Category Archives: Alumni Achievements

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

Congratulations to CLACS January 2013 MA Graduates!

NYU - TorchThe following graduates completed the CLACS MA program! We offer you warmest congratulations, and best wishes as you embark on the next phases of your careers. Felicidades graduates, and please Keep in touch!

Rebecca Bintrim, David Bowker, Rachel Emily, Elisse Leani Garcia, Maria Magdalena Gruneisen, Kevin McLoughlin, Kristi Philips, Amanda Tollefson, and Robin Whitney.

Perspectives from the Field: Ana María Blanco

Ana María Blanco

Ana María Blanco, Communication on Progress Manager at the United Nations Global Compact & CLACS Alumnus

On Friday, October 19th, 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 Ana María Blanco, who currently works as a Communication on Progress Manager at the United Nations Global Compact supporting companies to implement and disclose progress on corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. She began her talk discussing her work experience in her native Colombia. She earned her law degree in Bogota where she worked for a corporate law firm, and was unhappy in that environment. Ana María later worked for the Colombian government conducting research on the ongoing armed conflict in the country. She observed negotiations with Paramilitaries, which led her to become very interested in conflict resolution. She felt like that was something that she really wanted to get involved in, and decided to apply to CLACS at NYU to further her knowledge about Latin America. Continue reading

Perspectives from the Field: Tamar Hahn

Tamar Hahn

Tamar Hahn, Regional Communications Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean for UNICEF in Panama & CLACS Alumnus

On Friday, September 28th, we launched 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.

Our first speaker was Tamar Hahn, Regional Communications Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean for UNICEF in Panama. She began her talk on her journey from her upbringing in her native Argentina, to her undergraduate studies in Israel (where her mother is from), to her graduate studies with CLACS in New York. Hahn mentioned that “it’s funny that in order for Latin Americans to learn about Latin America, we have to go outside of it.”

After completing the joint MA program in Latin American and Caribbean studies and journalism at CLACS in 1998, Hahn got her first job as a journalist covering Latin American finance and managing editor of The Earth Times newspaper in New York which covered issues related to the United Nations. It was through contacts that she developed at the UN that allowed her to begin working directly for the UN as a freelancer, and after freelancing for a few years, she came across an opportunity to work for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 2004 working in New York and Geneva. Continue reading

CLACS Alumni Profile: Franklin Moreno

Franklin MorenoCLACS Alum Franklin Moreno is the Schools Programs Manager at El Museo del Barrio, where he has worked since 2009.  El Museo del Barrio is a Latino cultural institution dedicated to promoting Latin American and Caribbean art and culture.

He was recently accepted to a PhD program in Human Development and Education at UC Berkeley, where he will be studying Cognition and Development with Elliot Turiel.

“I feel that museums offer so much, and have been creating spaces to approach education in a more flexible ways.  I’m trying to better understand the ways our minds develop to better understand trauma and education, and then connect that to museum practices,” he says.

At CLACS, Franklin’s research focused on museum studies and El Salvador. His thesis looked at El Museo de Arte de El Salvador (MARTE), where he explored the role of the museum in relation to post-war conflict and social and psychological trauma. He graduated from CLACS in January 2011.

He says his experiences at CLACShelped shape his career and future research.

“I am still working out a lot of ideas that came out of my time at CLACS, and  drawing on work by some of the authors I read,” he says.
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CLACS Alumni Profile: Amy Risley

CLACS Alum Amy Risley

CLACS Alum Amy Risley

Amy Risley is an Assistant Professor in the International Studies department at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, and a CLACS alum. She graduated from CLACS in 1998 and focused her research on Latin American politics.

While at CLACS she received a Tinker Field Research Grant to do field research in Argentina, where she studied civil society and activism. She’s been interested in the topic ever since.

The good news is that Amy was recently offered a tenure track position at Rhodes College, so she’ll have the opportunity to continue the research she began at CLACS!

Amy was thrilled with her experience at CLACS, and says that the inclusion of Caribbean studies, in addition to South and Central American and Mexico, distinguishes CLACS from other Latin American studies programs.  She also liked the interdisciplinary nature of the program and the access she had to faculty.  “I took excellent courses from Jeff Goodwin, Christopher Mitchell, Marty Weinstein, Elisabeth Wood, and others.  I found everyone to be remarkably accessible and encouraging,” she says. “And, of course, the endless opportunities of New York City.  I was able to take a class at Columbia, intern at Trickle Up, and listen to so many fascinating speakers who were passing through.  It was just wonderful,” Amy says.

Visit the CLACS Alumni page on the CLACS blog to learn more about our alums. If you are a CLACS alum, please join the CLACS alumni network!

CLACS Alum at September 11th Tribute Center

Esther Mares - CLACS AlumEsther Mares is a CLACS graduate who is now a Collections Assistant at the Tribute World Trade Center Visitor Center.

Esther graduated in January 2012 with an MA in Latin American and Caribbean Studies with a concentration in museum studies. She landed a job in her field before she even completed her last semester.

Esther came to NY from Las Vegas, New Mexico, and where studied archaeology and Spanish at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. She has also previously interned at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

At CLACS, her MA thesis investigated the Museum of the City of Las Vegas and its role in producing local culture and Hispanic narratives. While at CLACS she also interned at the Rubin Museum and the Museum of the City of New York (MCNY).
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Congratulations to our January 2012 MA Graduates!

NYU - TorchThe following graduates completed the CLACS MA program in three semesters. We offer you warmest congratulations, and best wishes as you embark on the next phases of your lives. Felicidades, graduates! Keep in touch!!

Kate Bedecarre, Katti Wachs, Sam Ginsburg, Sofia Huizar, Esther Mares, Yesenia Fernadez, Daniel Tate

CLACS Alum Builds Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies at Rutgers University

Aldo Lauria Santiago - CLACS at NYUWhen Aldo Lauria Santiago was an MA student at CLACS at NYU, he began the research that led to several books, and eventually served as inspiration to grow the Department of Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Currently, Aldo is both Chair and Associate Professor of the Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies Department at Rutgers. He is also a joint professor in the History department.

“The good thing [about CLACS] is that it lends itself to people who want to get a professional MA, or for those who want to follow a traditional academic path,” he says.

Aldo says CLACS played a definitive role in his academic research and his overall career. At CLACS, he focused much of his research on El Salvador, combining Latin American history courses at NYU with political economy and economic anthropology courses at the New School. He wanted to find a way to blend social science and history methods and materials, and went on to further develop his ideas in this area as a PhD student at the University of Chicago (which he almost didn’t attend because of Chicago’s notoriously bad weather). Since then he’s written and co-authored several books on El Salvador, including To Rise in Darkness: Revolution, Repression, and Memory in El Salvador, 1920-1932, Landscapes of Struggle: Politics, Society, and Community in El Salvador, An Agrarian Republic: Commercial Agriculture and the Politics of Peasant Communities in El Salvador, 1823-1914, and Identity and Struggle at the Margins of the Nation-State: The Laboring Peoples of Central America and the Hispanic Caribbean.

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Q & A with CLACS Alum Eva Sanchis

Eva Sanchis CLACS Alum

Eva Sanchis, CLACS Alum

Eva Sanchis graduated from the CLACS  joint journalism M.A. program in 2003. At CLACS, she focused her research on media portrayals of Latino communities, and overall media coverage of Latin America and the Caribbean. Since then, she continues to focus on these issues, and has published her work extensively, She recently relocated to London, where she works for the international NGO REDRESS. Here’s more about Eva, her time at CLACS, and her current work.

Q. What did you focus your research on at CLACS?

A. While completing my joint master’s program in Journalism and Latin American and Caribbean Studies at NYU, I had the opportunity to intern with two CNN primetime shows:  American Morning with Paula Zahn and Greenfield at Large. I also began working as a full-time reporter for El Diario-La Prensa, the oldest Spanish-language newspaper in the United States, where I covered the Hispanic and Latin American and Spanish Caribbean communities in New York.  My thesis at CLACS was partly based on these experiences. It examined mainstream media portrayals of those communities in the United States as well as U.S. media coverage of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Q. Is there any connection between your current work and your research at CLACS?

A. Yes, since I completed my M.A. in 2003, my journalistic career has been devoted to writing about Hispanic and Latin American and Spanish Caribbean communities.  An ongoing concern within my work has been to combat distorted perceptions of these communities in the U.S. mainstream media. After NYU, I became the Metro and National News editor at the New York-based El Diario-La Prensa, the U.S.’s second largest Hispanic newspaper.  As editor, I supervised coverage of local and national news, and major international stories such as the 2008 US presidential election, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, and the earthquake in Chile. Prior to being an editor, I was the New York City Hall Bureau chief for El Diario, and I also reported special coverage from Latin America as an IRP Johns Hopkins’ fellow.  I have written for El Diario and other publications such as the World Policy Journal, the Progressive magazine, and the Financial Times magazine. I was also an adjunct professor at CLACS, where I taught the course “Covering Latino Stories in the United States.”  Since I relocated to London in 2010, I have continued writing as a freelancer about these communities from Europe.

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