Graduate Student Committee

Since 2015, LASC has invited a committee of graduate students to co-organize an annual conference. The committee, a group of graduate students from many different departments, gets together to decide the theme of the conference. From this, the group organizes the entire event. The formulation of the call for papers, developments of workshops, creation of conference program, invitation of keynote speakers, and all the details that involve the structuring of a conference are the responsibility of the graduate student committee. It is a valuable opportunity for students to be in contact with different scholars and to get experience in planning events. For more information contact us at

Nohely Alvarez

Alvarez, Nohely
PhD Student
Urban Planning, School of Architecture and Planning Department
Nohely Alvarez is a Ph.D. Student in Urban Planning at the School of Architecture and Planning. Her focus and interests include the intersection of immigrant communities, transnational planning, participatory community building, social justice, gentrification, and equity development. She is particularly interested in advocacy and radical planning pedagogy in her field and thinking of ways the gap between practice and academia in planning can be improved. In her spare time, she likes learning about other cities, creating maps for side gigs, cooking, and playing with Son Cosita Seria (a DC-based Jarocho collective group)

Keisha Allan

Allan, Keisha
PhD Student
Comparative Literature Department
My name is Keisha Allan and I am a native of Trinidad and Tobago. I am currently a third year Ph.D. student in the Department of Comparative Literature and my broad area of interest is twentieth-century Caribbean literature. Within this field, I examine Caribbean literature by women of English, Spanish and French expression who deal extensively with the rewriting of the homeland to imagine ways to overcome social and patriarchal repression. My research seeks to investigate the ways in which normative constructions of the homeland are problematized and contested by Caribbean women writers of the late twentieth century.

Allan Arellano

Arellano, Allan
Master Student
History Department
Alan Arellano recieved his BA in History with a minor in Translation/Interpretation from the University of Texas at El Paso in 2010. Alan is originally from the DMV area with a proud Peruvian heritage. He is currently part of the HiLS program (History and Master of Library and Information Library Science), working towards his MA in History and MLIS. He is particularly interested in Latin American History., specifically in the relationship of the Latino/a community and popular culture. Ultimately, Alan would like to pursue a career in archives, digital curation, and digital/audiovisual media projects. He is currently the media archives intern at the Rhizome Art and Cultural Center with the DC Public Library system as well as a Graduate Assistant at the UMD School of Public Health's IT Solutions Center.

Jonathan Brower

Brower, Jonathan
PhD Candidate
Department of History
Jonathan Brower is a doctoral candidate in the History Department. He graduated from the Johns Hopkins University in 2010 with a BA in History and Near Eastern Studies. At the University of Maryland, Jonathan studies the French Revolution, with an emphasis on questions relating to religion, identity and the nation during the Terror. His dissertation argues that the cultural and religious policies of the Terror were actually part of a larger project of nation-building during the French Revolution. Besides his dissertation topic, Jonathan is also interested in questions relating to the transnational experience of revolution in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. Finally, both within and outside academia, Jonathan is passionate about community organizing and labor rights.

Sarah Dowman

Dowman, Sarah
PhD Candidate
Spanish Department
Sarah Dowman is a PhD candidate in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese where she focuses on Latin American and U.S. Latina/o cultural studies, gender and sexuality studies, and transnationalism. Her dissertation project is titled “Change Is Sound: Resistance and Activism in Queer Latinx Punk.” Sarah’s conceptualization of punk includes all aspects of the subculture including performance, style and aesthetic, ideologies and activism, and the many cultural products that punx produce such as music, visual art and photography, zines, and other written texts. Sarah hopes to continue to spotlight the important cultural work of queer Latinx punx, still overwhelmingly unnoticed and marginalized within mainstream academia. She also enjoys going to shows, traveling, painting, and spending time with her cat.

Lissette Escariz Ferrá

Escariz Ferrá, Lissette
PhD Student
English Department
Lissette Escariz Ferrá is an English PhD student at the University of Pittsburgh focusing on Latinx, Caribbean, and Postcolonial literature. She was born and raised in La Habana Del Este, Cuba and has lived most of her time abroad in Miami, FL. In the Spring of 2018 Lissette graduated with a Master's in English from the University of Maryland, where she made LASC her home away from the Caribbean. She was LASC's 2018 Queer/Cuir Americas main conference artist and will once again take on the role for the center’s 2019 Huracán, Tormenta, Storm conference. Aside from her research and other graduate work, Lissette enjoys dancing Cuban salsa, painting watercolors, taking pictures, and spending time by the sea.

Sergio Garcia

García Mejía, Sergio.
MS Student
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Sergio Garcia is a Fulbright Scholar from Guatemala. He graduated from Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala with a BA in Civil Engineering. Currently he is pursuing a Water Resources MSc degree at the University of Maryland, College Park, and is part of the Center for Disaster Resilience at the A. James Clark School of Engineering. His research focuses on the intersection of probabilistic models for disaster assessment in the Northern Triangle of Central America and human migration patterns in the wake of disasters. Sergio has significant experience working in municipal planning in both rural and semi-rural environments in Guatemala. Sergio has also assisted in developing educational projects near Guatemala City's garbage dump and is currently working to design and build a new community development and educational program in the same area. With over a decade of experience as a musician, Sergio has played in several musical groups and participated in various non-profit music projects.

Analia Gomez Vidal

Gomez-Vidal, Analia
PhD Candidate
Department of Government
Analia Gomez-Vidal is the Coordinator for CIDCM and the Program Coordinator for MIDCM since Fall 2014. She is currently a PhD student in the Department of Government and Politics at University of Maryland, College Park. Before moving to Maryland, she has worked for the Fulbright Commission in Buenos Aires, Argentina and for the Ibero-American Federation of Stock Exchanges (FIAB). As a journalist, her articles on politics and economic development have been published in online and printed media. She has also had experience as research consultant for Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). She has previously pursued her M.A. in International Studies and her B.A. in Economics with minor in Journalism at Universidad Torcuato di Tella in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her research agenda focuses on political economy and gender, with special interest in individual behavior, social network analysis, and experimental design.

Sabrina Gonzalez

Gonzalez, Sabrina
PhD Student
Department of History
Sabrina Gonzalez is a PhD student in the Department of History. She graduated from Universidad Nacional de La Matanza, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with a BA in social communication. Interested in education and social movements from her experience as an activist and teacher, Sabrina came to the University of Maryland to work towards a PhD in Latin American History. Her research focuses on education and childhood in Argentina in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In Argentina, she has taught multiple classes at public universities, high schools, and alternative schools for adults. As an advocate for community building and collective action among graduate students in the Humanities, she has joined the Latin American Studies Center Writing Group, the reading group "Hoy: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Present," and the History Graduate Student Association.

Victor Hernandez-Sang

Hernandez-Sang, Victor
PhD Student
Victor is a Ph.D. student of ethnomusicology originally from the Dominican Republic. His doctoral project examines the performance of gaga (Haitian-Dominican music and dance) and explores race, immigration, and racial discrimination in the Dominican Republic. At the University of Maryland, he also worked toward his masters degree and his thesis focuses on the performance of palos music in fiestas de misterios in the Dominican Republic. In summer 2018, he started working on his doctoral project conducting field research with the support of the Graduate School Summer Research Fellowship. Before coming to UMD, he received his B.A. from Luther College, Decorah, IA in music (flute performance) and taught flute, ear training, and English in his hometown, Santiago. Victor has contributed to the LASC annual student conference since 2016 as a presenter and member of the organizing committee.

Ana Nadalini Mendes

Mendes, Ana Nadalini
MA Student
History Department
Ana Mendes received her BA and MA in History from the Universidade Federal do Paraná - Brazil in 2005 and 2009. In her MA, she dedicated to the study of sacred food in the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomblé. She comes to the University of Maryland to work towards an MA in early Latin American history, with a specific emphasis in cultural and gender history. She is particularly interested the use of food as an strategy of resistance used by enslaved women in Brazil and United States in the nineteenth century. Ultimately, she would like to pursue an academic history career as a professor and a researcher of history of slavery and history of food.

Natasha N. Piñeiros

Natasha N. Piñeiros
MA Student
Student Affairs
Natasha N. Piñeiros was born and raised in Quito, Ecuador until 2009 when her family relocated to the United States. As a first-generation immigrant and first-generation college student, Natasha began her undergraduate career at Bergen Community College in New Jersey where she found her love for the field of student affairs and higher education. She later transferred to The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) where she earned a Bachelor's degree in Communication Studies and Spanish Language. Natasha is currently pursuing her master's degree in Student Affairs at the University of Maryland, College Park where she worked as an academic advisor and now works as a graduate assistant in the Adele H. Stamp Student Union supporting the operation of over 900 student organizations. Natasha is passionate about using her career and position in higher education to serve low-income, first-generation, students of color as they navigate their journey in college. Her current research interests include learning about the retention and persistence of Latinx students in Hispanic-serving community colleges. Natasha is bilingual in Spanish and English, and could use some practice on her American Sign Language proficiency. When she is not in a classroom, you can find Natasha dancing, eating sushi, and traveling.

Kristofer Jon Reed

Reed, Kristofer Jon
PhD Student
English Department
Kristofer Jon Reed is a third year PhD student in the Department of English. He studies hemispheric literature of the nineteenth century with the aim of challenging the ethnocentric thinking that places the United States and the English language at the center of "American" literature. Kristofer is also interested in posthumanism and the non-human in literature, especially animals.