Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Our Concentrators


Michelle Alas Molina (she/her/ella) is a member of the class of 2025 studying Latin American and Caribbean Studies along with International and Public Affairs on the Policy and Governance track. She calls both the Bay Area, California and San Salvador, El Salvador home. She is interested in immigration justice, public interest law, and protecting our public schools. At Brown, she is a Managing Editor at the Brown Journal of World Affairs and a Bonner Community Fellow with Progreso Latino. Michelle is an ardent language learner (she speaks Spanish, French, and Portuguese!) and enjoys reading and running in her free time. 


Casandra Gutierrez is a junior from Chicago, Illinois, double concentrating in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and International and Public Affairs. A daughter of Mexican immigrants, Casandra’s passions include exploring how U.S policy impacts immigrant life. In her free time, Gutierrez is a member of the Student Clinic for Immigrant Justice and Watson’s Student Advisory Council. Casandra loves to write poetry, spend time in nature, and work out.


Nia Callender (she/her/ella) is a senior from Cambridge, MA double concentrating in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Sociology. She has focused her studies on Latin American migration pathways and dance as an intrinsic part of Latin culture and resistance. Nia hopes to get a master’s degree in education policy post-graduation.

Mari Fajnzylber (they/them) is a member of the class of 2023.5 from Bethesda, Maryland and Belo Horizonte, Brazil. They are concentrating in Latin American Studies and Environmental Studies, with a focus in global food systems. On campus, they help run the Brown Market Shares Program, are a barista at the Underground Coffee Shop, and write for the Indy. In their free time, Mari loves to swim, learn about botany and ecology, and make all of their friends listen to Música Popular Brasileira.


Hallie Fang-Horvath is a senior from Oakland, California studying Environmental Studies and Latin American & Caribbean Studies. Her interests range from food security to immigrant rights and beyond. She loves working closely with people and communities, whether it be through the lens of human rights support, sexual health education, outdoors access empowerment, or one of the many other spheres that bring people together. She hopes to live and work in Latin America in the future, but for now, she's getting involved with the Brown and Providence communities as an interpreter with the RI Free Clinic, an outdoors trip leader, a sexual health peer educator, and a sister and friend. Hallie encourages everyone to take a LACA course, for those have been some of the most intersectional, welcoming, and creative spaces she's encountered at Brown.

Shantal Hernandez Guerrero (she/Ella) is a senior from Monterrey, Mexico and Des Moines, Iowa, double concentrating in Latin American & Caribbean Studies and International & Public Affairs. On campus Shantal is a Company Director for Mezcla Latin Dance Troupe, a Minority Peer Counselor Coordinator for the Brown Center for Students of Color, an Immigration Advocate for the Student Clinic of Immigrant Justice, and one of the DUG Leaders for LACA! Outside of campus, Shantal studied a semester abroad in Paris, France, and loves to spend time with her family and friends. In the future, she hopes to continue helping the immigrant community by going to law school and becoming an immigration attorney.


Brittany Loew is a senior from Los Angeles, CA concentrating in Latin American and Caribbean studies with the goal of traveling internationally and learning ASL.


Miriam Rice-Rodríguez (she/her/ella) is a double-concentrator in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Architecture from upstate New York and Panamá. Her interest in heritage architecture and adaptive reuse inspired her senior honor's thesis (Living Skeletons: The Legacy of American Architecture in the Panamá Canal Zone) about the current and future state of architecture in the contemporary Canal Zone. Miriam is lead design editor of Somos, the university's Latinx literary magazine, where a selection of her poetry and art is published. She is also a member of the university's performance salsa team, Alma Salsera. In her spare time, she can be found dancing to Willie Colón in her kitchen, reading in her hammock on a sunny afternoon, and listening to Natalia Lafourcade during late evenings in the studio.


Josué A. Zepeda Sanic is of Maya K'iche' descent from Guatemala City, Guatemala and Austin, TX. He concentrated in Latin American and Caribbean Studies with a special focus on Indigenous communities and resistance movements throughout all of Latin America, but more specifically, those in Guatemala. During his time at Brown he has been part of the Undocumented, First Generation and Low-Income (UFLI) community as part of the first cohort of FLISP Scholars, served as a Minority Peer Counselor for the Brown Center for Students of Color (BCSC), was a tutor and one of the coordinators for the Brown Refugee Youth Tutoring and Enrichment (BRYTE) program on campus, was a founding member of the Central American United Student Association (CAUSA) on campus, has worked and been an intern for the Student Clinic for Immigrant Justice (SCIJ) for the past three years, and he is also a Sidney E. Frank Scholar. During his free time, Josué enjoys stewarding the Native Garden on campus, spending time (too much time often) inside the LIST art building working on sculptures, long distance running by India Point Park, and exploring the Central American neighborhood in Providence. After Brown, Josué will begin applying to jobs back in his home of Austin, TX while simultaneously studying, and preparing, for his law school application so that he may study immigration and human rights law to help his communities back home.