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People: Alumni

Latin American Studies (LAS) alumni have held positions as city planners, data analysts, economists, health care workers, lawyers and legal advocates, librarians, professors, program directors, social workers, and teachers, among many others.

The LAII regularly features the accomplishments of its LAS alumni. Please contact us to submit your information to be featured here.

Tey Marianna Nunn

Tey Marianna NunnPh.D. in Latin American Studies
Director and Chief Curator, Art Museum and Visual Arts Program, National Hispanic Cultural Center

As a native Nuevomexicana born in Albuquerque, Tey moved back to New Mexico to pursue her graduate degrees after moving around a lot and a long career in retail. Her parents met at UNM when they were graduate students in the Iberian and Latin American Studies programs, and are accomplished Latin Americanists. "I am so proud of them and have learned so much from them. Some might say that LAS is in the blood. I think it might be!" Tey traveled in Mexico and Peru when she was young, even living in Lima for nearly a year. She has family in both countries and feels very connected. Additionally, she considers the LAS program at UNM to be the preeminent of its kind. "I don't think I would be where I am today without the LAS program. I might still be in retail management if it hadn't been for LAS. I love the interdisciplinary components of LAS at UNM; I have always been interdisciplinary, but LAS gave me the training and the confidence to be so in academia." Tey concentrated in Art History and History while earning her Ph.D. Her first job after completing her dissertation was as Curator of Hispanic and Latino collections at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe. As Director and Chief Curator at the NHCC, she oversees all components of the NHCC Art Museum. She conceptualizes, plans, curates, and creates art exhibitions that fall into the NHCC's mission. "This can be anything from New Mexican works, to Afro- Brazilian artists to Chilean arpilleras. I love art and visual culture and I love to tell the stories of the artists who create these works. For me, art does not come alive until you know the artists." Update as of 12/2016: Tey has been appointed by President Obama to the National Museum and Library Services Board.

Alexandra Blodget

Alexandra BlodgetM.A. in Latin American Studies, 2012
Accredited Representative, Catholic Charities of Oregon
Portland, OR

Alexandra Blodget graduated from UNM having completed a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies in 2012. Alex came to UNM because of a desire to live in New Mexico and because the LAS program interested her. Upon entering the program, Alex was awarded a Graduate Assistantship. In her words: "The knowledge I gained through the MALAS program is invaluable to me both professionally and personally. In particular, I think the multidisciplinary aspect of the program is its greatest strength. My concentrations were in economics and human rights, so I had the opportunity to study each issue from many perspectives, including political science, law, history, and economics. This academic format teaches you how to think more deeply and complexly about each particular issue, both during your degree and afterward. I currently work with immigrants, mostly from Latin America, and what I learned from the MALAS program has provided me a better understanding of the historical, economic, and cultural background of the regions where they are from." Currently, Alex works at a nonprofit immigration legal services agency as an accredited representative, helping people to prepare their immigration cases. She was hired shortly after the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program started in 2012, so she works with a lot of "Dreamers," which, according to her, "is terrific. Immigration is a fascinating and complex field, and the knowledge and analytical skills I learned during my MALAS degree definitely enhance what I do on a daily basis."

Jose Antonio "Tony" Perez

Jose Antonio "Tony" PerezB.A. in Latin American Studies and Spanish, 2012
Program Assistant, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Washington D.C.

Jose Antonio "Tony" Perez graduated from UNM in 2012, having completed a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies and Spanish. After attending St. Michael's High School in Santa Fe, Tony chose to attend UNM given the tuition support he received through the NM Legislative Lottery Scholarship. According to Tony, "Through my studies at the Latin American and Iberian Institute, I gained invaluable knowledge about the Old World and New World relationships and historical implications that affect our present day. Without a doubt my international background and federal association through the FLAS Fellowship contributed to my selection as an intern with the United States Agency for International Development upon graduating in December 2012. My extensive knowledge of Latin America has been beneficial because of the historical context and its applicability." Tony is also an Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) alum. In August 2014, he completed his Master of Arts in International (Sustainable) Development at SIT Graduate Institute in Washington D.C., and now serves as a Program Assistant in the E3 Bureau at the USAID Water Office. Update as of 12/2016: Jose received multiple honors and recognitions relation to his exemplary efforts serving at USAID. For his contributions to the 2015 United Nations General Assembly, Jose was twice recognized on two separate ocassions with USAID's Superior Honor Award. In addition, Huffington Post recently recognized Jose as one of its "40 under 40: Latinos in Foreign Policy...40 Latinos to watch for in the realm of foreign policy and international affairs who are on their way towards opening doors for the next generation.."

Alejandro Mendiaz-Rivera

Alejandro Mendiaz-RiveraB.A. in Latin American Studies and Spanish, 2012
Project Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs, UNM
Albuquerque, NM

Alejandro Mendiaz-Rivera graduated from UNM in 2012, having completed his Bachelor's in Latin American Studies and Spanish. Mendiaz-Rivera chose to attend UNM because, he boasts, "it's the best institution in the state" and because of the tuition support he received through the NM Legislative Lottery Scholarship. He notes, "Personally, the Latin American Studies degree helped me understand my roots, and professionally, it's helped me immensely because right now I help coordinate a Latin American outreach program for the Vice President of Student Affairs. It has helped me be successful because I better understand how to have communication with my counterparts in Latin America, and the background of the students we seek to recruit." Currently, Alejandro assists the UNM Vice President of Student Affairs with conferences, different types of programming, and the creation of special programs to recruit Latin American students to the university. He is pursuing a Master's in Public Administration with a concentration in public management at UNM. Upon graduation, he plans to continue with his doctorate and remain in the field of student affairs.

Krista Savoca

Krista SavocaM.A. in Latin American Studies/ M. in Business Administration, 2012
Program Manager, Anderson School of Management
Albuquerque, NM

Krista Savoca graduated from the MALAS/MBA dual-degree program in Spring 2012. She chose to continue her education at UNM for several reasons, including funding opportunities, faculty associated with the program and Zimmerman Library, which houses one of the largest Latin American library collections in the country. The dual degree program between the LAS program and Anderson School of Management also appealed to her as a way to expand her horizons and skill sets. According to Krista, "The LAS program offered such a variety of courses that allowed me to delve into diverse subject matter and gain a greater understanding of the history and culture of the region. Viewing subjects through differing lenses offers new insights and new perspectives. Meeting new people and finding these perspectives definitely shaped who I am and what my values are. It also taught me writing and research skills that I use in my everyday professional life." Currently, she manages the MBA in Education Leadership Program at the Anderson School of Management, a new program designed to cultivate educational leaders in New Mexico.

Kira Luna

Kira LunaM.A. in Latin American Studies, 2011
Education Manager, Center for Nonprofit Excellence
Albuquerque, NM

Kira Luna graduated from UNM in 2011, having completed a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies with concentrations in Southwest Studies and Sociology. In part, she chose to study at UNM because of its enriching environment. Not only was she able to choose from classes that focused on issues and topics important to her, such as immigration, but she was afforded the opportunity to live in a community that is profoundly impacted by the immigrant experience as well. Also,Kira notes the staff at the Latin American and Iberian Institute provided an excellent support system. According to Kira, "The multidisciplinary structure of the Latin American Studies program enhanced my analytical skills and allowed me to learn about a variety of issues on both a domestic and global level. This has helped me to be successful within the nonprofit sector, having worked for international and local organizations." Currently, she works as the Education Manager at the Center for Nonprofit Excellence. In this position, she oversees the wide variety of nonprofit management trainings offered throughout the year, and connects the nonprofit community to information and resources.

Tarah K. Johnson

Tarah K. JohnsonM.A. in Latin American Studies, 2010
Senior Analyst, Center for Social Innovation
Silver Spring, MD

When she was an undergrad, Tarah K. Johnson studied International Business and minored in Latin American Studies. She chose UNM for her MALAS degree because it is known as one of the premier LAS programs in the country. Because she was interested in more of a pan-Latin American approach, she saw a huge benefit in going to UNM as opposed to staying on the east coast. The Latin American & Iberian Institute Graduate Fellowship program was a huge incentive, as were several faculty members and the Zimmerman Library. Tarah believes her LAS degree has made her more culturally aware, especially since her concentrations were Anthropology and History. She feels she was most impacted by her time working in Zimmerman Library with Dr. Suzanne Schadl, who helped her to develop her academic interests and offered support throughout her fellowship, allowing her to grow both personally and academically. Having the experiences of living in Albuquerque and meeting the students and staff at the LAII made her graduate school experience extremely rewarding. Tarah's current position entails close work with government funders in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). She works closely with the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, as well as the Center for Mental Health Services and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment to develop culturally competent, trauma-informed, patient-centered online resources and trainings for grantees working in the Behavioral Health field.

Shaun Haines

Shaun HainesM.A. in Latin American Studies, 2009
J.D. Student, University of Chicago Law School
Chicago, IL

Shaun Haines received his M.A. in Latin American Studies at UNM in 2009 and went on to begin a J.D. program at the University of Chicago Law School in 2013. He chose UNM specifically because of its LAS program and the faculty and staff who made him feel so welcome. In particular, he found Amanda Wolfe to be a tremendous asset. Shaun's experiences in the LAS program exposed him to ways of thinking and analyzing issues that were new to him, and which he continues to use in all aspects of his life. The MALAS degree provided him with the opportunity to conduct field research abroad and publish his work, which have been invaluable to him academically. Additionally, he believes that the opportunity to deepen his knowledge of Latin American history, politics, economics, and culture has made his regular travels to the region much richer and more rewarding than they would have been otherwise. After finishing law school, Shaun will be working for an international law firm in Miami that hired him in large part because of his knowledge of Latin America's culture and economy, as well as his language skills. His position will entail helping Latin American business clients solve problems and negotiate transactions, which he believes will help strengthen local economies in Latin America.

Paul Joseph López Oro

Paul Joseph Lopez OroM.A. in Latin American Studies, 2009
Doctoral Student, Department of African and African Diaspora Studies, UT Austin; Austin, TX

Paul chose UNM's Latin American Studies program because of the brilliant expertise of Dr. Claudia Isaac, Dr. Nancy López, and Dr. Teresa L. Córdova whose cutting-edge scholarship on race and racism in Latin America and the United States, the political economies of gender, and activism were the most important factors in deciding to attend UNM. "My master's degree in Latin American Studies has been quite beneficial in training me to be in multiple disciplinary conversations centered on Latin America and Latinos in the United States especially in regards to political and national ideologies on race and racism. As a second-generation Garifuna Honduran, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York it gave me the intellectual training to expand my work on Black Indigeneity in Central America into the field of African American Studies & African Diaspora Studies." To find out more about Paul's current position and studies, see the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies website.

Benjamin Waddell

Benjamin WaddellM.A. in Latin American Studies, 2009
Assistant Professor of Sociology, Adams State University
Alamosa, CO

Benjamin James Waddell graduated from the University of New Mexico (UNM), with a M.A. (2009) in Latin American Studies and a Ph.D. (2011) in Sociology. Prior to attending UNM, Ben earned a B.A. (2005) in International Studies from the University of Colorado. While a graduate student at UNM, he received a Fulbright-Garcia Robles Research Grant to study social mobility and also began working alongside Dr. Matías Fontenla, Associate Professor in the UNM Department of Economics, to co-lead a study abroad trip to Nicaragua. This international program, which has since been held annually, provides students with the opportunity to confront the realities of globalization in person and to explore issues pertaining to sustainable development within the developing world. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Adams State University in Colorado, where he teaches upper-division courses on race, culture, ethnicity, poverty, and inequality. As a result of extensive periods of residence outside the country-and hands-on research in Mexico, Nicaragua and Costa Rica-Ben has had the opportunity to witness individuals and groups mobilize resources and make a difference in the lives of people who suffer from deep social inequalities. His research interests build on these experiences by addressing immigration, race, political sociology, globalization, and social theory. He has articles forthcoming and under review in academic journals such as the Latin American Research Review, and is working on a book project titled "Controlling 'Illegal' Immigration: An Economic Approach."

Peter Meyer

Peter MeyerM.A. in Latin American Studies, 2008
Analyst in Latin American Affairs, Congressional Research Service
Washington, D.C.

Peter Meyer graduated from UNM in 2008, having completed a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies. Peter chose to attend UNM in part because of the financial support provided by the program, but moreover because of the interdisciplinary nature of the Latin American Studies program and the wealth of Latin American resources available to UNM students. He notes, "My LAS degree helped prepare me for my current position by expanding my knowledge of the region, and enhancing my research and writing skills. My time at UNM also helped me qualify for the Presidential Management Fellows program, through which I was hired by CRS (Congressional Research Service). Currently, Peter works for CRS, a legislative branch agency charged with conducting research and providing policy analysis to Congress. As an Analyst in Latin American Affairs, Peter tracks current events in Latin America and analyzes their potential implications for U.S. interests; assesses policy options for addressing U.S. concerns in the region; and provides briefings and written products to Members of Congress, congressional staff, and committees to assist them in their legislative and oversight responsibilities.

Amaris Feland Ketcham

Amaris Feland KetchamB.A. in Latin American Studies, 2007
Assistant Professor, University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM

Amaris Feland Ketcham chose UNM for its proximity to Mexico and its educational emphasis on a part of the world that she knew nothing about. "I am from Kentucky, and I chose UNM for my BA because as a teenager I was terribly curious. I had never heard anyone talk about New Mexico. Latin America wasn't mentioned in any curriculum at my elementary or high school." She studied cultural anthropology and Latin American Studies so she could take classes in anthropology, fine art, history, literature, and languages. "One of the most important aspects of a BA is its ability to give a student a way of thinking, a way of looking, and a way of asking questions." Amaris is currently a professor in the Honors College at UNM where she designs and teaches interdisciplinary classes that have a creative writing or literary publishing core.

Yann Kerevel

Yann KerevelM.A. in Latin American Studies, 2006
Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Lewis University
Romeoville, Illinois

Yann Kerevel completed his Master's in Latin American Studies at UNM in 2006. He chose to pursue the MALAS degree at UNM in order to study his region of interest while exploring multiple academic disciplines in greater depth. After completing his MALAS degree, Yann decided to pursue a Ph.D. in Political Science at UNM, which he earned in 2012. The interdisciplinary dimension of the Latin American Studies program helped solidify his interest in the field of political science and enabled him to establish a well-founded background in a particular region of the world which, according to Yann, would not have been achieved in another program. Furthermore, the LAS degree allowed Yann to develop knowledge in disciplines beyond the field of political science. In Yann's words, "Many academic employers look for individuals that are not only strong in their discipline but also have some interdisciplinary background. The types of academic jobs that are available after receiving a PhD are extremely diverse, and having both an LAS degree and a political science degree allowed me to apply to a wider variety of positions." Additionally, as a MALAS student Yann formed a network of friends and colleagues with whom he remains in contact today. He currently serves as an assistant professor at Lewis University, a small Catholic, liberal arts school outside Chicago. There he teaches courses in Latin American Politics, Comparative Government, American Government, International Relations, Political Violence, and a capstone course. In addition to his teaching, Yann is an active researcher and writer. His current research focuses on Mexican congressional behavior.

Brandt Milstein

Brandt MilsteinM.A. in Latin American Studies/ J.D. in Law, 2006
Civil Rights Attorney, Milstein Law Office
Boulder, CO

Brandt Milstein graduated from UNM in 2006, having completed a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies and a J.D. in Law. Brandt enrolled in UNM's dual degree program with Latin American Studies and Law out of a desire to gain a deeper understanding of Latin American society and to acquire the skills necessary to be of service to Latino immigrant communities in the U.S. He believes that the knowledge he gained via UNM's Latin American Studies program, through his studies in politics, sociology, and human rights law of Latin America, have served him well in his law practice on behalf of Latino immigrants in the U.S. Currently, he is a civil rights attorney licensed to practice law in Colorado and New Mexico. He specializes in representing immigrant workers in class and collective actions through the Milstein Law Office, where he litigates in state and federal court to make sure that workers are paid all the wages they are due.

Naomi Todd-Reyes

Naomi Todd-ReyesM.A. in Latin American Studies/M. Community & Regional Planning, 2006
Certified Court Interpreter & Translator (Spanish - English), Independent Contractor
Albuquerque, NM

Naomi Todd-Reyes chose UNM because she was very attracted to the dual M.A. program in LAS and Community & Regional Planning, and felt it was a good fit with her experience and interests. "The LAS program is well respected in its field and the LAII in particular offered a wealth of opportunities from travel scholarships and assistantships to cultural and academic enrichment and community engagement." Naomi was hired to work in what she describes as her "dream job" before she even defended her thesis. She feels that the dual MALAS/MCRP program and the research she conducted for her thesis prepared her to work along the US/Mexico border with Heifer International. Although her career path has taken a different turn since then, Naomi feels that the strong core foundation of knowledge of Latin American politics, economics, history, and sociology has served her well in her work as an interpreter and translator both here in Albuquerque and in Chile. She currently runs her own interpreting business as a Certified Court Interpreter with the New Mexico Courts as her main client, but she also interprets at conferences and for a broad range of public, private, non-profit, and international clients. She enjoys the challenge of providing precise and accurate simultaneous interpretation to non-English-speaking litigants and jurors and being part of ensuring due process to everyone, regardless of who they are and where they come from.

Curtis George White

Curtis George WhiteM.A. in Latin American Studies/J.D., 2006
Immigration Attorney, Law Office of Daniel Corno
Houston, TX

Curtis George White was attracted to UNM because of the dual degree program with Latin American Studies and the School of Law. He graduated from UNM with both his M.A. and his J.D. in 2006. The MALAS program helped him to learn Portuguese and expand his knowledge of Latin American politics and history, all of which have been helpful to him in his career as an immigration attorney handling several asylum cases. Curtis' immigration practice involves a variety of matters, including deportation defense, family-based petitions, consular processing, waivers, citizenship, work authorization, deferred action, asylum, visas for victims of crimes, appeals, etc.

Cally Ingebritson

Cally IngebritsonB.A. in Latin American Studies and Spanish, 2005
Financial Capability Manager, Prepare + Prosper
St. Paul, MN

Cally Ingebritson graduated from UNM in 2005, having completed a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies and Spanish. Cally chose to transfer to UNM from a small liberal arts college in Minnesota because of the opportunity to double major in Spanish and Latin American Studies. According to her, "Studying Latin American Studies furthered my bilingual Spanish/English skills and gave me a wider understanding of the history of Latin American and the current issues immigrants face upon arriving to the United States. Nearly every job I've been hired for, I've been selected due to my bilingual skills. A degree in Latin American Studies also helped me receive a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship to study for a year in Bogotá, Colombia." Since her graduation, she has worked and volunteered for a variety of non-profits in Minnesota, Mexico, and Colombia. Currently, she works at Prepare + Prosper, a non-profit in St. Paul, MN, dedicated to helping Minnesotans work towards a brighter financial future. She manages a volunteer-based financial coaching program designed to help people boost savings, eliminate debt and improve credit. Additionally, she is studying to become a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) and plans to establish a bilingual financial planning firm to assist both English and Spanish speakers in reaching their financial goals.

Melissa Britton

Melissa BrittonM.A. in Latin American Studies, 2004
Associate Director, Indiana University Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Bloomington, IN

Melissa Britton graduated from UNM in 2004, having completed a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies. Melissa chose to attend UNM because she was attracted to the size of the Latin American Studies program as well as the great course offerings. She enjoyed being in the southwest and experiencing the diverse cultures of the area. According to her, "I always knew I wanted to work in a nonprofit or government environment where I could specifically focus on Latin America and/or work with the Latino community. Getting a M.A. in Latin American Studies was, in my mind, an essential part of that process." After graduating, Melissa worked with a number of nonprofits like the Latino Community Center and United Way on outreach programs to a growing Latino population in her hometown. Since then, she has had a rewarding career in municipal government doing outreach to the immigrant population, advocating for equal access to health care, and workers' rights. Currently, she serves as the Associate Director for the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Indiana University, where she enjoys the opportunity to reconnect with higher education and Latin Americanists.

Ryan Goodman

Ryan GoodmanM.A. in Latin American Studies, 2003
Lecturer III, Department of Sociology, University of New Mexico/UNM West
Albuquerque, NM

Ryan chose UNM and the Latin American Studies degree due to personal recommendations from alumni, the reputation of the department, the resources available at the LAII, and the tremendous beauty, culture, and history of Albuquerque and New Mexico. Academically and professionally, the LAS program provided him with opportunities to explore various disciplinary approaches to study in the region. "Though my current research and teaching is not directly related, this interdisciplinary program exposed me to tremendous faculty - namely, Dr. Nelson Valdés, Dr. Susan Tiano, & Dr. Bob Fiala - and student colleagues who inspired my continuation into academia (I subsequently completed my Ph.D. in Sociology here at UNM). Currently, Ryan is a full-time lecturer in the Sociology Department at UNM, with his teaching appointment at the UNM West campus in Rio Rancho. "I teach the gamut of undergraduate level Sociology courses including Introduction to Sociology, Social Problems, Collective Behavior & Social Movements, Social Theory, Research Methods, Sociology of Gender, and the Sociology of Sport. My role as an instructor includes service to the community, the department, the UNM West campus, and most importantly, mentorship to undergraduate majors and minors in Sociology."

Suzanne Schadl

Suzanne SchadlPh.D. in Latin American Studies, 2002
Curator / Coordinator of Inter-American Studies and Latino and Latin American Collections, University Libraries, University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Suzanne M. Schadl is curator of Latin American collections at the University of New Mexico, where she teaches Latin American Studies and serves as Subject Librarian to American studies, Chicano studies, History, Latin American studies, Spanish and Portuguese. She is also the Rapporteur General for the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM), Member at Large for the Latin American Microfilms Project (LAMP) and Editor of the Resources for College Libraries' Spanish and Portuguese Literatures list. Prior to her job at UNM, Suzanne was an assistant professor of history at Roanoke College and a visiting instructor of Latin American History at the University of Texas in Austin. She also served four years as Director of the Gerald and Betty Ford Library at the Bosque School in Albuquerque. Suzanne feels truly blessed to work as a librarian at UNM, which is among the best collections and most vibrant communities for the study of Latin America and the Hispanic Southwest.

Larry Larrichio

Larry LarrichioM.A. in Latin American Studies, 2000; Ph.D. in Latin American Studies, 2007
Adjunct Professor, University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Larry Larrichio chose the LAS program at UNM because it offers a wide range of opportunities outside of the academic realm, where the job market is subject to periodic instability. "In my experience, students enrolled in the LAS program frequently bring a lot of practical experience to UNM: Peace Corps, volunteer work in domestic and international settings, community advocacy, strong Spanish language skills, etc. There are many opportunities that materialize for students that have completed an interdisciplinary program and who desire to forego an academic (teaching) career." As an interdisciplinary program, Larry believes LAS provides an opportunity to teach, utilizing a variety of perspectives. In his case, he utilizes archaeology, linguistics, ecology, and environmental studies to complement his research and the classes he teaches. "UNM's History and Anthropology Departments were outstanding and provided a first-class education for me - a non-traditional student completing the PhD at age 61. It opened an entirely new career for me." Recently, Larry was selected to be a visiting professor at La Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira in Colombia, where he will be teaching a mini-class this year. He has also been assisting faculty from UTEP in collaboration with the local Colombian Office of Cultural Affairs in planning a public history project which will focus on erecting "historical" markers along the 60 mile stretch of the sixteenth century Camino Real in the region, which was the central theme of his thesis. After the planning stage is completed, Larry would love to bring UNM students to Colombia to assist with this project.

Raymond Craib

Raymond CraibM.A. in Latin American Studies, 1994
Associate Professor in the Department of History, Cornell University
Ithaca, NY

Raymond Craib chose UNM for his MALAS degree due to the offer of a graduate fellowship through the LAII and because when he visited the LAII while passing through Albuquerque one year, the entire staff was incredibly sweet, down-to-earth, and unpretentious. "I was pretty clueless about graduate school but I knew that day that UNM was the place for me." Raymond's undergraduate career had been pretty choppy and his post-BA life was a little unorthodox, so it was significant to him (and still is to this day) that the LAII took a chance on him with both an offer of admission and funding. At UNM, Raymond got a first-rate education from LAS faculty around the campus. His coursework in History and Literature as well as the quality of the professors changed his life and encouraged him to pursue his doctorate in Latin American History at Yale University, which he completed in 2001. "The LAII is a gem and when I advise students at Cornell who are interested in pursuing graduate studies in Latin American Studies, I encourage them to consider the LAII."

Mary Stelletello

Mary StelletelloM.A. in Latin American Studies/M. Business Administration in International Management, 1991
Principal, Vista Global Coaching & Consulting
Madison, WI

Mary Stelletello graduated from UNM in 1991, having completed a dual degree with a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies and a Master of Business Administration in International Management. She chose UNM and the LAS program because of the dual degree option with the International Management MBA program. According to Mary, "I knew I didn't want to be fully focused on business, so the dual-degree provided a great diversity of classes, including political science and economics of Latin America. The dual degree provided me a broader range of skills and knowledge that allowed me to pursue management positions in international social sector organizations. I have worked internationally during my career and have served on nonprofit board of directors of organizations that provide services in Latin America." In 2011, Mary founded a management-consulting firm that provides services to social sector organizations in the areas of strategy, organizational capacity building, leadership development, and board governance. She also offers executive coaching services to leaders and teams. Her website is

Scott Clark

Scott ClarkM.A in Latin American Studies, 1990
Farmer-to-Farmer Program Director, CNFA
Washington, D.C.

Scott Clark is an international agriculture development specialist with over 20 years experience in both the non-profit and private sectors. He is currently the director for CNFA's Farmer-to-Farmer program, based in Washington, D.C. Prior to CNFA, Scott worked for TechnoServe holding various positions, including the senior program manager for the Africa Division. He has held long-term project management positions focused on food security and export agricultural development in Ghana and Mozambique. Scott served as a Peace Corps volunteer in highland Ecuador, where he worked as an agricultural extensionist. He has conducted short-term assignments in 15 other countries throughout Africa, Latin America, and the former Soviet Union. Scott holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies with a focus on agricultural development from the University of New Mexico, and a B.A. in History with a focus on developing countries from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish and has a basic understanding of French.

Janine Fitzgerald

Janine FitzgeraldM.A. in Latin American Studies, 1990
Professor of Sociology and Human Services and Environmental Studies, Fort Lewis College
Durango, CO

Janine Fitzgerald completed her M.A. in Latin American Studies at UNM in 1990 and graduated with her PhD in Sociology from UNM in 1996. She chose to come to UNM because she was interested in Latin America; at CU Boulder in 1986, she heard a woman speak of a women's empowerment group among the Maquiladoras in Juarez, with which Dr. Susan Tiano was involved. The LAS degree has deepened Janine's commitment to issues in Latin America, and has allowed her to travel extensively in the region. As a professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies at Fort Lewis College, she has had the opportunity to lead groups of students to live and teach in Mexico for 17 years. Her areas of interest include Latin American sociology, environmental sociology, and poetry and metaphor in social change and movements.

Debbie Berhó

Debbie BerhoM.A. in Latin American Studies, 1995; Ph.D. in Latin American Studies, 1998
Chair, World Languages, Sociology & Cultural Studies Department/Professor of Spanish, George Fox University
Newberg, OR

Debbie chose UNM for her graduate studies after an international search that included Universidad de Valparaíso in Chile. She and her family felt that Albuquerque was a safe city, and financially reasonable. The LAS program in particular allowed her to continue to work across disciplines to choose her foci. She gained valuable teaching experience as an assistant for the Spanish & Portuguese Department, and also had rigorous faculty who were available during their office hours for assistance. The LAS degree allowed her to meet her goal of becoming a university professor. As she continues to do interdisciplinary research focused on the Latino Protestant Congregations of the U.S. (read about the research team on the LPC Project website), she draws on the knowledge gained about the church in Latin America while she was at UNM. Debbie is currently Professor of Spanish and Department Chair of World Languages, Sociology, and Cultural Studies, an interdisciplinary department focused on "knowing the other." She spends a lot of her time in department administration, but still does teach advanced Spanish and Culture & Civilization of Latin America (in Spanish). For the latter course, she draws heavily on history courses taken at UNM. A significant portion of her time is focused on ethnographic research on the religiosity of Latinos in the U.S. She continues to travel to Latin America regularly, both to visit family and to evaluate study abroad programs for her students.