa Edwards

B.A. in Diplomacy & World Affairs and Spanish, Occidental College
Hometown: Seattle, WA

Theresa is interested in human rights, migration, and socio-environmental conflicts in Latin America. Specifically, she is interested in indigenous-led resistance to natural resource extraction and infrastructure projects, as well as the experiences of indigenous migrants within the U.S. immigration system.

  Mia Giordano

Undergraduate major: Public Health & Spanish, Temple University
Home state/city: Coopersburg, PA
Mia's research interests intersect public health and Latin American Studies, and include immigrant health, human rights, historical memory, and the long-term health outcomes in families affected by political violence in Latin America. In this interview article, Mia talks about her fieldwork in Guatemala as a M.P.H. and LAS M.A. student.

 Amanda Gormsen

B.A. in Environmental Policy and B.B.A in Finance, William & Mary
Hometown: Washington, DC

Amanda is interested in environmental studies and urban planning in Latin America with a focus on climate change mitigation/adaptation and environmental justice. She is part of the dual degree program with Urban Planning.

 Emely Rauda

B.A. in Chicana/o Studies and double minor in Global Health and Labor & Workplace Studies, UCLA
Hometown: Palmdale, CA

Emely is interested in the intersection of health and culture through a public health lens, among other topics such as traditional & holistic medicine, community-based participatory research, and evidence-based program and intervention development. By integrating her studies of Community Health Sciences and Latin American studies, Emely's hope is to be a well-rounded public health professional applying the knowledge she has gained to research, and programs that work and collaborate with rural and indigenous communities to diminish inequalities and improve health within communities throughout Latin America.

Recent Graduates

Andrew Edwards

BS in Sociology with Spanish minor, Portland State University; MA in Gender Studies, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Hometown: Salem, OR

Andrew focuses on Latin American intellectual history, especially that of feminism and class struggle. He is also interested in populism, migration, and empire as they play out within Latin America and across the Western Hemisphere.

 Dayra Lopez Magana

BA in English, minor in Portuguese - University of California, Los Angeles
Hometown: Ontario, CA

Dayra is highly interested in researching transnational migration between Latin American countries and the United States. More specifically, she hopes to learn about how these physical movements across borders create social movements that influence racial, ethnic, gender, and sexuality discourses.

 Dylan Dornfelds

International Studies Major, University of Oregon
Hometown: Salem, OR

Dylan's research focuses on communal governing practices in the Sierra Norte region of Oaxaca, denominated "usos y costumbres" by the Mexican state. He is interested in exploring the ways in which indigenous communal governance reinforces cultural identity, connection to the land and the protection of natural resources. Dylan's thesis is available here.

Roxanne Valle

BA in Sociology and Latino/a and Latin American Studies, Occidental College
Hometown: Azusa, California // Tongva Land

Roxanne is interested in studying colonialism in Mexico, specifically the relationship between the division of labor, social control, and cultural reproduction following the violent military and spiritual so-called conquests. Roxanne's thesis is available here.



Yumi Kinoshita, Academic Advisor


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