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Recent CLACS alumni

Student Spotlight

Laura Geiken is currently a dual degree student at CLACS pursuing a Master's of Art in Latin American Studies and a Master's in Library Science. Additionally, she is an Associate Instructor of Spanish at Indiana University in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese. Before coming to IU, she served in the Peace Corps for three years working on an HIV/AIDS initiative in Western Panama. The dual degree program at IU allows her to combine her passion for Latin American Studies with her professional goal of becoming a public reference librarian in a predominately Latino community. The interdisciplinary courses at CLACS have allowed her to deepen her understanding of Latin America and the Latino community in the United States while providing a strong theoretical base in the field. Additionally, CLACS has made coursework funding possible through a teaching position at the university. Her focus within CLACS is on information access, the state, and public libraries in Central America.

See a listing of CLACS students and alumni:


  • Colin Airriess - Major: Portuguese/International Studies (CLACS Certificate)
  • Karaline Cartagena - Major: Spanish (CLACS Certificate)
  • Matthew Cesnik - Major: History/Spanish (CLACS Certificate)
  • Rachel Flecke - Major: International Studies (CLACS Certificate)
  • Catherine Fonseca - Major: History/Spanish/Folklore & Ethnomusicology (CLACS Certificate)
  • Sara Gaspard - Major: Tourism, Hospitality & Event Management (CLACS Minor)
  • Brett Hamm - Major: History/African American & African Diaspora Studies (CLACS Certificate)
  • Grace Hankins - Major: International Business & Public Policy Analysis (CLACS Minor)
  • Nicole Kaforski - Major: International Studies (CLACS Certificate)
  • Megan Kelly - Major: International Studies & Spanish (CLACS Certificate)
  • Elyse Kienitz - Major: Spanish (CLACS Minor)
  • Kourtney Liepelt - Major: Journalism/Spanish (CLACS Certificate)
  • Katie Lorentson - Major: Spanish/Criminal Justice (CLACS Certificate)
  • Samantha McEvoy - Major: Spanish (CLACS Certificate)
  • Brianna Meyer - Major: Economics/Spanish (CLACS Certificate)
  • Mary Oelker - Major: Spanish/Anthropology (CLACS Certificate)
  • Seth Phillips - Major: Spanish (CLACS Minor)
  • Julia Selby - Major: Anthropology (CLACS Certificate)
  • David Sirkin - Major: History (CLACS Certificate)
  • Sarah TeKolste - Major: Spanish/Theatre & Drama (CLACS Certificate)
  • Allison Yates - Major: International Studies/Spanish/Near Eastern Languages & Cultures (CLACS Certificate)

M.A. Students

  • Zachary Baquet - Countercultures, Street Performance, South America
  • Mike Fitt - squatter settlements, Peru
  • Dayna Cueva Alegria - Political Ecology, Peru
  • Denisa Jashari - History, Chile
  • Kathryn Lehman - History, Bolivia
  • Sonia Manriquez - Quechua, Andes, and Indigenous issues
  • Diana Velazquez - Education, Marginalization, Mexico/US

Dual Degree Students

  • Megan Beddow - Civic Engagement, Sustainability (M.A./M.P.A.)
  • Aviva Elzufon - government social programs, technology, Southern Cone (M.A./M.P.A.)
  • Laura Geiken - Information Access, Panama (M.A./M.L.S.)
  • John Kroondyk - Brazil, Portuguese language (M.A./M.L.S.)
  • Marie Suding - Portuguese language, Brazil (M.A./M.P.A.)
  • Alexandra Toledo- governability, development NGOs, food sovereignty, Peru (M.A./M.P.A.)
  • Nicholas Tschida-Reuter - Caribbean history (M.A./M.P.A.)
  • Nathan Viets - Conservation Policy, Afro-Brazil (M.A./M.P.A.)

Ph.D. Students

  • Marc Antone - History (CLACS minor)
  • Sheila Blanchard - Anthropology (CLACS Minor)
  • Eric Carbajal - Spanish/Portuguese (CLACS Minor)
  • Sarah Foss - History (CLACS Minor)
  • Kaitlin Guidarelli - Spanish/Portuguese (CLACS Minor)
  • Ricardo Higelin Ponce de León - Anthropology (CLACS Minor)
  • Mitsuko Kawabata - Folklore & Ethnomusicology (CLACS Minor)
  • Elizabeth Konwest - Anthropology (CLACS Minor)
  • Matthew Lebrato - Anthropology (CLACS Minor)
  • Gaelle Le Calvez - Spanish/Portuguese (CLACS Minor)
  • Frank Marshalek - Geography (CLACS Minor)
  • Heather McFadden - Folklore & Ethnomusicology (CLACS Minor)
  • Joseph Pecorelli - Spanish/Portuguese (CLACS Minor)
  • Javier Ramirez - Communication & Culture (CLACS Minor)
  • Jenny Riley - Anthropology (CLACS Minor)
  • Jessica Rivers - Communication & Culture (CLACS Minor)
  • Rachel Schlegel - Spanish/Portuguese (CLACS Minor)
  • Francisco Tandioy Jansasoy - Folklore & Ethnomusicology (CLACS Minor)

Recent Alumni

  • Mariella Arredondo - Ph.D. in Education (CLACS Minor)
  • Catilin Benallack - Latin American politics (M.A./M.L.S.)
  • Kaitlin Blatt - Major: Biology (CLACS Certificate)
  • Edward Brudney - History, labor, Argentina (M.A.)
  • Rebecca Clouser - Ph.D. in Geography (CLACS Minor)
  • Marcie Deffenbaugh - Quechua (M.A./M.I.S.)
  • Rachel Dotson - social movements, language, and eduation in Latin America (M.A.)
  • Vicky Gruzynski - Brazil, Portuguese language (M.A./M.L.S.)
  • Anne Marie Guerrettaz - Ph.D. in Second Language Studies (CLACS Minor)
  • Nina Hensarling (Cole) - Peru and Central America, fair trade and coffee (M.A./M.B.A.)
  • Katherine Horn - Major: Spanish/Biology (CLACS Certificate)
  • Alexis Howard - Major: Neuroscience/Spanish (CLACS Certificate)
  • Michael Lemon - popular political culture, nation/state formation, memory, Chile (M.A.)
  • Madeline Makielski - Major: Anthropology/Spanish (CLACS Certificate)
  • Perry Mcaninch - Major: Folklore & Ethnomusicology (CLACS Minor)
  • Silvia Panigada - Major: Fine Arts (CLACS Minor)
  • Erika Piquero - Major: International Studies/Linguistics (CLACS Certificate)
  • Alison Pitt - Honduras, food security, rural development, and peace (M.A./M.P.A)
  • Irasema Rivera - gender, Mexican history, Latino Studies (M.A./M.P.H.)
  • Timothy Thompson - Portuguese, libraries and popular education in Brazil (M.A./M.L.S.)
  • Nancy Vazquez-Soto - domestic violence and animal abuse in Puerto Rico (M.A.)
  • Abigail Yates - Major: Spanish (CLACS Certificate)