Alumni

Juan Carlos Albarrán '07

Senior Lecturer in Global and Intercultural Studies, Miami University

"I am able to do all these interesting things at Miami University thanks to the academic formation I received in the Masters program at the Center for Latin American Studies at University of Arizona. I had a great cohort of classmates and a very supportive team of professors that help me not only learn in depth about the region, but also to love and to feel proud of being a Latino and to love Latin America."

Robert Alvarez '16

Deputy Director, Training and Operations, CADCA

"My M.A. Latin American Studies has had a profound impact on my career and intellectual growth. The LAS program helped me to develop tools for understanding systemic inequalities, the systems of power that reinforce them and community-driven ways to address them from a grassroots, political, and policy perspective. My time in LAS also led me to a deeper understanding (...) and experience to be awarded a Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship in addition to expanding my current work with community coalitions throughout Latin America."

Kevin G. Andrade '12

Freelance journalist

Vice President, New England Chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists

"I never even considered becoming a journalist until enrolling at U of A. My studies there gave me the opportunity to learn the craft and to observe first hand the consequences of decisions made in areas far away and their effects on society and the average person."

Laurel Bellante

Assistant Director of the Center for Regional Food Studies, University of Arizona

Assistant Professor and Director of the B.A. in Food Studies at the School of Geography, University of Arizona

"(...) An internship with Sabores Sin Fronteras during my degree program got me in the door to working in food systems advocacy in the Borderlands. In all, the fieldwork experience and coursework in LAS helped me to refine my career aspirations and provided me with the in-depth understanding of the issues affecting food systems in both the US and Mexico. It prepared me to go on to complete a PhD in Geography and Development and inspired me to carve out a career in food systems transformation, research, and education."

Melissa Burham '10

Adjunct Instructor, Pima Community College

"The Center for Latin American Studies MA program served as bridge between my BA in Latin American Studies/Spanish and my Ph.D. in anthropology. The professional relationships I built and the education I received during my time in CLAS were absolutely central to my academic development and have enabled me to transition into a career in anthropology."

Jill Calderon '08

Director, UA Global Travel at The University of Arizona

“My focus on gender, political science and history from the LAS program helped me to mentor students in my role in UA Study Abroad and in analyzing risk for UA International travelers. Building on my studies I was able to tailor research, internship and volunteer opportunities that led many Study Abroad students to pursue further studies and careers of great impact both here and abroad.”

Jeremy Carter '10

Community Development Consultant

"LAS was catalytic in improving my basic understanding of the structural inequalities that shape our communities and the systems that support and reinforce them".

Irasema Coronado

Director and Professor, School of Transborder Studies, Arizona State University

"The faculty involved with the LAS program have been instrumental in my professional success. Their guidance, mentorship and support have been invaluable to me!".

Joel E. Correia '12

Assistant Professor of Latin American Studies, University of Florida

“The University of Arizona Center for Latin American Studies was a remarkable program that enabled me to pursue graduate studies at the cutting edge of political ecology research. As an MA student in LAS, I took interdisciplinary coursework from leading scholars in the field of Latin American Studies. The theoretical grounding and empirical training I gained through those courses helped me design and conduct a field research project that informed my enduring interest in human rights, environmental justice, and Indigenous politics. " (...)

Alyssa Dormer '19

J.D. student at University of Arizona's James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona

"My time in the Latin American studies program provided me not only with the freedom to explore my interests but also the structure to realize my goals. From the weekly Charlas Con Café to the Tinker Symposium, the CLAS community continues to fill me with inspiration and influence how I conceptualize the world."

Emily Ellis '18

Communications, Oak Spring Garden Foundation

"I've written about a wide range of topics in my short post-grad school career - from the U.S. military to botany - and the varied classes I was able to take through the Latin American Studies department definitely prepared me to examine such subjects in a critical, holistic way. Not only that, but the work experience I garnered during my three years in the program as a TA and as a communications assistant was invaluable."

Eric Franqui '15

Foreign Service Officer, U.S. State Department

"I specifically chose (the University of Arizona) LAS program because of the strong anthropological base and work of key professors in Central American violence and power struggles, especially from a bottom-up perspective".

Kathryn Gallien '05

Academic Advisor at the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Arizona

"The M.A. program in Latin American Studies ignited my passion for human rights activism, fueled my intellectual curiosity, and laid the foundation for my love of Tucson and the University of Arizona. I completed my Ph.D. in History at the University of Arizona in 2015 and, since 2016, I have been fortunate to continue working with the Center for Latin American Studies as the undergraduate academic advisor. I occasionally teach classes on Latin America and write on midwifery and public health in Bolivia."

R. Andrés Guzmán '07

Associate Professor, Spanish and Portuguese, Indiana University

"Interdisciplinary study is central to my scholarship. The M.A. program was an ideal place for me to study and hone my research interests because of the freedom it gave me to follow my curiosity wherever it took me. The core classes I took in Latin American Studies, along with classes in History, Political Science, Gender and Women’s Studies, and Spanish and Portuguese, were invaluable to my intellectual development and continue to form the foundation of the work that I do."

Elena Jackson Abarrán '02

Associate Professor of History and Global and Intercultural Studies, Miami University of Ohio

"My LAS degree at the University of Arizona indelibly set my personal and professional course; it gave me professional experience, language training, experiential learning, research methodology, and exposure to new and classic theories that have remained with me in my current job, not to mention a close network of classmates that have become dear colleagues and lifelong 'chosen family'".

Keegan Krause '20

Doctoral student in Biological and Medical Anthropology, Northwestern University

"The University of Arizona's CLAS provided me with crucial individualized academic support and professional experience which I now rely on as a doctoral student, scholar, and instructor in the health and social sciences".

Oscar Lai '12

Latin America Program Assistant, U.S. Forest Service

Francisco Lara- Garcia '12

Doctoral Candidate, Department of Sociology, Columbia University

"The Center for Latin American Studies jumpstarted my career as an academic. The Center gave me the foundations in scholarship and academics that I have needed to pursue rigorous research in Latin America and Mexicans living in the United States. I wouldn't be where I am without them."

Amanda López '04

Associate Professor/Chair of History & Political Science, Saint Xavier University

Program Director for Latino/Latin American Studies, Saint Xavier University

"My experience in the LAS program at UA was crucial for preparing me for the work I do now. SXU is an HSI with a student body that is more than 40% Latinx and it's very rewarding to teach at a school where students often make connections between their owned lived experiences and the history of the region. Finally, one of my favorite aspects of LAS at Arizona was the sense of community among the students and the faculty. I am working to build that same kind of support for our undergraduate students at SXU."

Marco Macías '08

Assistant Professor of History, Fort Hays State University

"I believe that LAS opened up the possibilities of going into different fields, although I ended up in a Ph.D. program in History at University of Arizona, I am sure I could have ended up in any other field. I am in the career I love and I think LAS contributed to that significantly."

Richard Morgan Szybist '90

Owner of Los Encuentros Centro Cultural Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

“My experience at LAS enabled me to successfully transition to a fulfilling second career in Central America.”

Ivan Olaciregui '06

Census Field Supervisor, U.S. Department of Commerce

"The degrees from the University of Arizona and especially at the Latin American Studies Center prepared me wholeheartedly in anticipating what to expect in any situation domestically or abroad."

Mark Poepsel '07

Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

"My Latin American Studies degree prepared me in two ways for my career and life. First, it made me a better qualitative researcher, which served me through my dissertation up to my research today. Second, it gave me a broader and deeper perspective of Latin American media, which influences my research presentations at the International Symposium on Online Journalism (ISOJ) at the University of Texas-Austin."

Jay Sagar '04

Assistant Federal Public Defender, District of Arizona

Adjunct Professor of Practice, UA College of Law

"Learning about the history, economic issues, and political landscape in Latin America became useful for my present work as a public defender in federal court. For certain cases involving clients from Mexico and Central America, it is important to provide as much background information as possible about the country conditions in order to advocate effectively on the client's behalf.  (...)"

Jeremy Slack '08

Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Texas

"My MA in Latin American Studies at the University of Arizona helped set me on my career path in academia. In addition to unique and academically rigorous coursework the program helped instill an ethic of care for place and commitment to the region where I work, live and study. A deep understanding of a region, its culture and languages was essential for my professional goals."

David Trautman '07

Elementary School Principal

David says his time in LAS launched his interest in and passion for social justice, as well as his commitment to public education. In particular, his studies helped him understand the ways schools are used as instruments of both oppression and community liberation.

Murphy Woodhouse '14

Senior Field Correspondent, AZPM Fronteras Desk

"As a reporter based in northwestern Mexico who regularly covers immigration and border issues, it is hard to overstate the relevance of my time at LAS to my career. The specific knowledge I gained has obviously been useful, but just as important is what I learned about prioritizing and respecting the stories of regular people and impacted communities when researching or reporting on complex issues."