The Department of Latin American, Caribbean and U.S. Latino Studies is among the first degree granting interdisciplinary programs in the nation that conceptually linked area studies and race and ethnic studies. LACS challenged the premise that the experiences of Latin American and Caribbean origin people residing in the United States could be studied in isolation of the political, social, economic, and cultural dynamics in their countries of origin. In the last decades real world developments and theoretical and conceptual advances have further challenged the notion that ethnicities and areas are self-contained, bounded entities. In the process, interdisciplinary studies has developed a more sophisticated and nuanced reading of the intersections of area and ethnic studies.
The causes of regional demographic shifts, the intensive integration of financial and commodity markets, the reactivation of restrictive immigration policies as pressures for migration intensify, cultural hybridization which transcends boundaries, contested meanings of Latinidad and citizenship, the erosion of the racial binary in the United States and the accelerated international circulation of cultural production are among some of the developments that expose the limitations of discipline-based approaches to understanding, and demonstrate the utility of the interdisciplinary approach that is the distinctive feature of LACS. The LACS interdisciplinary graduate programs provide students with the analytical tools and conceptual frameworks to understand the causes and consequences of the forces that are redefining the region and hemisphere.
LACS Graduate Students will:
Develop the research skills, which will allow you to make meaningful contributions to knowledge production and dissemination through teaching, publication and public engagement.
Develop analytical and leadership skills, and how to apply a social justice perspective for the betterment of diverse marginalized communities.
Develop an understanding of transnationalism, political economy, culture and power, racial and gender forms of oppression, social movements and more in Latin America, the Caribbean and the US.
Develop a range of competencies, ranging from critical thinking to effective communication skills that will enhance your professional profile.
Participate in speakers’ series, seminars, conferences and special lectures that promote intellectually rewarding dialogues across the disciplines with noted scholars.
What are some of LACS Students doing today?
The best answer to answer this question is to describe the great variety of employment and career paths followed by our graduates. Below we share some of the paths our students have taken after completing their LACS degrees. Please note that there are too many to list but we hope these provide you a measure of insight into what our students are doing.
Ph.D. - M. Dustin Knepp - Associate Professor at California State University- Bakersfield.
Ph.D. - Luis Paredes - Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Stetson University, Florida.
Ph.D. - Lissette Acosta Corniel - Research Associate at CUNY Dominican Studies Institute in New York City.
M.A. - Melinton Badillo - Assistant Director, YMCA of Greater NY.
M.A. & B.A. - Leiry Santos - Residence Director, Indian Quad, University at Albany.
MA - Israel Jerry Soto - Social Studies teacher at the New York City Department of Education.
MA - Catia Laird de Polanco - faculty member at Schenectady County Community College in New York and is additionally a Ph.D. candidate in LACS.
MA - Luis Barcelo - School Counselor at Pelham Memorial High School in New York.
Ph.D. - Lomarsh Roopnarine - Associate Professor at the University of the Virgin Islands in St. Thomas.
Ph.D. - Carmen Caamaño Morua - Director of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Costa Rica.
Ph.D. - Alexander Lamazares - Chairperson and Associate Professor at the City University of New York.
M.A. - Elyzabeth Wenger Gannon - Director, Office of Learning Services at the State University of New York, Oswego.
M.A. - Nicole Delgado - Instructor at Boricua College in New York City.
M.A. - Maritza Maymí - pursued a Ph.D. in History and is an Associate Professor at the University of Puerto Rico.
M.A. - José Martínez-Fabre - pursued a Ph.D. in Political Science and is now an international analyst for the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
M.A. - Andrew Tishman - International business - Guatemala.
M.A. - Karen Ferrer-Muñiz - Associate Dean of Students and Director of Minority Student Affairs at RPI and is now a Ph.D. candidate in LACS.
M.A. - Maribel Cordero - Social Studies and Spanish teacher in the New York City Public School system.
M.A. - Vernon Castillo - Admissions Counselor at Union College.
M.A. - Carol Archer - School of Building and Land Management at the University of Technology - Jamaica, W.I.
M.A. -Yvonne Devineni - grants writer for Mount Aloysius College.
M. A. - Bethann Stewart - editorial staff of the newspaper Idaho Statesman in Boise.
B.A – Samira Sierra - Communications Specialist at Human Network International – Madagascar.