Author Archives: Elizabeth

Alumni Spotlight: Kristi Phillips

CLACS Alumnus, Kristi Phillips in Honduras (2013)

CLACS Alumnus, Kristi Phillips in Honduras (2013)

Kristi Phillips is a recent graduate of the CLACS MA Program who is now working as the Trip Coordinator with Central American Relief Efforts. She recently returned to the US, and shares her thoughts and experiences with us below.


CLACS: Can you please provide a brief introduction about yourself?
KP: I came to NYU after receiving my BA in economics and Spanish from the University of Northern Iowa and completed my MA at CLACS in January 2013. At CLACS, I focused on public policy evaluation within and with reference to Latin America. I have experience studying, working, and conducting research in Chile, Spain, Nicaragua, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and Honduras and currently work for a Pennsylvania-based non-profit organization called Central American Relief Efforts. Continue reading

Gaining Conference Experience: Leo Suarez

Leo Suarez

Leo Suarez, CLACS MA candidate

Leo Suarez, a first year MA candidate at CLACS, reflects on his recent experience of presenting his research at the Institute of Latin American Studies Student Association at the University of Texas at Austin.

CLACS: Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
LS: I’m a CLACS first year student from Chicago. My undergrad background is in Political Science and International Studies at Northwestern University. My current research concentrates on religions of the Yoruba Diaspora, specifically on the Ifá divination system as an alternative system of mental health. Continue reading

Alumni Spotlight: Amanda Tollefson

Amanda Tollefson

2012 CLACS Alumnus, Amanda Tollefson

Amanda Tollefson, a December 2012 CLACS alumnus, shares her thoughts and experiences with us below. Amanda is currently the Office Manager at the International Crisis Group in New York.

CLACS: Can you please tell us about yourself?
AT: I received my BA degrees in Spanish and the Comparative History of Ideas with a minor in European Studies from the University of Washington (Seattle). As an undergraduate student, I studied in Italy, the Czech Republic, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Cuba. After graduation, I earned my divemaster certification on the island of Utila, Honduras; taught English in Cadiz, Spain for a year; and spent a year as a flight attendant for an international airline. While studying at CLACS, I completed an internship in the Communications/Media department at the Coalition for the International Criminal Court. I also participated in a study abroad program during the January session in Puebla, Mexico, through the Food Studies department. Continue reading

Perspectives from the Field: Zamaly Diaz Lebron

Zamaly Diaz Lebron

Zamaly Diaz Lebron, Program Officer at the Institute of International Education (IIE) & CLACS Alumnus

On Friday, February 22nd, we had hosted another CLACS Alumn during our Perspectives from the Field Series, a speaker series that invites CLACS alumni from a wide range of professions to speak about their experiences since graduation, and how their studies at CLACS prepared them for the work that they are doing today. The topics that our invited speakers discuss in the series include development, education, human rights, business, public health, and more.

On this day, we welcomed, Zamaly Diaz Lebron a 2006 CLACS MA alumnus and currently is a Program Officer for university placement services at the Institute of International Education (IIE). Zamaly, a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, has a Bachelor’s Degree from the Universidad de Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, and also completed another NYU Master’s program in Performance Studies (completed in 2007) while studying at CLACS. Continue reading

The Life and Work of Michel-Rolph Trouillot: A Symposium

Trouillot Symposium

Presentation being made at Trouillot Symposium.

On Friday, March 1st, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) in conjunction with the Anthropology Department at NYU hosted the The Life and Work of Michel-Rolph Trouillot: A Symposium, an all-day event celebrating the life and work of prolific anthropologist and historian, Michel-Rolph Trouillot. Trouillot was born in Haiti in 1949 and immigrated to the US when he was nineteen, during the peak years of the Duvalier Regime. He would later go on to become a professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago, with interests in ethnographic methodologies, historiography, and theory-building. Trouillot left behind a major body of work, among which most famous are Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History, Haiti: State against Nation and Global Transformations: Anthropology and the Modern World. This symposium brought together a diverse assortment of individuals ranging from intellectuals and academics to activists and students, all gathered to commemorate the remarkable accomplishments and contributions of Michel-Rolph Trouillot to the humanities and social sciences. Continue reading

“What’s Left of Cuba” Colloquium: Queer Cuba

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On Thursday evening CLACS hosted the Queer Cuba Symposium in conjuction with NYU’s Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality and the Department of Performance Studies, a part of the CLACS Research Colloquium series entitled, “What’s Left of Cuba? Culture, Politics, and Civil Society.” José Muñoz, Professor of Performance Studies at NYU Tisch and author of Feeling Brown: Ethnicity, Affect and Performance and Cruising Utopia: The Politics and Performance of Queer Futurity amongst other publications, moderated lectures by José Quiroga and Jafari Allen. The insights of Dr. Muñoz and the two speakers offered a nuanced understanding of queer history in Cuba and exposure to themes of recognition, expression, commitment and agency. Continue reading

Perspectives from the Field: Ben Aplin

Benjamin Aplin

Benjamin Aplin, Director of Institutional Advancement at the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience & CLACS Alumnus

On Friday, December 7th, we had hosted another CLACS Alumn during our Perspectives from the Field Series, a speaker series that invites CLACS alumni from a wide range of professions to speak about their experiences since graduation, and how their studies at CLACS prepared them for the work that they are doing today. The topics that our invited speakers discuss in the series include development, education, human rights, business, public health, and more.

On this day, we welcomed Benjamin Aplin, a 2006 CLACS MA alumnus and current Director of Institutional Advancement at the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, to speak about the non-profit world and how his experiences at CLACS helped him get to where he is today.

Ben, who has been working in international NGOs since graduating from CLACS, has always been interested in working in an international environment because he traveled a lot with his mother when he was a teenager, including working at a summer arts camp in Haiti when he was 15. Ben graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in English, and came to CLACS interested in international development issues. He wrote his thesis on Protestantism in Latin America and its dominance in certain parts of the region. Continue reading