Certificate Students

Current Students

Christy Arevalo

Christy Arevalo
Class: 2019
Major: Anthropology
Hi! I'm a sophomore Anthropology major, with a minor in French Studies. I decided to pursue the certificate to reconnect with my cultural heritage (my family is from El Salvador, but I grew up in the US) and to learn more about the issues affecting the rest of Latin America. I would like to work in international development after graduation and am particularly interested in Latin America. Outside of classes, I am a writer and performer in Sketchup, a sketch comedy group here at UMD!

Blanca Arriola-Palma
Class: 2019
Major: International Relations and Government and Politics

Valentina Forero

Valentina Forero
Class: 2019
Major: Economics

John García-Tobar
Class: 2017
Major: Undecided

Juan Herrera

Juan Herrera
Class: 2018
Major: Journalism

Ana Ortez-Rivera

Ana Ortez-Rivera
Class: 2018
Major: Undecided
My name is Ana Ortez-Rivera, and I am a freshman. Currently, I am an undeclared major, but I will pursue a major in Socio-cultural Anthropology. I want to earn a certificate in Latin American Studies because I want gain further knowledge about the culture, history, and social organization of Latin America. As a Hispanic first generation American, I want to earn this certificate to enhance my degree and enter a field in which I can work towards helping those in developing countries, such as the home of my family El Salvador. In the future, I want to work for non-profit organizations such as UNICEF.

Kendra Pryor

Kendra Pryor
Class: 2018
Major: Anthropology

Santiago Rios

Santiago Rios
Major: Government and Politics
Hi! My name is Santiago Rios, and I am a freshman Government and Politics major pursuing a minor in Global Poverty. Though I was born in Bolivia, I have been in the United States for over a decade. Since my connections with Latin America are limited, the certificate program in Latin American Studies gives me an opportunity to both reconnect with my past and study the region through a completely different lens. Throughout my time as an undergraduate student I plan on visiting Bolivia and studying abroad in another Spanish-speaking nation. My hope is that after graduation the knowledge and experience I attain will allow to help make an impact in the place that has formed so much of who I have become.

Juan Sandoval
Class: 2017
Major: Geography

Jennifer Selena-Reyes
Class: 2019
Major: Government and Politics




Recent Graduates
Gabrielle Abbott

Gabrielle Abbott
Class: 2017
Major: French and Spanish
Hola!/Bonjour! I am a junior majoring in Romance Languages (French and Spanish) and pursuing a minor in International Development and Conflict Management. I am adding the Latin American Studies Certificate after studying abroad at La Universidad Nacional in Heredia, Costa Rica last spring semester. I had the opportunity to do a field study in Cuba during that time and was fortunate enough to be able to travel to Panama as well. My experiences abroad and my new knowledge of Central America has inspired me to learn all about the past and current social, political, and economic aspects of Latin American countries. I hope to work in development after graduation and have Latin America as my area of expertise.

Chioma Agbaraji

Chioma Agbaraji
Class: 2018
Major: Geographic Information Systems

Mary Ashleigh Bondoc

Mary Ashleigh Bondoc
Class: 2016
Major: Spanish
My name is Mary Ashleigh Bondoc and I am a pre-law student pursuing a B.A. in Spanish Literature with a certificate in Latin American Studies. My interest in Latin America originates from extended coursework in Latin American literature and culture through the years as well as an internship at the Smithsonian Latino Center in the past. I have also interned with the Commission on Immigration at the American Bar Association. I am most eager to explore migratory patterns of Central and South Americans to the United States and how their role has developed in U.S. society. I hope to use the knowledge acquired through the LASC program in my prospective career as an immigration lawyer.

Kali Nicole Brown

Kali Nicole Brown
Class: 2016
Major: Spanish and Anthropology
Hi! My name is Kali Brown, and I am senior at the University of Maryland. I am a Spanish major and would consider Latin America and the Spanish language major influences in my personal and professional endeavors. I joined the LASC program in order to further study instances of wartime sexual violence in Latin America.

Juliana Cooper

Juliana Cooper
Class: 2017
Major: Spanish

Gabriella Davis

Gabriella Davis
Class: 2017
Major: English and IVSP
I am an English major, minoring in Spanish and currently pursuing a self-made major in the IVSP program entitled, "Social Entrepreneurship in Latin America." I've always been interested in Latin American history and culture, but that interest deepened when I traveled there for the first time in the summer of 2015. I participated in an eight-week social entrepreneurship program in Nicaragua where we worked to help alleviate poverty in rural communities. The work I did there as a consultant for small, local businesses as well as implementing a plan of action for incorporating financial literacy programs into rural communities introduced me to social entrepreneurship. The culture and the people made me want to continue to pursue it in Latin America and I look forward to the LASC courses expanding my knowledge.

Alexa DeCesaris
Class: 2017
Major: Undecided
I am currently an undecided major and hoping to minor in International Development & Conflict Management. Recently, I began working with an organization called Students Helping Honduras, where volunteers travel to Honduras to build schools in the most vulnerable barrios effected by extreme poverty and gang violence. The most powerful tool to help pull these communities out of the grips of destitution and violence is education; these schools afford Honduras' upcoming generation the opportunity to transform their country into something better. After falling in love with the Honduran people and returning from Honduras my first time, I decided I needed to formally learn about the history, culture, traditions, and government/politics of Latin America in order to understand the current state of affairs in Central and South America. After college, I would like to continue working with an organization like SHH to help nations like Honduras support their citizens through quality education and improved health care.

Zena Dhatt

Zena Dhatt
Class: 2018
Major: International Relations and Government and Politics

Lorena Diaz

Lorena Diaz
Class: 2016
Major: Government and Politics
Hi my name is Lorena Diaz and I’m a Government and Politics major with a Portuguese Minor and LASC certificate. My goal after graduation is to volunteer for either the Peace Corps or Teach for America before going to Graduate school. I decided to add the LASC certificate to my program while at UMD because it will help further my studies on the social and political structure in Latin America. My dream is to work for an organization that is helping improve the education system in the impoverished areas in El Salvador or Brazil. Having the LASC certificate will give me the background knowledge and skills to succeed in this field and will help me achieve my goals and aspirations.

Tyler Draughon

Tyler Draughon
Class: 2016
Major: Spanish
¡Saludos! My name is Tyler Draughon and I am from Baltimore, Maryland. I am a final year B.A. student studying Spanish Language with a Business Minor in Innovation & Entrepreneurship. I am also a member of UMD’s Language House (Spanish Cluster). This summer I will be traveling to South America with Maryland's Social Entrepreneur Corps to support small community business throughout four different cities in Ecuador. I hope to combine my cross-disciplinary knowledge with my Latin American Studies Certificate in order to cultivate my experiences abroad into an awareness of diversity and cultural sensitivity. After graduation, I plan to continue my engagement to social impact and combatting poverty within marginalized communities like South America's indigenous populations through involvement with sustainable economic projects in rural areas.

Delia Dreher

Delia Dreher
Class: 2017
Major: Anthropology
I am a senior Sociocultural Anthropology major, with a focus in Indigenous studies along with my concentration in Latin American Studies, as well as a minor in Sustainability studies. These various focuses converge in my interest in Indigenous rights, development, and conservation in Latin America. I am currently pursuing an honors thesis on the use of social media and internet connectivity in Indigenous communities in the Brazilian and Peruvian Amazon for eco-activism, and hope to explore related issues in my LASC capstone as well. After graduating, I am intrested in traveling in Latin America and interning on issues pertaining to conservation in Latin America, before applying to graduate and PhD programs next winter.

Mayra Garcia

Mayra Garcia
Class: 2016
Major: Anthropology
I am a senior Anthropology major with a focus on sociocultural anthropology and immigration. Born in Peru, I moved to the U.S. when I was 8 years old and am excited to use my Latin American Studies Certificate coursework to expand upon my understanding of other Latin American countries. I chose the LASC program to help me on my immigration studies focus in anthropology so that I may learn more of Latin American history and culture and how these relate to current immigration issues in the U.S. Along with my interest in immigration and Latin America, I am also concerned with cultural heritage and indigenous issues. After graduation I am interested in pursuing a graduate degree and work with advocacy groups and/or NGOs.

Xavier Gutierrez
Class: 2017
Major: Physics
I'm a sophomore physics major who intends to go to graduate school, but I've chosen to minor in Spanish as well as complete the certificate in Latin American Studies because I understand the importance of having a balanced college education. The Latin American Studies certificate is a great way to incorporate discussions of cultures and literature into my college experience, and, furthermore, I hope to use this understanding of the ongoing story of latinos and latinas to make more informed decisions personally as well as politically.

Morgan Johnson

Morgan Johnson
Class: 2016
Major: Government and Politics
My name is Morgan Johnson and I am a Government and Politics major with a Black Women's Studies minor and LASC certificate. I have a strong passion for global women's rights, especially those of African ancestry and indigenous background. I currently serve as the Vice President of Management for Sister to Sister, a multi-ethnic community service organization for women right here on campus! After graduation, I would like to attend graduate school for international relations, travel all around Latin America, or work for a think tank or nonprofit that focuses on international affairs/global women's rights. I want to complete research on Afro-Latina women and their social and political voices in local communities and abroad.

Tristan Marquez
Class: 2016
Major: History and Government & Politics

Emily Masucci

Emily Masucci
Class: 2016
Major: Sociocultural Anthropology
In addition to my concentration in Latin American Studies, I am a senior Sociocultural Anthropology major, a member of the Honors Humanities program within the Honors College, and the Anthropology representative on the BSOS Dean's Student Advisory Council. I am currently applying to PhD programs in the hopes of pursuing research on indigenous identity formation, social movements, and political activism in Brazil--issues that I hope to address in my LASC capstone thesis as well. Having just returned from a year-long exchange program at Pontifícia Universidade Católica in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, I am excited to use my LASC coursework to expand upon my understanding of Brazil as an influential actor within the broader context of Latin American history and regional cultural development.

Julian Moreno

Julian Moreno
Class: 2017
Major: History
My name is Julian Moreno. I’m from Colombia and I moved to the US when I was 10 years old. I am a history major with a concentration in Latin America. I am interested in indigenous and campesino affairs, mainly their political organization and ways of life. The Latin American Studies Certificate seems like a great option for me to complement my degree. After I graduate, I want to work for a Latin American advocacy group or an NGO. I want to be able to use my love of history and strong connection with Latin America to help people in need.

Rubi Perez-Howard

Rubi Perez-Howard
Class: 2016
Major: Spanish

Julie Tervala

Julie Tervala
Class: 2016
Major: History