Graduate Student Bios

Africana, Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies Graduate Students

A masters graduate prepares to walk across a commencement stage in UAlbany's student center.


Arinka Abad

[email protected]

About Arinka

Education / Degrees
PhD Candidate, Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies (LACS), Expected May 2021 
Master of Arts in Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies (LACS), May 2012
Bachelor of Arts in Economics, minor: Business Administration, May 2000

Courses Taught

Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences 

  • Spanish for Health Careers, 211 - 08/2020 to Present

University at Albany

  • Puerto Rico; History, Culture, and People (Winter Online Course) - 12/2019 to 01/2020


  • The significance of study cases in qualitative research methods - International Migration, Remittances, and Gender. Ethnographic Qualitative Research Conference (EQRC) – Work in Progress
  • Peruvian International Migration, Remittances and Gender: From the Local to the Global" Latin American Perspectives (LASA) – Work in Progress

Recent Presentations

  • XXXIII International Conference 2019 - Latin American Studies Association (LASA). Doctoral Thesis – Proposal: "The Emotional Cost of Migration: Peruvian Women Migrants' in the U.S" - 05/2019
  • 31st Annual Ethnographic and Qualitative Research Conference (EQRC). "Migration, Remittances, and Gender: A Qualitative Study of the Peruvian Province of Callao." - 02/2019

Ildefonso Apelanz

[email protected]

About Ildefonso

Ildefonso Apelanz

MS, MA, PhD Candidate

X (Twitter): @iapelanz

Dissertation Title
Pioneras Mujeres Con Gambetas: (en)gendering territories en la historia del fútbol argentino 

Research Interest

  • Gender dynamics and inequalities in sports with focus on fútbol
  • Oral (Hi)stories as a source of knowledge
  • Fútbol Femenino and Fútbol Feminista in Argentina and Latin America


  • University at Albany
  • Master of Arts Degree in Spanish (2014)
  • Master of Science Degree in Curriculum Development & Instructional Technology (2013)
  • Bachelor’s Degree, summa cum laude, in Latin American Studies and Economics (2007)

Courses Taught

University at Albany

  • ALCS201. Latinos US
  • ALCS229. Futbol in the Americas
  • ALCS330: Futbol in Latin America. History of a Global Sport
  • ALCS229/330. Women and Sports in the Americas
  • ALCS330/348. Social Change in Latin America

Siena College

  • SPAN101. Fundamentals of Spanish I

Hartwick College

  • SPAN101. Beginning Spanish I
  • SPAN102. Beginning Spanish II


Book Chapter

Apelanz, Ildefonso (2020). Argentina in the Women's World Cup Mexico 1971: a collaborative approach to building a theoretical landmark. In Carvalho, J. (Ed) Sports Media History: Culture, Technology, Identity (1st ed.). Routledge.

Arturo Lua Castillo

[email protected] 

About Arturo

Arturo Lua Castillo is a scholar with a background in Latin American studies, Economics, and Sustainability.

My coursework in LACS at UAlbany has given me a nuanced understanding of Latin American countries and their relationship to sustainable development. My research projects focus on the potential for democratized renewable energy development and agroecological applications in underserved rural areas of Mexico. I study the social lifecycles of different development projects to assess their equitability and lasting impacts. I advocate for programs that distribute the benefits of sustainable technology in places where sovereignty, transparency, and democratic control are essential to tackling environmental, economic, and social needs.

PhD Student, Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies, University at Albany
MA in Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies, University at Albany, May 2023
BA in Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies, University at Albany, May 2020
BA in Economics, University at Albany, May 2020

Dissertation Title
The Real Potential of Renewable Energy in Mexico

Research Interests

  • Sustainability Science
  • Sustainable Development
  • Renewable Energy
  • Social Ecology
  • Agroforestry
  • Systems Theory

Luis Javier Cintrón-Gutiérrez

[email protected] 

About Luis

X (Twitter): @LuisJCintron787

Research Interests
Violence and Drug trafficking; Death Studies; Cultural Sociology, Mass Media & Culture, Hispanic Caribbean Studies, Puerto Rico

Education / Degrees
MAC in Media and Contemporary Culture, Universidad del Sagrado Corazón, 2020
MA in Sociology (With Distinction), Universidad de Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, 2016
BA in Political Science, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, 2010

Courses Taught

University at Albany

  • ALCS 100 - Culture and Power in Americas
  • ASPN 101 - Elementary Spanish II

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

  • SOC 100 - Introduction to Sociology
  • SOC 310 - Social Research Methods


Peer Reviewed Articles

  • Cintrón-Gutiérrez, Luis J. Tepito y la Ciudad de México desde el “tercer espacio” de Ingobernable. Middle Atlantic Review of Latin American Studies, 4, (1), pp.142–158. DOI: 10.23870/marlas.231
  • Cintrón-Gutiérrez, Luis J. (2019). "Entre “hacer historia” y “¡Qué me velen para’o!”: velorios exóticos y marginalidad contemporánea en San Juan de Puerto Rico. Cuadernos Inter·c·a·mbio sobre Centroamérica y el Caribe, 15, (1). DOI: 10.15517/c.a..v16i1.36498. Book Sections, Chapters & Proceedings
  • Cintrón-Gutiérrez, Luis J. (2015). "Aspectos sociológicos sobre la narco-cultura y los ritos funerarios en Puerto Rico: El caso de la muerte del Chacal de Llorens Torres.” pp. 112-121. In María del C. Quintero Aguiló, G.J. Jiménez Fuentes, M. Joseph Haynes, G. Mejía González, D. Ursulin Mopsus (Eds.), Caribbean Without Borders: Beyond the Can(n)on's Range. Newcastle upon Tyne: UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Book Reviews

  • Cintrón-Gutiérrez, Luis J. (2019). Review of the book Passages and Afterworlds: Anthropological Perspectives on Death in the Caribbean ed. by Maarit Forde and Yanique Hume]. Caribbean Studies 47(2), 164-166. doi:10.1353/crb.2019.0022.

Recent Presentations

  • Cintrón-Gutiérrez, Luis J. (2020, August). “Internet Memes as a Representation of Puerto Rican Cities: The Case of Bayamón as a Narcospace.”115th American Sociological Association Annual Meeting. Virtual Conference Due to COVID-19. -Cintrón-Gutiérrez, Luis J. (2019, May). “#QueCuenten: Deaths, Journalism, Politics, and Memory in Puerto Rico After Hurricane María.” XXXVII International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association - LASA 2019. Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America. [Conference Paper]
  • Cintrón-Gutiérrez, Luis J. (2019, April 5). “[…] más allá de la frontera nos imponen la Guerra’: The Representation of the Contemporary US – Mexico Economic and Political Relations in Ingobernable”. Economic Imaginaries in the Literature and Cinema of Spain and Latin America Symposium. Lehman College - CUNY, Bronx, New York, United States of America.
  • Cintrón-Gutiérrez, Luis J. (2018, May 24). “Death, Marginality, Images and Performance: Contemporary wake ceremonies in inner city of San Juan, Puerto Rico.” XXXVI International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association - LASA 2018. Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.

Marina Hernandez

[email protected]

About Marina
Marina Hernandez

Marina Hernandez, MPH, MA, CHES® is a transdisciplinary scholar specializing in the fields of Public Health, Latin American Studies, and U.S. Latina/o/x Studies. Her work focuses on factors that influence health opportunities of historically excluded populations with an emphasis on gender and sexually diverse communities. As a public health scholar, adverse reproductive health outcomes are the essence of Marina’s research. She aims to contribute to scholarship on sociocultural, historical, and political barriers to health justice. When she is not doing scholarly things, Marina enjoys reading genre fiction, hiking with her partner, and spending quality time with her two cats.

MA in Latin American Studies, Tulane University, 2022
MPH Tulane University, 2020 
BA in Spanish, University of Central Oklahoma, 2017 
BS in Community/Public Health, University of Central Oklahoma, 2017 

Dissertation Title
Trauma del Parto: An Exploration of Obstetric Violence among Latina/o/x Communities in the U.S. 

Research Interests

  • Sexual health
  • Reproductive justice
  • Gender-based violence
  • Cultural influences on health
  • Gendered determinants of aging
  • Liberatory pedagogies 

Eskildsen, N., Dejan, A., & Hernandez, M. (2020). “New Orleans Syringe Access Program and implementation of harm reduction practices.” Journal of Louisiana Public Health Association, 1(1), 38-40. 

Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane. (2020). Conexión: Art and Activism in Oaxaca. New Orleans, LA. 

Hernandez, M. S. (2019, September 24). What is Public Health? Tulane School of Public Health Tropical Medicine.

Courses Taught/Co-Facilitated

University at Albany

  • ALCS 100 Culture and Power in the Americas 
  • ALCS 201 Latino USA 

Tulane University 

  • SPHU 4010 Formulation Public Health Policy 
  • IHSD 6300 Monitoring of Global Health Programs 
  • COLQ 3601 Adverse Childhood Experiences 
  • SPHU 3500 Public Health Approach to Sexual Violence 
  • SPHU 1010 Intro To Public Health 

University of Central Oklahoma 

  • BIO 2504 Human Anatomy & Laboratory 

Stephen Ippolito

[email protected]

About Stephen

Stephen Ippolito

Website: Diabetes Awareness, Prevention, and Management

Position: PhD Candidate in Latin American, Caribbean and US Latino Studies

Research Interests: Ethnography, Race Critical Theory, Latinx, Sociology of the Body, Cultural Sociology, Disability Studies Theory, Mass Media & Culture 

Dissertation Thesis Proposal
Learning, Inclusiveness, and Preparedness for 2-Year College and Beyond

Education / Degrees
MA in Disability Studies, CUNY School of Professional Studies, New York, NY, 2017 Summa Cum Laude
BA in Sociology, CUNY School of Professional Studies, New York, NY, 2014 Summa Cum Laude

Courses Taught and Currently Teaching

CUNY School of Professional Studies Adjunct Professor in Disability Studies

  • DSAB 200: Disability and Society 
  • DSAB 499: Undergraduate Capstone Course
  • DSAB 699 Graduate Capstone Course


  • [In Progress] Romance Studies Journal on the conference theme: “The Misrepresentation of the Disability Media Narrative “ The 9th Annual Graduate Student Conference for the Romance Languages and Literature Department. State University of New York at Buffalo on April 3rd and 4th 2020.

Conference - Upcoming

  • Conference Panelist for Diabetes and COVID-19 Threat for the Latinx Community.  DSA2020 Virtually@Hostos: IX Conferencia Bienal de la Asociación de Estudios Dominicanos. Crisis of Truth, State of Emergency, and Social Responses: The Urgency of Dominican and Ethnic Studies in the Present Hour. Hostos Community College, Bronx, NY December 4th, and 5th2020.

Conferences - Recent

  • An Evening of Poetry and Stories in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month: To embolden the graduate students to participate the literary reading on zoom in the University at Albany, State University of New York, in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures of the Faculty Humanities, October 16, 2020.
  • Participated in the literary poem reading: “Abuelito Who?” poet by Sandra Cisneros [Cancelled due to COVID-19]
  • Romance Studies Journal on the conference theme: “The Misrepresentation of the Disability Media Narrative “The 9th Annual Graduate Student Conference for the Romance Languages and Literature Department. State University of New York at Buffalo on April 3rd and 4th 2020
  • Disability Awareness Seminar Health, Education, and Research Occupations (HERO) High School. 2020
  • Lions Club International Highbridge District GAT Leadership Symposium: Disability Rights and Empowerment 2020
  • Disability Empowerment and High Education Seminar at the VISIONS Vision Center for the Blind in Spring Valley, NY 2019
  • CUNY SPS Attending Panelist for Undergraduate Information Session.  2019
  • Lions Club International Highbridge District 20-R2 Diabetes Awareness Centennial Conference at Ricardo's by the Bay. 201

Andrea Carolina Miranda Pestana

[email protected]

About Andrea
Andrea Carolina Miranda Pestana

Dissertation / MA Project
"Women Artists in the dictatorial regime of Omar Torrijos 1971-1981"

Major Awards and Scholarships


  • MA, University of Connecticut, 2018
  • Master in Cultural Heritage Management, Universidad de Panamá, 2016
  • BA in History, Universidad de Cartagena, 2005


Book Review

  • Miranda Pestana, Andrea Carolina. “La Isla de Pinos: Reminiscencias de Una Colonia Estadounidense Olvidada Michael Neagle. America's forgotten Colony Cuba's Isle of Pines. Cambridge University Press, 2016. PP 285. In Memorias: Revista Digital de Historia y Arqueología desde el Caribe, (38), (2019): 186-190.

Book Chapter

  • Miranda Pestana, Andrea Carolina. “School desegregation o integración forzada: raza y educación en la zona del canal de Panamá. 1954-1957.” In Los Países Centroamericanos y Colombia. Historia, relaciones y desencuentros con el Gran Caribe, edited by Raúl Román Romero and David Díaz Arias, 237-258. San Andrés: Universidad Nacional de Colombia, 2020.
  • Miranda, Andrea, Pacheco, Berena et  al (2016). "Estragos de la viruela en Cartagena : limitaciones de los discursos médicos y de la política pública, 1822-1842" en, La ciudad en tiempos de epidemias : Cartagena durante el siglo XIX e inicios del XX . Universitaria Cartagena De Indias. p.23 - 58,  2016.
  • Miranda Pestana,Andrea Carolina, (2016) "El Packing House de Coveñas. Avances y retrocesos de la industria ganadera en la Costa Caribe Colombiana 1910-1926" en, Economía del Caribe colombiano y construcción de nación (1770-1930) . Editorial Universidad Nacional. p.233 – 263.Miranda Pestana, Andrea Carolina, & Román Romero, Raúl. (2014). Conflictos y negociaciones entre los empresarios harineros de la región andina y los de la costa caribe colombiana, 1904-1912. América Latina en la historia económica, 21(3), 176-200. Recuperado en 16 de noviembre de 2020, de          

Recent Presentations


  • Miranda Pestana, Andrea Carolina (2021). “Integración Forzada: Educación y Segregación Racial en la Zona del Canal de Panamá 1954-1964” Presented at XV SEMINARIO INTERNACIONAL DE ESTUDIOS DEL CARIBE. El Caribe ayer y hoy: tensiones, rupturas y continuidades, Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. July 26 –30, 2021. Vía Zoom.

Public Engagement

  • Invited Curator, Contemporary Art Museum, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Panamá (MAC)/ Panamá, Ciudad de Panamá - June 2021 to January 2022
    • Participation in a collaborative project to select artistic work preserved in the MAC collection to be integrated into the exhibition "keeping seeds in the hair"
    • Invited artists to participate in the exhibition
    • Participation in the drafting of the exhibition texts 
    • Development of a route describing the connection between the artwork included in the exhibition and discourses on decoloniality, representation and empowerment. 
  • Research Assistant, Panama Canal Museum Museo del Canal de Panamá/Panamá, Ciudad de Panamá - August 2020 to April 2022
    • Designment of annotated bibliography on migration of Afro-Caribbean workers to the Isthmus of Panama during the first decades of the 20th century.
    • Research of secondary sources on the racial segregation policies implemented by the authorities of the Panama Canal Zone.
    • Collaboration in the research process of the second phase of renovation of the exhibition.
  • University Art Museum/ Albany, NY
    • Participation in organizing the upcoming art exhibition: Libros-Arte organized with the University at Albany M.E. Grenander Special Collections and Archives, Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, and the Department of Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies. 
  • Interpretation Assistant, Adirondack Experience/ Blue Mountain Lake, NY
About Ruth
Ruth Murcia

PhD Student & Health Disparities Fellow

Graduate Health Disparities Certificate, University at Albany, 2023
MA in History, University at Albany, 2021
BA in History, University at Albany, 2020

Research interests

  • Central American communities
  • Informal labor
  • Undocumented migration
  • Paid domestic labor
  • Immigrant health
  • Health disparities
  • Oral history
  • Community storytelling

Dissertation focus 
My research focuses on the experiences of Central American undocumented domestic workers in metropolitan NY from the 1970s to the present. Through the collection of oral histories, I center the voices and narratives of women participating in this labor market throughout decades, to explain immigrants’ sense of belongingness and agency despite the historic and continuous anti-immigrant discourse fixed to exclude, undermine, and deny their rights. Situated within migration, Latinx, and labor studies my research provides significant insights into remaining questions regarding Latin American immigrants’ community formation, informal labor, and the configuration of paid domestic labor in the United States.


  • Book review
    Chiricú Journal [Forthcoming] 
    “Migrants’ Rights in North America: A Transnational Responsibility”
    Xóchitl Bada and Shannon Gleeson, eds. Accountability Across Borders: Migrant Rights in North America. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2019. 
  • Peer-reviewed article 
    American Journal of Public Health [In progress]
    “COVID-19 Misinformation in Spanish-Speaking Communities”

Research Assistant
For chapter “Scorched Earth” in Dawson, Alexander S. Latin America Since Independence: a History with Primary Sources. 3rd edition., Routledge, May 18, 2022.