Meet Our Concentrators!

Each year, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies hosts a number of concentrators with a diverse and fascinating array of interests.  These  students are definitely poised to make important contributions to the field. Find out more about them from their biographies below! 

Jordan Beard is a senior concentrating in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, these days he calls Boston home. He spent spring 2012 in Havana, Cuba studying race relations and the emergence of rap music as a platform fostering social and political activism on the island. He is interested in the intersection of new media, music, and politics across Latin America. Jordan spends his free time making films and listening to Brazilian music from the 60s.

Camisia Glasgow continues to call the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago home, despite only having lived in one of them many years ago. She comes to Brown from Decatur, GA – a small city enclosed by Atlanta. Camisia frequently contemplates geographies, solidarities, and consciousness. As a double concentrator in Ethnic Studies and a Mellon Mays Fellow, she has spent most of her time at Brown thinking about identity formation, cultural citizenship, race and the black body in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean vis-a-vis local and transnational social movements, literatures, and music of the African diaspora and continent. She has been fortunate to spend some time thinking through some of the above in and as they apply to Buenos Aires, Argentina over the last couple years. Over the next few, she hopes to spend time in Venezuela and elsewhere in the Americas. She enjoys decolonial praxes, public art, languages, cooking, yoga, dance, and the sea.

Shane Grannum is a senior from Virginia double concentrating in Latin American and Caribbean Studies; and Public Policy. Drawn to CLACS by his passion for law, open government and civil rights, Shane is particularly interested in the mobilization of indigenous and minority interests in the South American polity; and comprehensive immigration reform in the United States. Writing his CLACS research paper on the mobilization of local indigenous political parties in Bolivia, Shane considers the movement to legitimize indigenous and minority political interests in Central and South America to be one of the greatest challenges facing both regions this century. Shane has become fluent in Spanish since taking advanced language coursework at Brown and spending a semester abroad in Barcelona, Spain; and his parents hail from the Caribbean islands of Trinidad & Tobago. After graduating from Brown in May 2015, Shane hopes to pursue a career in public interest law and social justice.

Aron Lesser has lived in the United States, Brazil, and Israel, and speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Hebrew. Aron received a Royce Fellowship to work on a travel guide to São Paulo, Brazil. It will focus on non-consumptive aspects in order to promote a new way of visiting cities: as a cultural journey. He plans to release the guide by the end of the year. 

Madeline Pesec is a double concentrator in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Public Health. She was accepted to Brown's Program in Liberal Medical Education and plans to pursue an MD after graduation. As a child, Madeline became interested in Latin America and has since had the opportunity to travel and research extensively. At Brown, she continues to pursue the influence of culture, language, and history on public health policy in the Americas. Areas of expertise include: the history of epilepsy in the Andes; viable solutions to maternal and infant mortality rates in Bolivia; emergency medicine in the socialized medical system of Guadalajara, Mexico; primary care in Cuzco, Peru; and HIV/AIDS prevention programs in Mexico City. 

Ana Yesenia Ramirez always begins her story with her name, nombre, nome, b’ian, b’i. As a first year, she fell in love with her Portuguese classes which allowed her to find her voice, her love for languages, and her desire to teach. As a second year, she embraced her identity as an indigenous woman—Maya-Akateka from San Miguel Acatán, Huehuetenango, Guatemala born in the United States. Around this time, she was awarded a Mellon Mays Fellowship to conduct research on Maya-K’iche’ women in Providence, Rhode Island. As a third year, she converged what she learned in her Portuguese classes and her interest in indigeneity when she began working at English for Action (EFA). At EFA, she facilitates English classes to Maya-K’iche’ people in Olneyville. As a fourth year, Ana continues her story by working on her thesis which examines how Maya-K’iche’ women’s transnational relationships with family in Guatemala affect their experiences as immigrant women. After graduating from Brown, Ana plans to live in Guatemala to continue learning about Mayan languages and culture.  

Annie Sholar is a second-semester senior double concentrating in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Development Studies. Annie's thesis in Development Studies looks at responses to coffee rust (a plant disease affecting coffee production) within a commodity network that includes a farmer's co-op in the Western highlands of Guatemala and Coffee Exchange in Providence, RI. She spent a semester in Guatemala in Fall 2013, and returned to the country in Summer 2014 to complete interviews for her thesis research. 

Tom Sullivan is a senior concentrator in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.  He has travelled to Panama and studied abroad in Tlaxcala, Mexico in high school and in Santiago, Chile last fall.  As a photographer, drummer, beat-boxer, and lover of Spanish and Portuguese language, he enjoys combining his passions.  While studying in Santiago, Tom developed a project using photography and music to understand Chilean culture.  He's from Glenside, Pennsylvania.

Spencer Traver is a senior concentrator, drawn to Latin American and Caribbean Studies by his interest in both Hispanic and Portuguese Studies.  Spencer became fluent in Spanish through several courses at Brown and a semester in Barcelona, Spain; upon returning, he has turned his focus to Portuguese and Brazil in particular.  Spencer's Latin American and Caribbean Studies research paper seeks to analyze the relationship between economic and social policy as it developed in Latin America during the 20th century.  A concentrator in Economics as well, Spencer hopes to use his regional knowledge to begin a career in Latin American Capital Markets upon graduation.  Originally from Connecticut, Spencer is looking forward to traveling to Latin America this upcoming summer in order to gain firsthand exposure to the language and culture of the region.