Minor and Certificate Students

Current Students

Evan Galswyk

Evan Galswyk
Class: 2023
Major: Government and Politics
Latin American Studies Minor
Evan is a freshman Government and Politics and Spanish double major from Northwood High School in Silver Spring, Maryland. Evan loves to travel and learn about the world, and his favorite place in the world to visit is Nicaragua. In his free time, he loves listening to music, playing basketball, and watching The Twilight Zone. Evan is excited to be a part of the LASC minor program and to gain a better understanding of Latin America. After graduation, Evan hopes to travel the world and work to make it a better place.

Christian Ackermann

Christian Ackermann
Class: 2021
Major: Economics
Latin American Studies Minor
Christian Ackermann is a freshman Economics major. He is originally from La Paz, Bolivia, but has lived in Maryland for half of his life. Christian is a recipient of the Banneker/Key Scholarship, the Townshend Scholarship, as well as a member of the University Honors Living and Learning program. In his time in High School, Christian participated in various internships at the World Bank, European Union, IMF, IDB, and United Nations. He is also a dedicated tennis player, and was a member of his high school varsity team. After graduation, Christian plans to attend law school and eventually return to his home country of Bolivia to work in international development.

Shanice Silva

Shanice Silva
Class: 2021
Major: Public Policy
Latin American Studies Certificate
Originally from the Bronx, New York but lived in New Jersey and currently in Baltimore. While in high school, she was an active member for her high school’s Gender/Sexuality Alliance and Student Government while working at the Maryland Science Center (and at a private preschool/ elementary school as an assistant teacher over the summer). Now, Shanice is the Social Committee Chair for the First Year Student Council and writes poetry as a hobby. Shanice is a Public Policy major with a focus in Education policy and hopes to close the educational gap between schools in underserved communities and financially-advantaged schools while promoting STEM careers to students of color.

Sterling Prudencio

Sterling Prudencio
Class: 2021
Major: Public Policy
Latin American Studies Minor
I'm the son of a Immigrant Father from El Salvador who has a passion for immigration reform. The current political climate has made immigration a hot topic in an entirely new sense of the word. Detention centers, Boarder Walls, and calls for deportation are heard constantly on the news and I wish to be apart of the group of individuals in this generation to move America's perspective out of pushing out but rather integrating and embracing immigrant populations. My family was disrupted due to immigration reform that was responsible the displacement of many in the late 1990's and the reform that furthered the negative stigma of immigrants upon the general public. I lost out on a lot without my father, but today I am going to school to learn about how I can assist countless people that were in his situations (my very own friends included). The knowledge and opportunity this minor offers will be used to assist my journey and to help me reconnect with a part of me. I am also interested in assisting lower-opportunity immigrant families within the United States as well as LGBTQ+/Gender studies within Latin America.

Calvin Crunkleton

Calvin Crunkleton
Class: 2021
Major: Spanish
Latin American Studies Minor
Calvin Crunkleton is a Junior Spanish Major. He is originally from Calvert County in Southern Maryland, a very rural area where he often recalls the tobacco fields and horse farms that surrounded his high school. Calvin has received his honors citation through the Living Learning Program Design, Cultures and Creativity, an organization where he began to learn and use digital art software, especially animation. He is a radio host at UMD's WMUC 88.1 radio station with his weekly show Escape Velocity, where he and his co-hosts play loud and fast music, including some of his favorite artists like Talking Heads and Green Day. After graduation, Calvin wishes to use his skills he learned at UMD to help the Latino communities of the United States, especially in areas like law and social services.

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Jerry Dessy

Jerry Dessy
Class: 2019
Major: Information Science
Latin American Studies Minor
Jerry Dessy is a first-generation, senior Information Science major on the Cybersecurity track. Jerry was born and raised in Beltsville, Maryland in Prince George’s County. However, both of Jerry’s parents are from Haiti. Jerry is fluent in Haitian Creole, Spanish, and has conversationalability in French. While at the University of Maryland, Jerry was a part of the study abroad program in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic that took place in January 2019. He assisted in renovating a community center for the children who attend this center in Santiago. He also explored other aspects of life in DR in cities like Jarabacoa, Puerto Plata, and Santo Domingo. Although, Jerry has been to both Haiti and Dominican Republic once he plans to be much more involved in those communities upon graduation. Currently, Jerry is interning at the United States Department of Agriculture as an Information Technology Specialist. Aftergraduating, he plans to pursue a career in Network Security, or Technology Consulting.

heidi Reyes

Heidi Reyes
Class: 2022
Major: Elementary Education
Latin American Studies Certificate
Heidi is the youngest of four; she has two older sisters and an older brother. Heidi is part of the first generation in my family to go to college, along with her two older sisters. Heidi is majoring in Education in hopes of becoming an elementary school teacher because she has positive associations with that profession and she feels like she would be good at it. Through this, Heidi hopes to inspire a new generation of students to pursue higher education. She is thankful for all the help her family has provided and hopes to continue to make them proud through her journey in college.

Clara Longo de Freitas

Clara Longo de Freitas
Class: 2022
Major: Journalism and International Relations
Clara Longo de Freitas is a Journalism and International Relations double major. In between her college classes and internship duties, you will find her catching up on her favorite shows, desperately trying to finish her to-read list, and, of course, writing because it is her favorite thing to do in the world. She loves to travel and believes the best way of learning about culture is through food. Clara is an advocate for human rights and hopes to use her reporting to make changes in her home country, Brazil.

Ashley Henriquez

Ashley Henriquez
Class: 2021
Major: Electrical Engineering
Latin American Studies Certificate
Ashley is a Washington D.C. native whose parents are from El Salvador. She and her family later moved to Prince George's County and has resided there since. She is a Prince George's Community College Alumna and a recent transfer student at the University. She is hoping to extend her experience in the field of engineering to her community in order to help them establish better accessibility to the field of STEM and retaining them in it. She is planning to utilize what she gains from the Latin American Studies Certificate Program to move towards this goal and all while becoming more interdisciplinary herself. She also wants to learn more about her heritage in a academic setting outside of what she has already learned from her family.

Martha Dominguez

Martha Dominguez
Class: 2021
Major: Psychology Latin American Studies Minor
Martha is a born Peruvian who migrated to the United States at the age of 11. She is currently a junior majoring in Psychology, and she intends to use her education in Latin America Studies to reach out to the underrepresented communities and inform them about the importance of mental health. She hopes to learn more about the Latin American culture and understand the history of her ancestors.

Yoseline Nolasco

Yoseline Nolasco
Class: 2021
Major: Criminal Justice and Criminology
Latin American Studies Certificate
Yoseline Nolasco is majoring in Criminal Justice and Criminology. Yoseline hopes to work with the FBI or CIA and work with those of Hispanic descendant. Yoseline came from El Salvador at the age of 7 for better opportunities, as she was told by her parents. She is the first in the family to attend a four year college. Yoseline is excited to have joined LASC to broaden what she already knows and to learn more about the beautiful countries of Spanish and Portuguese descendant..

Mackenzie Allen

Mackenzie Allen
Class: 2021
Major: Environmental Policy and Spanish
Latin American Studies Certificate
Mackenzie is an Environmental Policy and Spanish major from Gaithersburg, MD. She is on the exec board of Students Helping Honduras here at UMD and volunteers at La Clínica del Pueblo, a health center in D.C. Mackenzie hopes to strengthen her Spanish skills and gain an in-depth understanding of the different cultures and history that Latin America is built upon. She plans to spend the summer of 2019 studying abroad in Argentina and is excited for the learning opportunities that the Latin American Studies Certificate offers. After graduation, Mackenzie hopes to spend time abroad working on environmental issues that are impacting small communities.

Ryleigh Ahearn

Ryleigh Ahearn
Class: 2021
Major: Psychology
Latin American Studies Certificate
Ryleigh Ahearn is a Psychology and Spanish major. Ryleigh plans to become an ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) teacher in a community mainly consisting of Latino English language learners after her time in college. Ryleigh's interest in Spanish and Latin American culture stems from working at a Mexican restaurant since she was 15 years old. After falling in love with her coworkers and basically finding a second family, she decided to participate in an internship at the local community college as a teaching assistant in the English Language Center. There, her passion to improve her cultural literacy expanded even larger and brought her to the Latin American Studies Center where Ryleigh hopes to continue to gain endless knowledge.

Luna Rubí

Luna Rubí
Class: 2021
Major: Spanish and Film Studies
Latin American Studies Certificate
Luna Rubí is a Spanish major at the University of Maryland. She was born in Costa Rica, but has lived in the US since she was two years old. Luna is very interested in Latin America as a whole: the culture, the people, the arts, and definitely the food. She has visited family in Costa Rica only twice since she was born, but she hopes to return, as well as travel to many more Latin-American countries. She is a lover of many things (too many to name), and hopes to find more things to love in her four years at Maryland.

Hanna Barlow

Hanna Barlow
Class: 2021
Major: Spanish
Latin American Studies Certificate
My name is Hannah Barlow, majoring in Spanish, originally from northern California. In 2015 I took a gap year and spent five months living in Matagalpa, Nicaragua, before starting college, and last summer I worked in the Dominican Republic for three months. I am really excited to further my knowledge of Latin American history and culture with the certificate! I hope to do Fulbright Scholars or Peace Corps after college then go into the non-profit international development field.

Edwin Guerrero

Edwin Guerrero
Class: 2021
Major: Psychology
Latin American Studies Certificate
Edwin Guerrero is majoring in psychology. He is from Montgomery County, MD born to two immigrant parents from Mexico. He plans to graduate and focus on developmental psychology to help children stay on the correct path of development in various settings. He chose this program to learn and feel connected to Mexico and also other Latin American countries. He plans to use the certificate to specifically help children of Latino backgrounds along with their families to educate them about psychological disorders as the topic is not discussed enough in this community. Outside of academics, Edwin is a part of the Terps Boxing Club, loves memes and loves listening to music.

Luna Alvarado

Luna Alvarado
Class: 2020
Major: Criminology and Criminal Justice
Latin American Studies Certificate
Luna Alvarado is a first generation Chicana majoring in Criminology and Criminal Justice with a minor in Portuguese. She grew up within the Latino community in Prince Georges’ country. The Latinx community gave her a desire to learn more about the culture and history surrounding it. The certificate compliments her major as she is especially interested in the crime among the Latinx community. She plans to do research in femicide in the U.S and Mexican border. She also wishes to travel and explore all of Latin Amerian. When she is not in classes Luna likes to longboard and paint.

Gilma Chávez

Gilma Chávez
Class: 2020
Major: Spanish Linguistics, Culture and Education
Latin American Studies Certificate
Gilma is the first in her family to attend college, obtaining an associate's degree in 2018 from Montgomery College in Language and Humanities. During the Spring of 2019, she became a member of Adele H. Stamp Chapter of Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society, The National Society of Leadership and Success, as well as Sigma Alpha Lambda National Leadership and Honors Organization. From an early age Gilma had a passion for education and a desire to instill her love of learning in others. Following her childhood ambition, she plans to graduate in the fall of 2020, pursue her master's degree in Spanish, and become a Spanish professor. Gilma believes obtaining a certificate in Latin American Studies will deepen her understanding of the history, politics, economics, and contemporary issues facing Latin America.

Tanesha Modestin

Tanesha Mondestin
Class: 2020
Major: Anthropology and Biological Sciences
Latin American Studies Certificate
Tanesha Mondestin is an Anthropology and Biological Sciences major. She is from Wicomico County. She is the oldest of six children and is a first-generation college student. She was born in the United States but both of her parents immigrated to the US from Haiti. Her dream goal is to be able to practice medicine in Haiti, while working on policies to improve the healthcare sector in the country. She is interested in the Latin American Studies Certificate because she will be able to learn more about Latin American and the Caribbean from a more historical and theoretical perspective as opposed to the cultural perspective that she is being raised in. urer for a La Familia a peer-mentoring program to assist first generation Latino students with their studies at the University of Maryland.

Leticia F. Araujon

Leticia F. Araujo
Class: 2020
Major: Government & Politics - International Relations minor
Leticia is a Junior Government & Politics major with International Relations concentration. A native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, her aspirations after graduation are to conduct research in Latin American comparative politics and work in international development. She takes the most out of the experience of attending college near the United States’ capital by regularly attending talks at Brookings Institution and World Affairs Council. In the Spring of 2018 she did an internship at the Embassy of Brazil which was a substantial experience of immersion into the diplomatic and political fields. In her spare time, she enjoys painting and sitting at the lawn near McKeldin.

Sophia Fenton

Sophia Fenton
Class: 2020
Major: Public Policy
Latin American Studies Minor
Sophia Fenton is a student within school of public policy interested in combining her interest in Latin American studies with conservation and environmental education. She is from Ft. Washington, Maryland and the oldest of five children. She hopes to use the skills she has gained upon graduation to help protect land and wildlife across the world, but starting in Latin American countries. Sophia's interest in aiding Latin America began as a child raised Caribbean parents in the United States. She feels it is important that these beautiful countries maintain native forestry and wildlife under the threat of overpopulation, global warming, industrialism and infrastructure development. In her spare time, Sophia can is often out trying new restaurants or curled up watching the Food Network.

Micayla Wilson

Micayla Wilson
Class: 2020
Major: Biological Sciences and Minor Spanish Language and Cultures
Latin American Studies Minor
Micayla is a third year student on the pre-medical track. She is a recipient of the Banneker/Key Scholarship and recently completed her Honors Citation as a member of the University Honors living-learning program. The daughter of two immigrants from the islands of Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados, Micayla is a proud first-generation Caribbean American who actively shares and celebrates her heritage with the university community as a member and former Secretary of the University of Maryland's Caribbean Students Association. The first student to pursue a Latin American Studies minor at the University of Maryland, Micayla is excited to deepen her understanding of Latin American culture and current social issues, which she hopes will perfectly compliment her joint pursuit of a Spanish language minor. This will undoubtedly serve her well on her professional journey toward becoming a physician and healthcare policy maker who aims to primarily work with minority communities in the United States and underserved communities in the Caribbean region.

Helen Cordero

Helen Cordero
Class: 2020
Major: Government and Politics and Minor Portuguese
Latin American Studies Minor
Helen Cordero is currently a junior in the University of Maryland. She is majoring in Government and Politics and also minoring in Portuguese and Latin American Studies. She grew up in Prince George's County and attended High Point high school. She is currently in the program called Partners and Print which is a mentoring organization that sets up workshops to help parents with their children's homework in Prince George's County Public schools. Her parents are from El Salvador. She is transfer student from Howard Community College. Her interests include Politics, Human Rights, Latinx culture, Art, History, and intersectional activism. She also plays the clarinet. Her favorite sport is tennis. She is planning to graduate in Spring 2020.

Jeff Montano

Jeff Montano
Class: 2020
Major: Computer Science
Latin American Studies Certificate
Jeff Montano is a Computer Science major from Gaithersburg MD. While not on the bus to or from school, he is also a TA for the UMD College Park Scholars Program: Science Technology Society. He teaches kids robotics at schools around the area such as Cesar Chavez Elementary or at community centers like CASA de Maryland. Fascinated by the two worlds he lives in he hopes to one day be able to use the skills he learned through his Computer Science programs to educate people in Latin America. He plans to work abroad next summer, with hopes of being able to travel even more as time goes on.

Carly Rosenfeld

Carly Rosenfeld
Class: 2020
Major: Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics
Latin American Studies Certificate
Carly Rosenfeld is in Letters and Sciences on the pre-med track and a minor in Spanish. She was born in Rockville, Maryland and graduated from Winston Churchill high school. During her time at UMD, she has worked on the executive board for No Taboo. Period, an organization that raises money and donates feminine hygiene products to local homeless shelters in the DMV. She is also on the executive board for Sex Week at UMD and is a volunteer at the Branchville Volunteer Fire Station. In her free time, she practices guitar and throws pottery. After graduation, she hopes to volunteer for the Peace Corps and attend medical school.

Julio Vasquez

Julio Vasquez
Class: 2020
Major: Marketing
Latin American Studies Certificate
Julio Vasquez was born in El Salvador but immigrated to Rockville, Maryland at the tender age of one. He is a marketing major with aspirations of working in the sports, music, or fashion industry doing creative business work. During his time at UMD, he has been a part of the Science and Global change scholars program where he has joined the fundraising committee in efforts to raise money for various charities. Other educational avenues that Julio enjoys are social activism and politics, statistics and meteorology. Within the next two years, Julio hopes to study abroad somewhere in Europe and get internships in the industries he adores. In his free time, Julio loves to eat pasta, admire architecture, shoot film photography, and binge Netflix. After graduation, Julio hopes to work in anything ranging from a statistician for ESPN, to a content creator for Apple Music, to a marketing consultant for any of his favorite clothing brands.

Vanessa Carrillo

Vanessa Carrillo
Class: 2020
Major: Public Health Science
Latin American Studies Certificate
My name is Vanessa Carrillo and I am majoring in Public Health Science and on the pre-med track at the University of Maryland. I was born in Gaithersburg, Maryland but my dad is from Mexico and my mom is from El Salvador. I am a musician and I’m in the marching band at Maryland playing the tuba but I also play several other instruments, such as, guitar, flute, bass guitar, and ukulele. I am the first person to go to college in my family and I hope that one day I can participate in Doctors without Border in my parent’s countries to help and give back to them. I would love to study abroad in third world countries in Africa or any Latin American country to learn more about them and help in any way I can. My goal in life, besides becoming a pediatric surgeon, is to help people in any way I can; it’s why I chose to be in the LASC program. The first step in helping anyone is to build a foundation and in this program, I will be learning a lot about the history and culture of different Latin American countries. Being in this program will give me experiences and opportunities to use what I have learned and apply it somehow to help the Latin community. After my undergraduate studies, I hope to go to medical school in Philadelphia for my D.O degree and when that is finished, I would like to find a residency in a Latin American country.

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Daniella Medel

Daniella Medel
Class: 2020
Major: Arabic
Latin American Studies Certificate
¡Hola! ¿Qué tal? My name is Daniella Medel and I am a double major in Criminology and Criminal Justice and Arabic, with minors in Spanish and Global Terrorism. I was born and raised in Southern California and am the proud daughter of two Mexican immigrants from Jalisco and Guanajuato. During my time at UMD, I have been involved with the Arabic Flagship Program and am a Homeland and National Security Policy Federal Fellow. I have interned with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) since Spring 2017, on three different projects. This semester I am on the Cartel Smuggling project, which consists of reading articles in Spanish on cartel activity throughout Mexico. I decided to pursue the Latin American Studies Certificate because although I am an extremely proud Latina and Mexican, I realized that I did not know much about other Latin American countries. After graduation, I hope to work in the anti-drug and human trafficking field and/or with non-profit organizations that help refugees from both Latin American and Middle Eastern countries.

Maria de Los Angeles Aragon

Maria de Los Angeles Aragon
Class: 2020
Major: English
Latin American Studies Certificate
Maria Aragon is double majoring in Film and English and was born in Silver Spring, Maryland. They are a Virgo rising, sun, and moon sign. Both of their parents were born and raised in Nicaragua. Maria is a proud first generation student who only hopes to give back to their latinx community through their privileged education and experiences. They are the president and founder of an LGBTQ+ Reading and Writing group at University of Maryland named Reading Rainbow. Maria is a strong advocate for intersectional equality/equity by complicating societal norms that we often take comfort in. As a side project, they are currently in the process of researching LGBT livelihood and resistance in Nicaragua during the Somoza dictatorship and how their activism intersected with the Sandinista Revolution. For fun, Maria loves going to concerts, watching/criticizing films, reading, creating/appreciating art and petting dogs! Maria hopes that through their LASC journey, they will be able to dissolve their studies through artistic expression.

Christy Arevalo

Christy Arevalo
Class: 2019
Major: Anthropology
Latin American Studies Certificate
Christy is an Anthropology major, with a minor in French Studies. She decided to pursue the certificate to reconnect with her cultural heritage (her family is from El Salvador, but she grew up in the US) and to learn more about the issues affecting the rest of Latin America. Christy would like to work for an international development organization after graduation. She is particularly interested in Latin America. Outside of classes, Christy is a writer and performes in Sketchup, a sketch comedy group here at UMD!

Marlenn Alvarez

Marlenn Alvarez
Class: 2019
Major: Spanish Language and M.A. in Education
Latin American Studies Certificate
Marlenn Alvarez is a Montgomery College transfer student majoring in Spanish. She plans to be part of the MCERT program in order to obtain a Master’s degree in Education. She is a first generation college student and is very proud to say it. Marlenn has always wished to become a Spanish teacher and help numerous students learn a different language. She has a passion for languages and for Hispanic culture. Her ethnicity is very valuable for her that is why she was very excited to be a member of LASC. Her LASC certificate is going to help her to gain that knowledge in Latin-America. Marlenn works as a health technician for the Department of Health and Human Resources at Montgomery County. She is an intern at CASA and hopes to eventually be part of such a great organization. On spring 2018 she became a member of Sigma Delta Pi and also won the OMSE Academy of Academic Excellence award. Aside from school Marlenn is likes to spend time with her family and friends, listen to music, learn French, eat Dominican food, watch Netflix and basketball games, walk and take naps.

Camila Guerrero

Camila Guerrero
Class: 2019
Major: Government and Politics
Latin American Studies Certificate
Camila Guerrero is currently a double major in Government and Politics and Spanish Literature and Culture. She is the youngest of two, and the first in her family to attend a four year college. She is interested in working in the nonprofit sector once she graduates in Spring of 2019, hopefully focusing in on indigenous groups within Latin America. Her interest and personal connection to Latin American issues is what led her to pursuing a career and education in it.

Kenneth Haines

Kenneth Haines
Class: 2019
Major: Spanish
Latin American Studies Certificate
A lifelong terrapin, back in 1987, Kenneth B. Haines last graduated with a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and instruction. He is a retired French teacher from the Prince George’s County Public Schools, and the former President of the Prince George’s County Educators’ Association. Through his work at the Teacher Union Reform Network (TURN), he worked to introduce a system of Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) to the local schools. He served for several years as a member of the Teacher Advisory Council at the Gates Foundation and for five years as a Trustee at the Maryland State Pension and Retirement System. Ken has returned to school on the Golden ID program and is degree-seeking in Spanish with a concentration in Latin American Studies. His commentaries have appeared regularly in local papers for two decades, and he maintains a blog on a variety of topics at citizenken.net.

Marta Strach

Marta Strach
Class: 2019
Major: Secondary Education: World Language Education.
Latin American Studies Certificate
Marta is a returning adult college student who is finishing her junior year at the University of Maryland. Marta was born in El Salvador and moved to the United States over twelve years ago. Her idea of becoming a Spanish teacher began after countless stories of people’s bad memories from high school language classes and how they never paid attention or remembered anything remarkable from them. As a Spanish teacher, Marta wants to make a change in the constant negative pattern and wants to become an unforgettable teacher by transmitting her love for the Latin-American language and culture. The Latin American Studies Certificate would be an outstanding assent in order to acquire an in-depth knowledge and understanding of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Cindy Montoya

Cindy Montoya
Class: 2019
Major: Spanish
Latin American Studies Certificate
Cindy Montoya was born in El Salvador and raised by her grandparents since she was only three months old. She immigrated to Gaithersburg, Maryland when she was eleven years old to share her life with her parents for the first time. She is a Spanish major with aspirations of working with the Hispanic community. During her short-time at UMD, she has participated in the community by volunteering at Hollywood Elementary School, teaching the parents English, providing tips for the parent-teacher conference, helping the students with their homework after school and interpreting during the parent-teacher conference. She has also created a short video: Amando Mis Raices, where she tells her story of the difficulties she faced during her transition from El Salvador to the United States. Within the next years, Cindy hopes to obtain her bachelor's degree in Spanish and a minor in Human Development. After getting her bachelor's degree she is planning on getting a master's in Students Affairs. Once she finishes her education she is hoping to work in a school as an adviser.

Valentina Vargas

Valentina Vargas
Class: 2019
Major: Government and Politics
Latin American Studies Certificate
Valentina Vargas is a Government and Politics major with a focus on International Relations. She is originally from Barranquilla, Colombia. In her future career she wants to give back to the Colombian people, work towards better education and the eradication of terrorist/militant and communists groups in her home country.

Leslie Delcid

Leslie Delcid
Class: 2019
Major: Environmental Science and Policy Program
Latin American Studies Certificate
Leslie Delcid is a native of Montgomery County, Maryland. She will receive a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Policy as well as a Certificate in Latin American Studies in December of 2019. She is also in the Life Sciences scholars program. During her time at UMD, Leslie has been a member of the Gymkana Troupe, an outreach program for The School of Public Health that promotes healthy living through a drug-free lifestyle. After graduation, Leslie would like to become a wildlife biologist and research the effects of climate change on animals and their habitats. When Leslie isn't studying for exams she can be found flipping on a trampoline, taking a stroll around campus or playing with her two dogs.

Gavvyn Flores

Gavvyn Flores
Class: 2019
Major: Criminology and Criminal Justice
Latin American Studies Certificate
Gavvyn Flores is a Criminology and Criminal Justice major at the University of Maryland and a Prince George's native, who loves everything about learning and dreams of going to space. With the education he receives, he hopes to help educate others and travel to other countries to spread knowledge and help cultivate an academic revolution that empowers people with education, thus destroying the grip capitalistic corporations have on the world. He wants to help everyone in this world who has been victimized by the evils of capitalism and imperialism and allow them the most basic of human rights and needs, because he is tired of seeing the planet and people he loves and cares about suffer for real tangible reason other than the fallacies created by these two evils. In his free time he enjoys learning about cooking, painting, drawing, music, governments, radical politics, existentialism, animals, recreating vines, and dreaming about space.

Blanca Arriola-Palma

Blanca Arriola-Palma
Class: 2019
Major: International Relations and Government and Politics
Latin American Studies Certificate
Blanca Arriola Palma is a citizen of Prince George’s County. Blanca will receive her B.A in Governmental and Politics with an International Relations concentration and a Latin American Studies certificate. During her time at UMD, Blanca is the 2018-2019 president of PLUMAS (Political Latinxs United for Movement and Action in Society), an organization committed to addressing all issues affecting the Latinx community. Blanca is especially interested in women rights issues, immigration issues, and educational/racial inequality. Post undergraduate, Blanca is considering pursuing a law degree in immigration, international or civil rights law, or a master’s degree focused on public policy, international relations, or Latin American Studies. Aside from being a student and advocate, Blanca enjoys watching her favorite shows on Netflix.

Valentina Forero

Valentina Forero
Class: 2019
Major: Economics
Latin American Studies Certificate
Valentina is an economics major with a minor in global poverty. She was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia and moved to Maryland in 2013. Valentina is extremely passionate about Latin American culture and politics. The certificate has been a way not only to keep a connection with her culture and country, but has given her the opportunity to further understand the different issues and relations that affect the region and its people, her people.

Jennifer Reyes

Jennifer Reyes
Class: 2019
Major: Public Policy
Latin American Studies Certificate
Jennifer Reyes is a native of Prince George's county, Maryland. She plans to receive her B.A in Public Policy and a certificate in Latin American Studies. She works closely with PLUMAS, a political/ social justice organization on campus focused on advocating for issues affecting the Latinx community. After graduating, Jennifer is interested in working with non-profit organizations such as CASA De Maryland, which provides services to the Latinx community such as immigration services, legal services, and leadership development among others.

Ashley Escobar

Ashley Escobar
Class: 2018
Major: Spanish
Latin American Studies Certificate
Ash Escobar is pursuing a Degree in Spanish with a Latin American Studies Certificate. She has a passion for music and creative expression and has a strong pride for her roots as the daughter of Salvadoran immigrants. She is fluent in Spanish and has hopes of becoming an interpreter in order to be the voice of an extremely resilient yet vulnerable group in the United States.

Zena Dhatt

Zena Dhatt
Class: 2018
Major: Anthropology, Sociocultural and Medical concentrations
Latin American Studies Certificate
I am pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociocultural and Medical Anthropology with a Certificate in Latin American Studies. I am the child of two immigrants from opposite sides of the world, my mother is from Colombia and my father is from India. I have always been extremely proud of my heritage and tied to my Hispanic roots. I decided to participate in the certificate program to expand my knowledge on Latin America and the complex histories of the nations within it. I am always looking for ways to advocate for human rights, assist in global development, and improve global health. I hope to one-day work in the Global Health sector combating health disparities both locally and globally.

Santiago Rios

Santiago Rios
Class: 2018
Major: Government and Politics
Latin American Studies Certificate
Hi! My name is Santiago Rios, and I am a 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.




Recent Graduates
Chioma Agbaraji

Chioma Agbaraji
Class: 2018
Major: Women’s Studies
Latin American Studies Certificate
Chioma Agbaraji is a native of Prince George’s County, Maryland. She received her B.A. in Women’s Studies with a minor in Geographic Information Systems and certificate in Latin American Studies. During her time at UMD, Chioma has worked closely with social enterprises and entrepreneurs, especially during her internship in the Dominican Republic. As a community consultant with Soluciones Comunitarias, she assisted local women entrepreneurs with start-up cost analyses for a candle business and empowerment-building projects. After graduation, Chioma would like to travel and work abroad, ultimately serving as an international business consultant who promotes institutional inclusion as a means of economic advantage. And when Chioma is not researching ways to leverage women and other minority communities, she enjoys visiting art galleries, traveling, and eating flan de coco.

John Garcia-Tobar

John Garcia-Tobar
Class: 2017
Major: Anthropology
Latin American Studies Certificate

Juan Herrera

Juan Herrera
Class: 2018
Major: Journalism
Latin American Studies Certificate
Juan Herrera is a lifelong resident of Maryland and currently lives in Hyattsville. In Spring 2018 Juan received his B.A. in multi-platform journalism with a certificate in Latin American Studies. During his time at the University of Maryland, Juan studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina for a winter semester. He took a course on human rights violations in Argentina and learned about the political issues going on around the country. Juan has also been involved with La Familia, a peer-mentoring program at Maryland. With La Familia, Juan has helped first-year Latinx students excel academically. He is currently the vice president of the program. Juan is also involved with several sports publications on campus like WMUC Sports and The Left Bench as a sports writer and anchor. After college, Juan is hoping to cover professional soccer as a sports writer for a major sports website. He dreams of travelling outside of the country in the future to cover a World Cup tournament. Juan also wants to go to law school someday. After taking several Anthropology and LASC courses through the certificate program, Juan became interested in becoming an immigration lawyer in order to help Latinx people facing legal issues surrounding citizenship and residency. Juan is also hoping to return to Argentina someday after graduating for vacation. When Juan isn’t working or studying, he enjoys working out of the gym and playing intramural soccer with his friends. He also enjoys watching sports, going out with friends and playing the guitar.

Ana Ortez-Rivera

Ana Ortez-Rivera
Class: 2018
Major: Anthropology
Latin American Studies Certificate
My name is Ana Ortez-Rivera, graduated with a degree in Anthropology, 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
Latin American Studies Certificate
Kendra graduated with a degree Anthropology major and a Spanish Language and Culture minor. She was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Kendra has always been interested in the Spanish language as well as Latin American cultures, especially having some Latinx friends and family members. This led her to participate in the Alternative Breaks program in the Dominican Republic as well as study abroad in El Salvador. Living in such a diverse country and state, Kendra believes it is incredibly important to learn about Latin American nations and their histories. Kendra is especially interested in race/ethnicity, gender, and education, and hopes to pursue a career in public service as well as graduate studies in public policy.

Gabrielle Abbott

Gabrielle Abbott
Class: 2017
Major: French and Spanish
Latin American Studies Certificate
Gabrielle graduated with a degreer in Romance Languages (French and Spanish) and pursuing a minor in International Development and Conflict Management. Gabrielle added the Latin American Studies Certificate after studying abroad at La Universidad Nacional in Heredia, Costa Rica last spring semester. Gabrielle 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. Her experiences abroad and my new knowledge of Central America has inspired Gabrielle to learn all about the past and current social, political, and economic aspects of Latin American countries. She hopes to work in development after graduation and have Latin America as my area of expertise.

Juliana Cooper

Juliana Cooper
Class: 2017
Major: Spanish
Latin American Studies Certificate

Gabriella Davis

Gabriella Davis
Class: 2017
Major: English and IVSP
Latin American Studies Certificate
Gabriella obtained a degree in English aand minoring in Spanish and self-made major in the IVSP program entitled, "Social Entrepreneurship in Latin America." Gabriella've always been interested in Latin American history and culture, but that interest deepened when She traveled there for the first time in the summer of 2015. Gabriella participated in an eight-week social entrepreneurship program in Nicaragua where we worked to help alleviate poverty in rural communities. The work She 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.

Gabriella Davis

Alexa DeCesaris
Class: 2017
Major: Undecided
Latin American Studies Certificate
Alexa graduated with a degree in International Development and Conflict Management. Recently, she 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, Alexa 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, she 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.

Delia Dreher

Delia Dreher
Class: 2017
Major: Anthropology
Latin American Studies Certificate
Delia obtained a major in Sociocultural Anthropology, 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 her interest in Indigenous rights, development, and conservation in Latin America. She wrote 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 explored related issues in her LASC capstone as well. After graduating, She is interested in traveling in Latin America and interning on issues pertaining to conservation in Latin America, before applying to graduate and PhD programs next winter.

Julian Moreno

Julian Moreno
Class: 2017
Major: History
Latin American Studies Certificate
Julian Moreno is 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.

Julian Moreno

Xavier Gutierrez
Class: 2017
Major: Physics
Latin American Studies Certificate
Xavier obtained physics major and minor in Spanish, currenlty he is planning to go to graduate school. The Latin American Studies certificate is a great way to incorporate discussions of cultures and literature into my college experience, and, furthermore, he hopes to use this understanding of the ongoing story of Latinos and Latinas to make more informed decisions personally as well as politically.

Lorena Diaz

Lorena Diaz
Class: 2016
Major: Government and Politics
Latin American Studies Certificate
Lorena Diaz obtained a Government and Politics major with a Portuguese Minor and LASC certificate. her goal after graduation is to volunteer for either the Peace Corps or Teach for America before going to Graduate school. She decided to add the LASC certificate to my program while at UMD because she this helped further Lorena studies on the social and political structure in Latin America. Lorena 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 Lorena the background knowledge and skills to succeed in this field and will help Lorena achieves her goals and aspirations.

Tyler Draughon

Tyler Draughon
Class: 2016
Major: Spanish
Latin American Studies Certificate
Tyler Draughon is from Baltimore, Maryland. Tyler obtained a B.A. in Spanish with a Business Minor in Innovation and; Entrepreneurship. Tyler also was a member of UMD’s Language House (Spanish Cluster). In the summer if 2015 she traveled to South America with Maryland's Social Entrepreneur Corps to support small community business throughout four different cities in Ecuador. She hopes to combine my cross-disciplinary knowledge with her Latin American Studies Certificate in order to cultivate her experiences abroad into an awareness of diversity and cultural sensitivity. After graduation, Tyler plans 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.

Mary Ashleigh Bondoc

Mary Ashleigh Bondoc
Class: 2016
Major: Spanish
Latin American Studies Certificate
Mary Ashleigh Bondoc was a pre-law student pursuing a B.A. in Spanish Literature with a certificate in Latin American Studies. Mary's interest in Latin America originated 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. Mary has also interned with the Commission on Immigration at the American Bar Association. Mary is eager to explore migratory patterns of Central and South Americans to the United States and how their role has developed in U.S. society. Sjhe hopes 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
Latin American Studies Certificate
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.

Mayra Garcia

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

Morgan Johnson

Morgan Johnson
Class: 2016
Major: Government and Politics
Latin American Studies Certificate
Morgan Johnson graduated with a Government and Politics major with a Black Women's Studies minor and LASC certificate. Morgan has a strong passion for global women's rights, especially those of African ancestry and indigenous background. Morgan served as the Vice President of Management for Sister to Sister, a multi-ethnic community service organization for women right here on campus! After graduation, she 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. She wants to complete research on Afro-Latina women and their social and political voices in local communities and abroad.

Tristan Marquez

Tristan Marquez
Class: 2016
Major: History and Government & Politics
Latin American Studies Certificate

Emily Masucci

Emily Masucci
Class: 2016
Major: Sociocultural Anthropology
Latin American Studies Certificate
In addition to Emily's concentration in Latin American Studies, she obtained a degree in Sociocultural Anthropology, Emily was a member of the Honors Humanities program within the Honors College, and the Anthropology representative on the BSOS Dean's Student Advisory Council.Emily applyed to a PhD programs in the hopes of pursuing research on indigenous identity formation, social movements, and political activism in Brazil. Having just returned from a year-long exchange program at Pontifícia Universidade Católica in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Emily is excited to use her LASC coursework to expand upon understanding of Brazil as an influential actor within the broader context of Latin American history and regional cultural development.

Rubi Perez-Howard

Rubi Perez-Howard
Class: 2016
Major: Spanish
Latin American Studies Certificate

Julie Tervala

Julie Tervala
Class: 2016
Major: History
Latin American Studies Certificate