Core Staff and Faculty

Merle Collins

Director Dr. Isabella Alcañiz is Director of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Center and an Associate Professor of the Department of Government and Politics, University of Maryland (UMD). Professor Alcañiz studies the politics of climate change, social inequality, disaster policy, and gender with a focus on Latin America and Latinx residents of the United States. Her research has been published widely, including in Global Environmental Politics, Journal of Cleaner Production, Water Policy, Environmental Science and Policy, World Politics, and the Latin American Research Review. Her book, Environmental and Nuclear Networks in the Global South: How Skills Shape International Cooperation, was published by Cambridge University Press. She received a PhD from the Department of Political Science at Northwestern University and a Licenciatura in International Relations from the Universidad de Belgrano (Argentina).

Eric Tomala

Assistant Director Eric Tomalá joined LASC in January 2017. He received his bachelor’s degree in Economics and International Business and a Master of Arts in Sociology. Eric’s academic interest is the political economy of food production.

Lisa W. Carney

Postdoctoral Associate Keisha Allan is a native of Trinidad and Tobago. She is the recipient of the Ann G. Wylie Dissertation Fellowship, the McKittrick Book award and most recently, she was selected as a Tufts University Symposium Fellow. Recently graduated with a Ph.D. from the Program of Comparative Literature, her broad area of interest is twentieth-century Caribbean literature. Within this field, she examines Caribbean literature by women writers who critique social and political inequities in their societies. She examines how selected female authors from the Francophone, Anglophone and Hispanophone Caribbean create fictional worlds that have the effect of subverting patriarchal perspectives and paradigms in their postcolonial societies. She illustrates how the feminist reimagining of the nation allows Caribbean female authors to utilize their fictional narrative spaces to inscribe transgressive narratives in an attempt to define real-life sites of resistance for social and political transformation.

Víctor Hernández Sang

Graduate Assistant Víctor Hernández Sang is a PhD candidate in ethnomusicology in the School of Music. His doctoral project examines the performance of gagá (Haitian-Dominican music and dance) and issues of race, immigration, and racial discrimination in the Dominican Republic. At the University of Maryland, he also completed his MA with a thesis focused on the performance of palos music in fiestas de misterios in the Dominican Republic. Before coming to UMD, he received his BA from Luther College, Decorah, IA in music (flute performance) and taught flute, ear training, and English in his hometown, Santiago, Dominican Republic.

Cindy Morales

Office Assistant Cindy Morales is currently a sophomore at the University Of Maryland. She is majoring in Communications with a minor in entrepreneurship. She is from Guatemala and is passionate about expanding her knowledge about Latin America with others. Cindy’s interests include: photography, blogging, music, and Latin America of course!