Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Our Concentrators


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 working 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.

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.


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.