Keep in Touch with CLAS
Attention LAS graduates: please share your alumni news by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also follow the latest news, information, and events from the Center at facebook.com/vuclas.
Clarissa Adams Fletcher, world languages department chair at Dunwoody High School, was named 2011 American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages National Language Teacher of the Year. She also teaches with the Georgia Virtual School and earned her National Board Certification in Spanish in 2004.
Jason Howard (B.A. 1999) is an agricultural commodity broker at American Commodities Brokerage Company in New York City. In his position, he works across all continents, except Antarctica, and uses Spanish and Portuguese daily. Adding an addition to his family, he married a lovely woman from Brazil.
Carlos Quintana (M.A. Latin American Studies, 2000) lives in Rome, Italy and works as the Latin Music Guide for About.com. His second son was born in the summer of 2012.
David Wheat, (M.A. Latin American Studies, 2003; Ph.D. History, 2009) is an Assistant Professor of Caribbean History at Michigan State University, where he teaches classes on Caribbean History, Colonial Latin America, and African Diaspora Studies. He is currently in Spain for a year on an NEH Fellowship (2012-2013), finishing up his first book project.
Brian Wortham (M.A. Latin American Studies, 2003) is the Director of Marketing at Dianne’s Fine Desserts in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Susan McConn (M.A.2004) She went to the University of Texas School of Law and now works as a immigration attorney for FosterQuan in Houston, Texas. Her background in LAS program opened up doors for her and she loves this rewarding career.
Nick Stokes (B.S. Latin American Studies, 2004) wrapped up a two-year tour in Yerevan, Armenia with the US Agency for International Development’s foreign service in July 2012 and has been transferred to the US Embassy in Kabul for one year to work in USAID’s Office of Democracy & Governance.
Sarah Birdwell (M.A. 2005) is currently employed with BBVA Compass in Birmingham, Alabama. This role offers her a variety of ways to apply her LAS background, as the BBVA financial services group has a major presence throughout Latin America. Sarah previously served as the Outreach Coordinator for CLAS. She is engaged to be married in May to Matt Moody.
Kevin Carlucci (M.A. 2006) and his wife Jessica are enjoying being back in Austin TX. Their son Giovanni just turned 4, and they recently welcomed baby boy #2! Kevin continues to work in development after convincing his company in DC to allow him to work from home offsite, which is great for work-life balance. These days he works in Climate Change & Urban Service, and has transitioned from mainly proposal writing at the outset to more field work, largely focused in decision making methods for adaptation to climate change. He is working on a proposal now for the World Wildlife Fund on people and ecosystems. The company recently sent him to a short course at Oxford on ‘Adaptation Economics’, so, that has and as a result has earned title of ‘Climate Adaptation Expert’. From time to time he goes to Mexico and Central America, but spends most of his field time in SE Asia and East Africa. Recently he did get to dust off the old Portuguese for some work in Mozambique.
Bryan Pitts (M.A. Latin American Studies, 2006) is currently completing his Ph.D. in Latin American history at Duke, with an April 2013 defense planned for his dissertation, titled “The Inadvertent Opposition: The Paulista Political Class and the Demise of Brazil’s Military Regime, 1968-1985.” His first journal article, titled “The Audacity to Strong-Arm the Generals: Paulo Maluf and the 1978 São Paulo Gubernatorial Contest” will appear in the August 2012 issue of The Hispanic American Historical Review.
James Remington Krause (M.A .Portuguese 2007) went to Brigham Young University in January 2010 as a Visiting Instructor of Portuguese. Currently finishing up his dissertation, “Translation ‘Failure’ and the Reception and Influence of Latin American Literature in the United States” (adviser: Earl Fitz), he hopes to defend it in September. In the fall James will enter the tenure track at BYU.
Aleza Remis ( B.A. LAS 2007) is Washington, DC working for The Alliance for Climate Protection. She is also starting to think about applying to law school for the Fall of 2010. She still wants to work in a Latin America-related area and is also very interested in politics.
James Winland, (M.A. 2008) is stationed with the US Military in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He currently works as an instructor of a Command and State course, teaching English and Doctrine Tactics to Brazilian Army officers.
Matthew Layton (M.A. Latin American Studies, 2009) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Political Science Department at Vanderbilt University. His areas of interest are Comparative Politics and American Politics.
Laura Morgan (M.A. Latin American Studies, 2009) realized after graduation that her travel bug was not yet squashed. After completing her degree, she taught English in Santiago, Chile, and then in a remote, rural village in Thailand. Upon returning, she moved to Washington, D.C., where she landed the position of research support specialist/learning center administrator at the Inter-American Defense College (IADC).
John Trylch (M.A. 2009) has been working as the U.S. Military Group’s Chief of Operations, as well recently as the Chief of the Army Section. Says John, “Overall, I have learned immensely in the past year about not only Guatemala, but also about U.S. foreign affairs and policy- It has been a very professionally rewarding assignment so far.” He and his wife Lindsey and daughter Anna live in Guatemala City.
Charlton Yingling (M.A. 2009) is currently a PhD student in Latin American, Caribbean, and Atlantic World history at the University of South Carolina.
Laura Delgado (M.A. 2010) is in her second year working with Conexion Americas, the premier Latino non-profit in Nashville. She is a Parental Engagement Specialist working to create a strong partnership between Latino parents and local public middle & high schools. She plans to eventually return to academia to pursue a PH.D in History, in particular the intersection of religion & democracy in Brazil.
Morgan Maxwell (M.A. 2010) is in the second semester of her first year in the Social Psychology doctoral program at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Working under Dr. Faye Belgrave, she is examining skin tone preferences and sexual practices among African Americans. In an effort to incorporate her research as a CLAS student, she wishes to conduct a cross-cultural study of skin tone preferences among African Americans and Afro-Brazilians in the future.
Leslie Rodríguez (M.A. Latin American Studies 2010) is in her third year as a doctoral student in Vanderbilt’s Sociology Department. Her research focuses on international migration and race. She is also working as an editorial assistant for the American Sociological Review, the flagship journal for the American Sociological Association.
Becky Reuse (M.A. 2011) has been working over the past year in Brazil marketing her English speaking skills, working at a local school, a university, and currently online at OpenEnglish.com. Recently she presented at a conference about education policy with respect to indigenous populations, comparing policy in the U.S. and Brazil. From her house she can see the fringe of the forest and from her side porch the river that divides the city. She is one block from the famous BR-364, a source of decades of conflict in Brazil. Her starfruit tree is full and everyday she opens up the door to a family of parakeets flying away as she interrupts their breakfast.
Rafael Romero moved back to Nicaragua and has been teaching at two law schools in Managua. At Universidad Americana he teaches one course on Negotiations, and another on Legal Systems. There he won an award for best professor in the fall of 2011. At Universidad Centroamericana he teaches Public International Law.
Steven Taylor (M.A. Latin American Studies 2011) started his new position in Metro Nashville Public Schools teaching US History and Spanish at Martin Luther King Magnet School. He is honored to be part of such a fine school and is excited to share what he learned from the Latin American Studies program with his students. His wife is still teaches French at Pope John Paul II High School and they are preparing to take a group of her students and their daughter to France in June 2013.
Hillary Voth (M.A. Latin American Studies 2011) lives in Cochabamba, Bolivia and is working for an organization called Ciudadanía. She is part of a project called “Cultura Política y Diversidad Cultural,” which works to promote political participation by Quechua women in Cochabamba and has taken on the pioneer task of working with Quechua women to define political concepts in their native language and according to their worldview. Another Vanderbilt alumnus, Daniel Moreno (Ph.D. Political Science 2008), is the Coordinator of Social Investigation at Ciudadanía.
Elizabeth Eiland (M.A. Latin Americans Studies 2012) is currently working as an Analyst in the Americas section of iJET International.
Max Pendergraph (M.A. Latin American Studies 2012) will be staying at Vanderbilt to pursue a Ph.D. in History. He works on issues of migration between Iberia and Latin America and his adviser will be Prof. Marshall Eakin.
Avi Richman (M.A. 2012) just returned to the U.S. after spending around three months in and around São Paulo. He had a wonderful time, learned a great deal about education policy in the country and improved his Portuguese.
Laura Sellers (M.A. Latin American Studies 2012) is starting her Ph.D. in Political Science at Vanderbilt. Her research interests include migration in the Americas.
The Department of Education has designated CLAS as one of its Foreign Language and Area Studies Programs and funds five graduate fellowships annually, as well as summer travel to Brazil, Guatemala, and Mexico for intensive language training. Vanderbilt CLAS is also one of the select graduate programs approved by the U.S. Army for its Foreign Area Officer training.
Roberto Perez 2007 - FAO in San Antonio, Texas
John Suggs 2008 - US Defense Attaché Office in La Paz, Bolivia
James Winland 2008 - US Army in Rio de Janeiro; Instructor of a Command and State course, teaching English and Doctrine Tactics to Brazilian Army officers
John Trylch 2009 - US Military Group’s Chief of Operations in Guatemala City, Guatemala
Jason Vulcan 2010 - Branch Chief, Afghan National Police in Camp Eggers, Afghanistan