Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Our Concentrators

Class of 2019

Daniel Jason  '19.5 is currently a senior 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.


Zachary Kligler '20 is a senior 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 senior 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 senior 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 senior 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 senior 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 microfinance company based in Bogota; Burro Ghana, a design firm focused on improving the livelihoods of smallholder 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 senior 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 senior 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 languages, 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.

Picture of Andrea Vega

Andrea Vega Troncoso '20 is a senior concentrating in Latin American & Caribbean Studies and Environmental Studies. She grew up in Santo Domingo, República Dominicana and has been involved in political and environmental work back home. At Brown, she serves as senior advisor for Dominican Students at Brown, where she helps organize cultural events, performance series, and workshops. She is currently working on her honors thesis, "¿Paraíso pa quién? The political ecology of tourism and environmental injustice in coastal communities of the Eastern Dominican Republic," for which she conducted ethnographic fieldwork as a Voss Fellow at the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society (IBES). She is interested in the questions: what is at stake in producing paradise, and for whom is paradise constructed? 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. In her free time, Andrea enjoys cooking vegan versions of Dominican food and having really long WhatsApp calls with her family.  


Sara Montoya Arango ’21 is a junior from Bogotá, Colombia, concentrating in Gender and Sexuality Studies and Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Since she was very young, Sara has been moving around the world to a variety of countries such as Puerto Rico, Mexico, Chile, Spain, and now the United States. Her interest in Latin America and Caribbean studies stems from the experiences she had and the people she met in each place she lived, making her passionate about history as a vehicle for understanding the present. Sara is specifically interested in the intersection between gender and sexuality and Latinx identities, migration, ethnicity/race, and intersectional feminism. She approaches these topics throughout a variety of lenses and disciplines, looking at everything from popular media/culture, theory, history, literature, and art. She is a Bonner Fellow with the Swearer Center and works in a variety of community engagement sites in Providence such as ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages), and SHAPE (Sexual Health and Peer Education).

Daniel Newman

Daniel Newman '21 is a junior 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 junior 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 junior 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.  

Adriana Rodriguez

Adriana Rodriguez '21 is a junior concentrating in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Political Science from Teaneck, New Jersey. Her decision to concentrate in LACA arose from her interest in studying her own Puerto Rican and Dominican heritage - specifically the history of U.S. intervention and imperialism on the two islands, as well as in Latin America and the Caribbean more broadly. This year, Adriana is looking to begin her thesis, in which she will study the relationship between political activism and the practice of cultural traditions between diaspora Puerto Ricans in the United States and those on the island. She would like to understand the questions of how diaspora and islander Puerto Ricans take ownership of their “Puerto-ricanness,”  if diaspora Puerto Ricans have a responsibility to participate in political action related to the island if they partake in cultural traditions and if diaspora organizing effective/desired/needed? Adriana is active at Brown with the Center for Students of Color, as co-President of Dominican Students @ Brown. She also participated in the Consortium for Advanced Studies Abroad program in Havana, Cuba during the fall semester of 2019 and loves (can’t stop) talking about her experiences there!