Latin American Studies Alumni
Attention LAS alumni: please share your alumni news by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Interested in participating in a video conference with the current LAS Research Methodology course? Contact Nicolette Kostiw, CLAS Assistant Director, Director of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies.
- Click to read the Executive Summary from our 2017 Alumni Survey
“My career as a world language educator has been greatly influenced by my experiences as a LAS student.”
“The LAS major and my travel experience in Latin America gave me a significant edge…”
Miguel Cuj (M.A. Latin American Studies 2018)
Elizabeth Lopez (M.A. Latin American Studies 2016)
Rebecca West (M.A. Latin American Studies 2015)
Hannah Elbaum (B.A. Latin American Studies 2015) works at Robert Muller LIFE School in Panajachel, Guatemala.
Jay Moody (B.A. Latin American Studies 2015) works in sales and trading analysis at Citibank in New York City.
Marcus Raimondi (B.A. Latin American Studies 2015)works at Facebook as a Client Solutions Manager for the politics and advocacy clients in Washington DC.
Natasha Vaz (B.A. Latin American Studies 2015) is a Business Analyst at Deloitte in New York City.
Angelika Albaldejo (M.A. Latin American Studies 2014) is a Latin American Rights and Security Fellow at the Center for International Policy.
Ashley Larson (M.A. Latin American Studies 2014) moved to Los Angeles in 2014 to pursue a Masters of Library and Information Science at UCLA. Upon graduation, she hopes to find a career where Latin American studies and librarianship intersect.
Jonathon Moody (M.A. Latin American Studies 2014)
Megan Oleson (M.A. Latin American Studies 2014) is adjunct faculty in the Department of Foreign Languages at Fisk University.
Caitlin Patton (M.A. Latin American Studies 2014)
Daniel Rojas (M.A. Latin American Studies 2014) works as a consultant for the Center of Comparative Politics in Education at Diego Portales University in Chile, assisting with the government’s reform of Chile’s educational system. Additionally, he is part of a startup company called YoCapacito.cl, a network of lecturers designed to educate adults in big corporations.
Rebecca West (M.A. Latin American Studies 2014) works at the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce working to set up a non-profit to teach English through sports.
Chelsea Williams (M.A. Latin American Studies 2014)
Yvonne White (M.A. Latin American Studies 2014)
Tyler Wells (B.A. Latin American Studies 2014)
Will Young (M.A. Latin American Studies 2014) is pursuing his Ph.D in political science at Rutgers University.
Daniel Zizumbo-Colunga (M.A. Political Science, 2014) is a visiting Professor at the Division of Political Studies of the Center for Economic Research and Teaching (CIDE) in Mexico City for the 2015-2016 academic year.
Chloe Patt (B.A. Latin American Studies 2013) is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator for Homeland, an IT LLC in Franklin, Tennessee.
Rebecca Keng (M.A. Latin American Studies 2013) is a Public Relations Manager at KFS Industries Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia.
Jennier Vogt (Ph.D Anthropology, 2013) was selected as an American Council of Learned Societies Public Fellow for 2015. Her fellowship placement is innovation manager at Ashoka.
Elizabeth Eiland (M.A. Latin Americans Studies 2012) is currently working as an Analyst in the Americas section of iJET International.
Max Pendergraph (M.A. Latin American Studies 2012) will be staying at Vanderbilt to pursue a Ph.D. in History. He works on issues of migration between Iberia and Latin America and his adviser will be Prof. Marshall Eakin.
Avi Richman (M.A. 2012) just returned to the U.S. after spending around three months in and around São Paulo. He had a wonderful time, learned a great deal about education policy in the country and improved his Portuguese.
Laura Sellers (M.A. Latin American Studies 2012) is starting her Ph.D. in Political Science at Vanderbilt. Her research interests include migration in the Americas.
Becky Reuse (M.A. 2011) has been working over the past year in Brazil marketing her English speaking skills, working at a local school, a university, and currently online at OpenEnglish.com. Recently she presented at a conference about education policy with respect to indigenous populations, comparing policy in the U.S. and Brazil. From her house she can see the fringe of the forest and from her side porch the river that divides the city. She is one block from the famous BR-364, a source of decades of conflict in Brazil. Her starfruit tree is full and everyday she opens up the door to a family of parakeets flying away as she interrupts their breakfast.
Rafael Romero moved back to Nicaragua and has been teaching at two law schools in Managua. At Universidad Americana he teaches one course on Negotiations, and another on Legal Systems, and won an award for best professor in the fall of 2011. At Universidad Centroamericana he teaches Public International Law.
Steven Taylor (M.A. Latin American Studies 2011) works in Metro Nashville Public Schools teaching US History and Spanish at Martin Luther King Magnet School. He is honored to be part of such a fine school and is excited to share what he learned from the Latin American Studies program with his students. His wife is still teaches French at Pope John Paul II High School and they took a group of her students and their daughter to France in June 2013.
Hillary Voth (M.A. Latin American Studies 2011) lives in Cochabamba, Bolivia and is working for an organization called Ciudadanía. She is part of a project called “Cultura Política y Diversidad Cultural,” which works to promote political participation by Quechua women in Cochabamba and has taken on the pioneer task of working with Quechua women to define political concepts in their native language and according to their worldview. Another Vanderbilt alumnus, Daniel Moreno (Ph.D. Political Science 2008), is the Coordinator of Social Investigation at Ciudadanía.
Laura Delgado (M.A. 2010) is in her second year working with Conexion Americas, the premier Latino non-profit in Nashville. She is a Parental Engagement Specialist working to create a strong partnership between Latino parents and local public middle & high schools. She plans to eventually return to academia to pursue a Ph.D in History, in particular the intersection of religion & democracy in Brazil.
Morgan Maxwell (M.A. 2010) is in the second semester of her first year in the Social Psychology doctoral program at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Working under Dr. Faye Belgrave, she is examining skin tone preferences and sexual practices among African Americans. In an effort to incorporate her research as a CLAS student, she wishes to conduct a cross-cultural study of skin tone preferences among African Americans and Afro-Brazilians in the future.
Leslie Rodríguez (M.A. Latin American Studies 2010) is in her third year as a doctoral student in Vanderbilt’s Sociology Department. Her research focuses on international migration and race. She is also working as an editorial assistant for the American Sociological Review, the flagship journal for the American Sociological Association.
Matthew Layton (M.A. Latin American Studies, 2009) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Political Science Department at Vanderbilt University. His areas of interest are Comparative Politics and American Politics.
Laura Morgan (M.A. Latin American Studies, 2009) realized after graduation that her travel bug was not yet squashed. After completing her degree, she taught English in Santiago, Chile, and then in a remote, rural village in Thailand. Upon returning, she moved to Washington, D.C., where she landed the position of research support specialist/learning center administrator at the Inter-American Defense College (IADC).
John Trylch (M.A. 2009) has been working as the U.S. Military Group’s Chief of Operations, as well recently as the Chief of the Army Section. Says John, “Overall, I have learned immensely in the past year about not only Guatemala, but also about U.S. foreign affairs and policy- It has been a very professionally rewarding assignment so far.” He and his wife Lindsey and daughter Anna live in Guatemala City.
Charlton Yingling (M.A. 2009) is currently a PhD student in Latin American, Caribbean, and Atlantic World history at the University of South Carolina.
Alexa Remis (M.A. Latin American Studies 2008) is currently a third-year law student at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin where she also serves as the administrative editor of the Texas Law Review. Upon her graduation from Vanderbilt, she completed a yearlong clerkship with Judge Gregg Costa in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
James Winland, (M.A. Latin American Studies 2008) is stationed with the US Military in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He currently works as an instructor of a Command and State course, teaching English and Doctrine Tactics to Brazilian Army officers.
James Remington Krause (M.A .Portuguese 2007) went to Brigham Young University in January 2010 as a Visiting Instructor of Portuguese. Currently finishing up his dissertation, “Translation ‘Failure’ and the Reception and Influence of Latin American Literature in the United States” (adviser: Earl Fitz), he hopes to defend it in September. In the fall James will enter the tenure track at BYU.
Bryan Pitts (M.A. Latin American Studies, 2006) is currently completing his Ph.D in Latin American history at Duke, with an April 2013 defense planned for his dissertation, titled “The Inadvertent Opposition: The Paulista Political Class and the Demise of Brazil’s Military Regime, 1968-1985.” His first journal article, titled “The Audacity to Strong-Arm the Generals: Paulo Maluf and the 1978 São Paulo Gubernatorial Contest” appeared in the August 2012 issue of The Hispanic American Historical Review.
Holly Eberly (M.A. Latin American Studies 2005) married Jason Trice in a ceremony in Charlottesville, Virginia on June 4, 2010. Holly is currently in her third year of law school at the University of Richmond and plans to practice immigration law upon completing her studies.
Eric B. Sigmon (B.A. Latin American Studies, 2004) is a Foreign Affairs Officer with the Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. He previously worked in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and the Bureau of Legislative Affairs. Before joining the Department of State, he worked for the Department of Defense, the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, and the International Management and Communications Corp.
Susan McConn (M.A.2004) She went to the University of Texas School of Law and now works as a immigration attorney for FosterQuan in Houston, Texas. Her background in LAS program opened up doors for her and she loves this rewarding career.
Nick Stokes (B.S. Latin American Studies, 2004) wrapped up a two-year tour in Yerevan, Armenia with the US Agency for International Development’s foreign service in July 2012 and has been transferred to the US Embassy in Kabul for one year to work in USAID’s Office of Democracy & Governance.
David Wheat, (M.A. Latin American Studies, 2003; Ph.D. History, 2009) is an Assistant Professor of Caribbean History at Michigan State University, where he teaches classes on Caribbean History, Colonial Latin America, and African Diaspora Studies. He is currently in Spain for a year on an NEH Fellowship (2012-2013), finishing up his first book project.
Brian Wortham (M.A. Latin American Studies, 2003) is the Director of Marketing at Dianne’s Fine Desserts in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Carlos Quintana (M.A. Latin American Studies, 2000) lives in Rome, Italy and works as the Latin Music Guide for About.com. His second son was born in the summer of 2012.
Jason Howard (B.A. 1999) is an agricultural commodity broker at American Commodities Brokerage Company in New York City. In his position, he works across all continents, except Antarctica, and uses Spanish and Portuguese daily. Adding an addition to his family, he married a lovely woman from Brazil.
Caleb Paul Stevenson Finegan (M.A. Latin American Studies, 1993) is an associate professor of history at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He was selected in January 2014 to serve as director of the Robert E. Cook Honors College. In his role as director, Finegan is charged with providing the leadership, information and support needed for the Cook Honors College to continue achieving success and improvement in academic excellence, student and alumni development, marketing, promotion and enrollment management and resource development.
Clarissa Adams Fletcher (M.A. Latin American Studies) is the world languages department chair at Dunwoody High School, was named 2011 American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages National Language Teacher of the Year. She also teaches with the Georgia Virtual School and earned her National Board Certification in Spanish in 2004.
The Department of Education has designated CLAS as one of its Foreign Language and Area Studies Programs and funds five graduate fellowships annually, as well as summer travel to Brazil, Guatemala, and Mexico for intensive language training. Vanderbilt CLAS is also one of the select graduate programs approved by the U.S. Army for its Foreign Area Officer training.
Jason Vulcan 2010 – Branch Chief, Afghan National Police in Camp Eggers, AfghanistanRoberto Perez John Trylch 2009 – US Military Group’s Chief of Operations in Guatemala City, Guatemala2007 – FAO in San Antonio, Texas
James Winland 2008 – US Army in Rio de Janeiro; Instructor of a Command and State course, teaching English and Doctrine Tactics to Brazilian Army officers
John Suggs 2008 – US Defense Attaché Office in La Paz, Bolivia