Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Our Concentrators

Class of 2019

Photo of Baird Acheson

Baird Acheson '19 is a senior from Baltimore, double-concentrating in Music (MEME track) and Latin American & Caribbean Studies. He has worked as a Spanish-language high school tutor at Central High School, through Inspiring Minds RI, as well as for the city of Central Falls through the Swearer Center. More recently, Baird has volunteered with the HOPE initiative, and has taken up Portuguese as a third language. Baird is also a recording artist, currently working on his second mixtape of songs, to be released in the summer of 2019.

Photo of Zander Chase

Zander Chase ‘19 is a senior concentrating in Computer Science and Latin American and Caribbean Studies. His interest in the Spanish language stems from living and studying for a year in Salamanca, Spain. This interest developed overtime into a focus on Latin America, through doing ethnographical research with high school classmates from Mexico and Venezuela. At Brown he has continued to take courses that examine a wide variety of topics relating to Latin America and also pursued his interest in Computer Science. During his junior year at Brown he spent the Fall studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina with a focus on economic history and entrepreneurship. For his senior thesis he hopes to combine his studies of LACA and Computer Science to analyze data about the linguistic differences in South America.

Louis Epstein '19 is a junior concentrating in Development Studies and Latin American and Caribbean Studies. His mother's decision to migrate to the US from Bogotá, Colombia, led to his interest in Latin America. At Brown, he has focused on food security, human rights, and the broader US-Latin American relationship. He has worked for Asociación Ambiente y Sociedad and the City of Central Falls on issues of food insecurity. During summer 2017, he interned at Innovations for Poverty Action's Manila office, analyzing the effectiveness of government development programs. He has taught ESOL classes to the local community through the Olneyville ESOL program as well as helped run the Food Recovery Network on campus. 

Dakota Fenn

Dakota Fenn '19 is a senior concentrating in International Relations and Latin American & Caribbean Studies. His academic interests include US-Latin America security relations, democratic theory as pertains to the region, and the promotion of human rights. He has worked at la Fundación Democracia y Desarrollo in Chile, and spent time at the University of the Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. At Brown, he has taught in bilingual middle school classrooms with Inspiring Minds, tutored with BRYTE, and also plays rugby. Recently, Dakota began studying Portuguese in addition to Spanish, and hopes to spend time working in Brazil in the near future.

Daniel Jason '19.5 is currently a junior concentrating in History and Latin American and Caribbean Studies, as well as on the pre-med track. A passionate Conosureño, fueled by time with his grandparents and listening to Chilean Rock & Roll, his studies focus on Chilean health and politics during the Cold War. Throughout his time at Brown, he has expanded his medical and Latin American perspective, while applying his knowledge to Chile. His experiences and pursuits intersect when he interns at the Hospital San Juan de Dios in Santiago, Chile, as he has for the past three summers. However, his interests are widely variable, as he works in various fields, including as an Instructional Design Assistant at the School of Professional Studies, in which he reviews and helps design online courses. During his spare time, you can find him playing the Cajon at various outings, participating in food drives for Food Not Bombs Providence, which aims to provide food for the homeless, and (of course) listening to more Chilean Rock & Roll.

Photo of Nicole Kim

Nicole J. Kim '19 is a senior concentrating in Biology & Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Her interest in Latin American art and politics developed in her experiences visiting and later working at the Museo del Barrio and Instituto Cervantes in New York and reaffirmed after she spent a semester studying in Chile. Influenced by her interest in pursuing a career in medicine, Nicole’s studies have been focused on health policy and inequalities as it relates to immigrants and indigenous peoples, particularly in urban centers of Latin America. She has been fortunate enough to come across several opportunities to tie together her areas of interest, volunteering as a medical interpreter in Providence and working as an intern at the Centro de Salud Familiar Cristo Vive in Santiago, Chile. She has since developed newfound interests in the socio-spatial transformation and segregation of Latin American cities, which she hopes to integrate into her future studies. Outside of the classroom, she can be found admiring food photography, experimenting in the Multimedia Lab, or toiling over dishes of cancer cells at RI Hospital.

Hugo Lucitante

Hugo Lucitante '19 is a senior concentrating in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Ethnic Studies. His first language is A’ingae, and he is a member of the Indigenous A’i-Cofán Nation of Amazonian Ecuador. His childhood was spent in the community of Zabalo where he maintained his traditional ecological customs, principles, and values. He was featured in the documentary Oil & Water, a PBS World Channel film, which describes the environmental disaster in Ecuador’s rainforests due to petroleum contamination. Hugo is a member of the Board of Directors of Fundación Raiz-USA and the Cofán Foundation, which support work in favor of vulnerable human communities, conservation of nature, and indigenous peoples’ territorial rights and education. As a Mellon-Mays Scholar, his current research focuses on understanding how indigenous Amazonian communities can help scholars and activists create environmental, political, and economic opportunities for Indigenous Amazonian peoples. He will begin the doctoral program in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Texas at San Antonio in the fall of 2019.

Jack Morris '19 is a senior concentrating in Latin American & Caribbean Studies and International Relations. His academic focuses are public security, policing, and minority inclusion in the urban sphere (specifically within Brazil and the Southern Cone). Jack attributes his upbringing in a predominantly hispanic community in Northern Virginia as the inspiration for his pursuits in Latin American & Caribbean Studies, which was later solidified by his semester abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina during his sophomore year. It was also during his semester abroad in Buenos Aires that Jack traveled to Brazil for the first time. He has since centered his studies at Brown on Portuguese language and Brazilian politics. This includes his honors thesis, for which he will return to Brazil in the summer of 2018 to conduct ethnographic research regarding community responses to the militarization of the police in Rio de Janeiro's favelas. Outside of academia, Jack was a resident of Casa Machado, Brown's Spanish language and culture program housing, as well as the e-board member for social events.

Sebastián Otero '19 is a senior concentrating in Music (Ethnomusicology) and Latin American & Caribbean Studies. A born and raised Puerto Rican musician and singer-songwriter, Sebastián found Ethnomusicology to be the academic discipline that could encompass his interest for writing, discovering new ways of music making, looking at the never-ending relationship between humans and music, and for his own personal music projects. While studying abroad in Cuba during the fall semester of junior year, he decided to double concentrate in Latin American & Caribbean Studies in order to develop a more profound knowledge on the literature and political history of the Caribbean region where he is most interested in. He took this past academic year off to go back to Puerto Rico and work intensively in his musical projects, one of them is his band called La Ponina. Sebastián has been very active in the Brown music scene for the past three years, and plans to go back home again after graduating to keep working in his music...trying to make it happen. 

Jazmin I. Piche '19 is a junior concentrating in Latin American and Caribbean Studies + Science and Society. Growing up her parents would scold her if they caught Jazmin and her younger brother speaking only English, an action she is now grateful for. She also grew up listening to nothing but old romantic Spanish songs on the radio and the belief that Vicks Vaporub could cure anything. Her interests include women’s sexual rights, indigenous people’s rights, and learning more about Central America and her family's roots. She hopes to study abroad in Latin America before she graduates. Outside of academics Jazmin is a member of Brown's Varsity Fencing Team, works with Christina Paxson as a Presidential Host, is Co-Coordinator of the Sidney Frank Scholars Association, and now part of the newly formed Central American United Students Association (CAUSA), a club that aims to bring more awareness about Central American issues and culture.

Ethan Shire '19 is a senior concentrating in Political Science and Latin American & Caribbean Studies. His interest in Spanish language and Latin American culture began in his first Spanish course in 7th grade. Since then, Ethan has had the opportunity to travel through much of Latin America. Notably, he spent a summer volunteering at a kindergarten in Cusco, Peru prior to his freshman year at Brown. During his time on campus, Ethan has used his Spanish language skills to support the Latino community in Providence through his volunteer work at Washington Park Library, where he assisted with after school programs and served as a translator for community members working on resumes and job applications. Ethan is particularly interested in researching the Jewish community in Latin America which led him to his Honors thesis in Latin American Studies that investigates Hezbollah's role in the 1994 AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Ethan is an avid New York sports fan and plans to use the language and analytical skills he has developed as a LACA concentrator in the business or legal world. 


Zachary Kligler '20 is a junior concentrating in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. His studies focus on climate change, immigration, and environmental justice movements in the Americas. Zack's interest in Latin American Studies was initially sparked by his longstanding passion for Latin American literature, which he continues to pursue in his concentration. Zack is also passionate about issues surrounding justice and immigration, and has spent his summers working with asylum applicants in Brooklyn and reporting on human rights abuses by ICE for In These Times magazine in Chicago. Outside of the classroom Zack has worked as an editor at The College Hill Independent and organizes with Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ RI) to coordinate free childcare for community organizing meetings in Providence. In his spare time he enjoys biking, cooking, and reading.

Photo of Dlyan Majsiak

Dylan Majsiak '20 is a junior from East Rutherford, New Jersey concentrating in English and Latin American and Caribbean Studies. His parents’ emigrating to the US from Honduras and Poland respectively propelled his passion for culture and language. His intended research focus is on the island of Roatán, Honduras, where his mom's family is from and where he spent several summers in his youth. Interested in law, Dylan worked on a documentary series of migrant farmworkers for a clinic of Cornell Law School and served as a legal intern for a firm in Madrid, Spain. On campus, he writes about Providence as a Metro Senior Staff Writer for the Brown Daily Herald, is a member of the Central American Student Association and volunteers as a transfer student counselor. He also works as an international graduate student English tutor and as a K-12 teacher at the Wheeler School. In his free time, he can be found planning trips abroad that will likely not materialize.

Laura Muñoz '20 is a junior concentrating in History and Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Born in Cuba and raised in Miami, Laura grew up in a community where Cuba and its politics were always present. Since arriving at Brown, her curiosity about Cuba's history and politics only grew, and she decided to focus her studies on the island to better understand its present state. Laura has focused on Cuba’s music, youth, and migrations, as well as on the racialized and gendered experiences of Cubans on both sides of the Florida Straits. She has also taken classes on the history and politics of other Latin American and Caribbean countries, as well as on the U.S. Latinx experience. Outside of the classroom, Laura is involved as a Latinx Student Initiative Co-Coordinator, a Meiklejohn Peer Advisor, and a History Department Research Assistant.

Photo of Dana Rubenstein

Dana Rubenstein '20 is a junior double-concentrating in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Public Health. As an aspiring physician, she is excited to combine her passions and skillsets to help underserved populations receive high-quality medical care. Dana volunteers weekly as a Spanish Interpreter at the Rhode Island Free Clinic. She also works on various research projects on campus and is the President of the Public Health DUG, as well as a student leader of the Brown Meditation Community and Brown-RISD Hillel.

Photo of Jackson Sales

Jackson Sales '20 is a junior concentrating in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Development Studies. Jackson grew up in Mexico and on a self-sustaining farm in a rural part of Costa Rica, and studied in India before attending Brown. At Brown he has focused on economics, entrepreneurship and design with a focus on Latin America. Outside of academics Jackson has worked with the Dean of the College to create an advising program for sophomores; is a founding member of Van Wickle Ventures, Brown’s first venture capital fund; and works as  a monitor in the Brown Design Workshop. He  has worked for Aflore, an innovative micro finance company based in Bogota; Burro Ghana, a design firm focused on improving the livelihoods of small holder farmers in rural Ghana; and Farmer Willies, an alcoholic ginger beer company started by two of his close friends. Jackson has also spent time blacksmithing in Mexico and building exhibition pieces for the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Ella Satish '20 is a junior concentrating in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. She is a member of the Engaged Scholar’s Program and will be the LACA student representative starting in the Spring. She is also a member of Brown’s Program in Liberal Medical Education and hopes to write a thesis concerning health disparities in afro-latinx communities, specifically women’s and children’s health. Ella is spending Fall 2018 in Cuba for a semester abroad where she will be studying Cuban public health and the history of slavery and its manifestations in present day Cuba. Outside of academics, Ella has been a member of the Women’s Club Basketball team since freshman year. She participates in the Brown Elementary Afterschool Mentoring (BEAM) program with the Swearer Center and also teaches K-12 with the Aerie Program at the Wheeler School. Ella is a freshman peer advisor with the Meiklejohn Program and is also very involved with the Brown Center for Students of Color.

Elisabeth Schifrin '20 is a junior from Montclair, New Jersey concentrating in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Her interest in language from a young age motivated her to further her studies of Spanish by spending two summers in a Middlebury Spanish immersion program. She also began studying Spanish to better connect with her family in Peru and honor her late grandmother, who was a Spanish teacher. At Brown, a few courses–Pop Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean, Introducción a la lingüística hispánica, and the Art of Revolution in Latin America–deepened Elisabeth's interest in the complex issues around social identity and cultural politics in Latin America and the Caribbean. This past summer, Elisabeth interned in Peru as the videographer of Alianza Arkana, an organization that supports indigenous Shipibo people and their methods of conserving the Amazon Rainforest. In the spring, she plans to study abroad with Brown's CASA Cuba program. At Brown, she enjoys taking classes in foreign language, the arts, and the humanities. Outside of class, Elisabeth is the co-captain of Amira Belly Dance Company, a language exchange conversation partner, an international student English tutor, a member of the Clerestory Journal of the Arts, and a part of Jews of Mixed Identity.

Andrea Vega Troncoso '20 is a junior concentrating in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Environmental Studies, with a track in environment and inequality. She grew up in Santo Domingo, República Dominicana and has been involved in environmental, political, and womxn’s empowerment work in her home country. At Brown, Andrea assists with research in the Climate and Development Lab and serves as co-president for Dominican Students at Brown, where she helps organize cultural events, performance series, and workshops on Dominican and Caribbean identity and histories. She’s also on the e-board for SOMOS, the Brown/RISD Latinx literary magazine. Andrea is currently working on putting together her thesis, an ethnography of climate change, coastal development, and experiences of "vulnerability" in the tourist coast of the Dominican Republic. She is also part of the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at the University of Michigan, a fellowship for students of color that focuses on diversity and justice within the environmental field. This semester, you can find Andrea in Santiago de Chile as part of the CASA program and the historical memory fellowship. In her free time, Andrea loves cooking, reading, and having really long WhatsApp calls with her family. 


Daniel Newman

Daniel Newman '21 is a sophomore from New York City planning to double concentrate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Economics. He developed his interest in Latin America through his high school Spanish courses and later on through a class he took on Sports and Culture in Latin America during his first semester at Brown. Daniel is very passionate about the role that Sports play in various Latin American societies and has conducted extensive independent research on the role and history of Baseball in Cuba. As a senior in high school, Daniel traveled to Havana to interview Cuban baseball players, league officials, journalists, and historians, and has written multiple term papers about the use of the sport as a diplomatic tool for re-establishing diplomatic relations between Cuba and the U.S. Beyond his interest in Cuban baseball, Daniel is interested in Chilean public policy. This past spring break, he traveled to Santiago where he worked with a professor at the Centro de Estudios Publicos (CEP) on developing a more thorough understanding of Education, Healthcare, Social Security, and Childcare in Chile. He will return to the CEP this summer to continue his research.

Photo of Poom Pipatjarasgit

Poom Andrew Pipatjarasgit '21 is a sophomore from northwest Ohio double concentrating in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Anthropology. His primary academic interests reside in hispanophone areas within the region through the lens of cultural anthropology. He credits his elementary and middle school Spanish teachers for providing a strong foundation and sparking his interest in the language; other language goals are to become proficient in French and eventually learn Portuguese. On campus, Poom is a staff member of the Curricular Resource Center. He is also a UCS-appointed member of the College Curriculum Council and serves on its Independent Concentration Subcommittee. Outside of academics, Poom has been involved in various small theatre productions and music performances.

Talya Wellisch

Talya Wellisch '21 is a sophomore from Washington DC, double concentrating in Behavioral Decision Sciences and Latin American & Caribbean Studies (LACA). She is passionate about understanding people’s stories and experiences from both a psychological and cultural lens. As the daughter of Latin American immigrants, Talya grew up speaking Spanish. Her time with the LACA department has cemented her fascination with understanding the role of language in shaping cultures. Outside the classroom, Talya volunteers on a weekly basis at Rhode Island Hospital as a Spanish interpreter.  She also plans to study in Italy next spring and hopes to learn more about the history of Italian immigration to various South American countries.