Our Students' Testimonials:
Students in the Latin American Studies MA are actively involved in a number of interesting projects and programs during the program and following their graduation.
Alda graduated with the joint MA degree in Latin American Studies and MLIS in Library and Information Science. After graduation, Alda started her job at the Library of Congress.
During the summer of 2014, Alda was an intern at both the Department of Justice Libraries and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. At the Department of Justice, she worked assisting two reference librarians in the Civil and Criminal Divisions. Alda directly supported attorneys in the Office of International Affairs in the Criminal Division, and the Office of Immigration Litigation in the Civil Division. Alda had the opportunity to be trained in law librarianship, expand her research and reference skills, and support litigation with her research. She also maintained a collection of current media and congressional hearings on high-profile national litigation.
Alda (front row, far left) in Washington D.C with here fellow interns.
At the Library of Congress, Alda was an intern for Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access in the Mexican, Central American, and Caribbean Division. Alda worked directly with processing new materials from Latin America, assessed their cataloging level, and evaluated resources for collection development for MCAC and SA (South America). She also assessed items against invoices and approval plans and maintained relationships with vendors through the international Gift and Exchange program.
Working directly with new publications from Latin America, Alda was able to further her knowledge on current materials and scholarship from a multitude of countries. She also gained invaluable experience and training by working with legislative histories concerning immigration and changing policies. Both experiences directly related to her interests and coursework at UCLA as a dual masters candidate in the Latin American studies program and Library and Information Science department.
Mary completed here MA in Latin American Studies during the fall of 2014. Through the program she studied culture and ethnomusicology of Latin America.
In the summer of 2014, Mary Alfaro participated in the Latino Museum Studies Program (LMSP) in Washington D.C., a fellowship organized by the Smithsonian Latino Center. This program hosted a select group of eleven graduate students engaged in the fields of Latino and Latin American art, culture and history for five weeks. LMSP focused on developing museum practice within a framework of Latino cultural studies in two components.
Mary experienced a rewarding summer internship in D.C. at the National Museum of American History.
Mary specifically worked on the Mexican Folk Art and Transnational Stories practicum at the National Museum of American History (NMAH) under the direction of Dr. Margaret Salazar-Porzio, a curator at the Division of Home and Community Life. NMAH possessed a large collection of Mexican folk art, home décor, and domestic objects that reflect multiple layers of Latino identities, lifestyles and family traditions. Therefore, Mary M. Alfaro learned about the curatorial process by working to bring objects from a prominent private collection of Mexican folk art to the Smithsonian.
The responsibilities assigned to the program were diverse, and included 1) researching the following subject areas: Latino folk art, consumerism and tourism in Latin America, and trans-national histories and experiences; 2) conducting background research on specific objects in this collection to produce an annotated collecting guide with bibliographic references; 3) identifying the objects’ importance to Latino history and culture as well as American history more broadly; and 4) outlining justifications for collection in reference to collections committee standards
Sarah Jane Smith
Sarah Jane Smith is a student in the Latin American Studies/ Public Health joint MA/MPH program at UCLA.
In the summer of 2015, Sarah attended the Doctors for Global Health General Assembly: “Liberation Medicine - Rise Up In Solidarity,” in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. She became a member of Doctors for Global Health (www.dghonline.org/) after attending their General Assembly last year in Berkeley, CA. While there she came to know of DGH through her partner, Lorenzo, who was previously involved with COCOSI (http://cocosi.org/), an organization that DGH works closely with in Santa Marta, Cabañas, El Salvador. The work of DGH is comprised of hundreds of health professionals, educators, social justice activists, artists, retirees, etc. who are committed to building long-term relationships between people and communities around the world to work towards effective solutions to social justice issues.
What makes DGH particularly different is that their members volunteer their time and expertise in communities that have invited them to work in partnership. The philosophy of, “community accompaniment” is core to their values as an organization, and they have accompanied communities in Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Uganda, and the United States. Another core component of the organization is their emphasis in participatory investigation, which they define as, “investigating with communities what their health needs are and then working with them to help meet those needs.”
Emerald Snow graduated with a joint MA degree in Latin American Studies and MS in Community Health Sciences.
In the summer of 2015, Emerald studied Portuguese in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at Instituto Brasil-Estados Unidos (IBEU Copacabana) through the University of Florida. She spent her time studying Portuguese (advanced grammar, vocabulary, etc.), Brazilian culture, and history with a focus on recent events (World Cup 2014 & 2016 Olympics). In her time outside of the classroom, she was able to explore outside of Rio de Janeiro and make some wonderful friends. This was an amazing opportunity for her to practice her Portuguese in a lusophone country while exploring a part of Latin America she had never seen before.