LACIS

Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program

Graduate Student Profiles

Isabel Suarez

Where are you from? 

Santiago, Chile

What was you undergraduate degree in, and where did you attend undergrad? 

I did my Bachelor in Hispanic Literature with a mention in Creative Writing -many years ago- in Diego Portales University back in my home country.

What inspired you to pursue a Masters in LACIS? 

Since I was a child, I've loved reading and learning different things, not only fiction but also about history and culture. Before I studied Literature I tried being a Sociologist, but I realized that it was not for me.  My ideal career at that moment would have been something interdisciplinary but that did not exist, yet. Thus, when I came to UW-Madison and looked for a Master's program where I could study Literature, History and Culture at the same time LACIS was perfect.

What are you hoping to concentrate on within the LACIS master’s program? 

I am hoping to concentrate my research in literature and history. Now, I am interested in the role of the Cuban publisher house, Casa de Las Americas. For example, I would like to see how they participated in the development of critical thinking in Latin America. 

What about UW’s LACIS Master’s program stood out to you and made UW the right choice for you? 

It is the right choice for those who want to approach a topic from a broad, interdisciplinary point of view. The LACIS Master’s Program at UW gives you the independence and freedom to choose what areas are the most important for your work. Here you can create a plan for your Master and they will understand what are the elements needed for it.

At the same time, the work environment is excellent; all of those who are part of LACIS work hard and are always trying to help their students. So, if you are looking for a family, LACIS is one.

In addition, if you are a person who likes learning languages, here is the perfect place. For example, if you like Portuguese, LACIS has a close relation with the Portuguese Department – offering classes, conference, and many other activities.

Finally, the University has grants and scholarships for international and resident student. I could study my whole first year thanks to the Helen Firstbrook Fellowship.

How does the LACIS Master’s program fit into your future personal/career goals? 

My first goal is to, by the end of my Masters, have a very good English and Portuguese. My second one is to publish my thesis in an academic journal.

My future career goals are to continue working and studying Latin America. I would like to work in institutions related to culture, where I could materialize my knowledge in projects that help the community. Likewise, I would love to teach. After my experience as a TA, I found my passion being in the classroom learning with others.

Lastly, my dream goal is to work for a period in Brazil, and thus put in practice my language skill and my knowledge on their culture.


Mary Morales

Where are you from? 

Tacoma, Washington

What was your undergraduate degree in, and where did you attend undergrad?

I attended undergrad at Pacific Lutheran University, in Tacoma, Washington, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Hispanic Studies and a Bachelor of Musical Arts degree in Music. 

What inspired you to pursue a Masters in LACIS? 

Since I completed my undergrad degree, I have wanted to continue exploring Latin American Studies. I am passionate about the field, and enjoy mining what it has to offer.

What about UW’s LACIS Masters program stood out to you and made UW the right choice for you? 

UW is known as a research school, so I knew that professors would be concerned with maintaining current knowledge in the field. The LACIS Masters program seemed unique to me because it is fundamentally interdisciplinary, which allows students to work with a breadth of issues and topics--social, cultural, linguistic or otherwise--within the program.

How does the LACIS Masters program fit into your future personal/career goals?

I know that the LACIS program will help prepare me for success in whatever directions I choose in the future, particularly due to the interdisciplinary nature of the program and the supportiveness of faculty. 


 

 

Raven Hayes


Where are you from? 

Neosho, Mo

What was you undergraduate degree in, and where did you attend undergrad? 

I attended Missouri State University in Springfield, MO where I double majored in Spanish and English with a concentration in Creative Writing and minored in Latin American Studies

What inspired you to pursue a Masters in LACIS? 

My Junior year at Missouri State I studied abroad in Puerto Rico and when I returned I added the Latin American Studies minor. I loved all my Latin American Studies classes, but since I was so close to graduating, I did not get to take very many. I knew I wanted to get my Masters in LACIS, but I wanted to live abroad and gain experience and knowledge first. I taught kindergarten through an NGO at a Honduran bilingual school for the last two years, and I am ready to combine my experience with academic knowledge! 

What are you hoping to concentrate on within the LACIS masters program? 

I am hoping to focus on development and education in Latin America. I'm interested in studying how education can accelerate regional development. 

What about UW’s LACIS Masters program stood out to you and made UW the right choice for you? 

The LACIS Masters Program at UW appealed to me because of the independence and freedom you have in choosing what areas you want to concentrate on within your degree. I looked at a few other programs that had specific concentrations that you had to pick from - but I like that at UW I can focus on the areas that I'm interested in and create a plan of study with my advisor, instead of picking from 2-3 concentrations off of a ready-made list. I also have a FLAS fellowship this year, so I am really excited to study Portuguese at UW and the possibility of studying abroad to improve my language skills. 

How does the LACIS Masters program fit into your future personal/career goals? 

My future career goals are to continue working in Latin America, somewhere in education as a teacher, administrator, or English coordinator in a bilingual school. Studying at UW will give me the academic and contextual knowledge that I think are important to working abroad. I'm excited to learn Portuguese so that I can someday work in Brazil, as well as to meet other people who are passionate about Latin America, just like I am.


 

Bobby Brito 

Where are you from? 

Hollywood, Fl

What was you undergraduate degree in, and where did you attend undergrad? 

I attended the University of Florida and triple Majored in Political Science, History, and International Studies, with a Certificate in Latin American Studies

What inspired you to pursue a Masters in LACIS? 

My trip to Cuba

What are you hoping to concentrate on within the LACIS masters program? 

Caribbean History

What about UW’s LACIS Masters program stood out to you and made UW the right choice for you? 

The faculty working there

How does the LACIS Masters program fit into your future personal/career goals? 

I ultimately plan to pursue a PhD in History specializing in Latin American History, and want to one day teach.