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Latin American Studies 


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We want our alumni to stay connected to the people and events in our department and at UC San Diego. For news and a list of upcoming events, please subscribe to our newsletter. 

You are a valuable resource for our current and prospective students. Please contact us if you are interested in speaking with current students, if you have information about Latin American Studies internship opportunities that you would like to share, or if you would like to attend colloquia or other program special events.

  • Michael Ferrari

    Michael Ferrari

    Class of 2023


    Prior to completing his MA in Latin American Studies, Michael completed his undergraduate degree in Finance at CSU Northridge and later completed an MBA degree at Pepperdine University, while working a number of years in commercial lending. Michael's research at UC San Diego observed exchange rate preferences and experiences resulting from macroeconomic policy. 

    Research Project: 

    "Family Famers, Solidarity, and Exchange Rates Preferences in Southern Brazil" 

    Research Interests: Political Economy, Solidarity Economy, Developmental Economics, and Economic History in Latin America
    Michael looks forward to pursuing his career in developmental economics, contributing towards socio-economic inclusion. 
    Contact Michael:
  • Andrea Garfio

    Andrea Garfio

    Class of 2023


    Andrea completed a Master's Degree in Latin American Studies in the spring of 2023 with interests in Mexico-US relations, immigration, race, ethnicity, and discrimination at the border.

    Research Project:

    "A Central American Limbo State: The Effects of Racialization in an Imagined Safe Third Country"

    She wishes to pursue her career working closely with newly-arrived migrants, providing basic needs and information about their rights.

    Contact Andrea:

  • Thomas Maggiola

    Thomas Maggiola

    Class of 2023


    Before coming to San Diego, he completed his BA in International Relations and Latin American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. For his MA thesis, he researched the role of transnational linkages in the Guatemalan Civil War, focusing on ideological formation and solidarity networks.

    Research Project:

    "Certain Triumph: The Left and Guatemala's Transnational Civil War, 1960-1996"

    Watch Thesis Video 

    Research Interests: Central America, Refugees, Transnational History, Cold War, International Organizations, Solidarity Networks, South-South Relations, Oral History

    Thomas is pursuing a PhD in History at Columbia University

    Contact Thomas:


  • Shane Salomon Prince

    Shane Salomon Prince

    Class of 2023


    Shane Prince is an alumni from the Caribbean. He graduated from the University of the West Indies St Augustine with a double major BA (Hons) in Latin American Studies and Spanish. Prior to completing his undergraduate degree, Shane lived and worked in the Venezuelan state of Lara for a number of years. While there, he developed a keen interest in exploring the many connections between his home country (Trinidad and Tobago) and his adoptive one (Venezuela). With a decade of teaching experience under him, Shane won a Fulbright scholarship from the US government and used it to attend graduate school in San Diego, California. In 2023, Shane graduated from UC San Diego’s Latin American Studies program with an MA degree and a sociology concentration.

    Research Project: 

    "On Becoming a Migration State: Immigration Control in Small-Island, Decolonized
    States – The Trinidad and Tobago Case"

    Watch Thesis Video

    Research Interests: Dictatorship in Latin America, Sociology of Migration, Caribbean Immigration, Venezuelan Culture and Politics, Trinidad and Tobago Colonial History, Immigration control in the Westminster Caribbean.

    Upon completion of his studies at UC San Diego, Shane returned to his hometown of Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago where he continues to teach Spanish at both the high school and college levels. Additionally, Shane is continuing his work as a newly minted sociologist and is currently investigating the linkages between homelessness in Trinidad and Tobago and deportation from global North countries such as the US, Canada and the UK. Shane is currently working on several academic projects for publication and intends to next pursue a doctoral degree in sociology.

    Contact Shane:, +1 868 758 8097

  • Troy Araiza Kokinis, PhD

    Troy Araiza Kokinis, PhD

    Class of 2013

    Research Project: 

    "Basque Culture and Identity in Buenos Aires, Argentina"


    "I really enjoyed the support and guidance to conduct research outside of the United States. I had a wonderful cohort that maintained a tight-knit chemistry for both years in the program, including a robust social life outside of the institution. We cooked together, travelled, danced. Some of these folks are still very close friends a decade after we all finished."

    After completing his M.A. in Latin American Studies, Troy pursued an PhD in History (UCSD). He is currently a Lecturer at UC San Diego in LAS. 

    Contact Troy:

  • David Scott FitzGerald, PhD

    David Scott FitzGerald, PhD

    Class of 2000

    Research Project: 

    "Negotiation Extraterritorial Citizenship"


    "This program gave me the space to reinvent myself and become a professional researcher, author, and teacher."

    After completing his M.A. in Latin American Studies, David pursued an M.A. in Sociology (UCLA) and a PhD in Sociology (UCLA). He is currently a professor at UC San Diego in the Sociology Department. 

    Contact David:

Teresita Rocha Jimenez

Class of 2013

ThesisThe Role of Migration and Mobility on Sexual and Mental Haelth at Mexico's Northern and Southern Borders

"I enjoyed the multidisciplinary approach of the program and the flexibility of taking courses in other departments. Thanks to that I did a PhD in Public Health after."

Cynthia Vazquez

Class of 2014

ThesisFive Cycles of Education: Kumeyaay/Kumiai Experience of Assimilation, Isolation, Resistance and Negotiation

"During my time at LAS (back then CILAS), I learned how to conduct extensive research and was able to receive training that prepared my for my doctoral program."

Megan Horton

Class of 2015

ThesisBurning Memory: Amnesty Against Justice? Historical Memory and Continued Polarization in Postwar El Salvador

"The LAS experience is completely dependent on each student's initiative- the more you put in, the more you get out. But you have to put in the work to find the professors to be on your committee. I most enjoyed field research and writing my thesis."

Kevan Aguilar

Class of 2014

ThesisPeripheries of Power, Centers of Resistance: Anarchist Movements in Tampico & the Huasteca Region, 1910-1945

"My experience in the Latin American Studies MA program provided me with the training and resources to conduct my doctoral research. It also introduced me to the amazing network of Latin Americanists at UCSD and to researchers throughout Latin America, Europe, and the United States."

Sofia Lana

Class of 2016

Thesis: Women surviving in and out of prison in Quito, Ecuador: weaving alternative lives through the sale of drugs

"What I enjoyed most about the LAS program were the people I met and worked with - my cohort and students from other years. We were tight-knit, not only because we were in the same program but also because we shared similar interests and were personally moved by them, and by our love of Latin America. I am grateful for all the people I met, many of whom are still an important part of my life, for their company, support and friendship, and for the many ways in which they inspired me to think more collaboratively and to expand the ways in which we create knowledge, with Latin America in mind."

Beatrice Waterhouse

Class of 2020

ThesisDiaspora, Transnationalism, and Racialization: Jews and Jewishness Between Perú and Israel

"I enjoyed the opportunity to explore the wide variety of relevant courses offered by UCSD, which introduced me to disciplines and methods I would not otherwise have met. "

Nora Lang Walsh

Class of 2014

Thesis¿Nuestro guaraní?: Language Ideologies, Identity, and Guaraní Instruction in Asunción, Paraguay

"The challenges associated with navigating an interdisciplinary program were matched with the strengths I developed through identifying my own area of research, taking courses across a broad variety of departments, and developing relationships with faculty willing to act as mentors."

Ashley McWhorter

Class of 2020

ThesisTrust and Economic Strategy: Investments in Chile and Argentina

"I loved the flexibility of the program. Although I had to be a bit more proactive than other students because my interests were a bit different, I was able to study exactly what I wanted and conduct primary research in South America. It was a wonderful experience!"