Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Our Concentrators


Caiya Sanchez Strauss

Caiya Sanchez-Strauss '21.5 is a second semester junior from northeast Ohio double concentrating in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Africana Studies. She initially became interested in Spanish, Latin America, and social movements of the Global South via her own family history and Mexican-American heritage and decided to concentrate in LACA because of a sustained interest in Black and indigenous social movements in the region, with a particular focus on decolonial uprisings led by Black women and queer subjects in the Caribbean and Brazil. She engages with these topics via an interdisciplinary approach combining Black feminist theory, Black queer theory, and other frameworks to interpret and analyze history, politics, literature, and contemporary movements. The LACA department has allowed her to freely explore her interests through a variety of lenses, and the concentration has served as an excellent supplement to her studies in the Africana department. During her time at Brown, Caiya has been involved with teaching English to adults in Providence (English for Speakers of Other Languages), local activism on and off campus (Brown Immigrant Rights Coalition), advocating for scholarship and student support services for undocumented students (the Undocumented Student Initiative), promoting the creation of a Migration Studies initiative, and other immigrant rights initiatives. She also cites her semester abroad in Cuba in the spring of 2020 as one of her most formative experiences at Brown and couldn't recommend the program enough! 


Clara Epstein

Clara Epstein '22 is a senior concentrating in history and Latin American and Caribbean studies from Los Angeles, California. She is interested in issues of migration, borders, and asylum law, and would like to someday be fluent in Spanish.

Hallie Fang Horvath

Hallie Fang-Horvath '22 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. 

Heidy Mejia-Puerta (she/her/hers) is a senior from Hermiston, OR concentrating in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Education. Heidy identifies as a first-generation, low-income, Mexican-American student who seeks to change the way in which Latinx students are taught in the educational system. She works as the Undergraduate Community Engagement Coordinator at the U-FLi Center and was also a member of the LEDA Policy Corp where she worked alongside other students to advocate for educational reform in the U.S. Some of her favorite courses at Brown have been Contemporary Social Justice in Latin Cinema with Professor Sarah Thomas and Modern Latin America with Professor Daniel Rodriguez

Nell Salzman

Nell Salzman '22 is a senior from Denver, Colorado double concentrating in Comparative Literature and Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Nell has worked in Nicaragua and Ecuador and has done translation work with the Rhode Island Center for Justice. Her favorite classes at Brown have been the ones that got her involved with the Latin American community in Providence-- volunteering in ESL kindergarten classes and interviewing Latinx artists/community leaders. She is passionate about telling other peoples' stories and currently writes for the Indy. She hopes to eventually use her language skills to help Spanish-speaking immigrants, either through translation, community organizing, or legal aid.