Helen Firstbrook Franklin Fellows

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Mirella Maria

Mirella Maria is an Afro-Brazilian visual artist, educator, and art historian who studies the collection and curatorship of museums in maroon and slum communities in Latin America. She earned her BA in Visual Arts from the State University of Sao Paulo (Brazil) and her master’s in Visual Arts/Art Education from the same institution. She has extensive experience working in museums and educational spaces as an artist, art educator, facilitator, and curator. Mirella received an award from the XII Mercosul Biennial to develop an artistic installation based on Afro-Brazilian memories associated with her surname, Maria, and its connections to colonialism and resistance. Currently, she is pursuing her PhD with the Art History Department.  Mirella enjoys learning about and sharing information on artistic and activist movements, Latin American and African arts. In her free time, she loves to travel, engage in mindful practices, and visit artistic and cultural places.

Christian Fidel Revilla Arizaca

Christian Fidel Revilla Arizaca is a historian dedicated to studying the development and crisis of higher education in Peru through the LACIS program. He received his BA in History in 2015, and an MA in Superior Education in 2021, both from the Universidad Nacional de San Agustín (UNSA). Likewise, he has been dedicated to teaching for almost seven years, teaching in schools, pre-college centers and in the Universidad Nacional Jorge Basadre Grohman.  He is the recipient of several academic awards, including those resulting through his work advising students. Previously, he traveled throughout Latin America as an exchange student and participated in many academic events.  Through UNSA, he was awarded funding to study mining communities, and develop research projects.  Christian Fidel speaks Quechua, Spanish and French, and enjoys many kinds of activities especially travelling, playing soccer and cycling.


Andrea Guzman-Giura

Andrea Guzman Giura is a historian studying the importance of performance for national construction in globalizing contexts in the LACIS program. She received her BA in History in 2016, and MA in Anthropology in 2019, both degrees from Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru (PUCP). Since then, she is a member of the Group Japanese Immigration in Peru from Riva Aguero Institute (PUCP). She worked for the Andean Program Studies at PUCP, organizing academic events. And in different higher education entities promoting interdisciplinarity learning. She traveled around the world to Congresses presenting her research.

Her background in interdisciplinary studies includes learning Quechua, dance, acting, transcription, and paleography. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, doing martial arts, and mindful activities such as yoga and painting.


Meg Baker

Meg Baker is a master’s student in the Agroecology Program studying medicinal plants, Indigenous ways of knowing and food sovereignty. She received her BS in Anthropology from the University of Utah where she studied domestication of Chenopodium berlandieri in western North America. After graduating she served in the Peace Corps as an environmental education volunteer in Mexico working with students and community members to build low-tunnel gardens and grow fresh vegetables.

She enjoys learning about decolonized agriculture movements, community-engaged and participatory action research, and Latin American food systems. In her free time, you will find her exploring Wisconsin by running, climbing, or hiking.


Grant Gergen

Grant Gergen is a graduate student in the Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies (LACIS) Master’s Program studying criminal justice policy and inequality. He graduated with a BA in Economics and Political Science from the University of Florida in 2018. After, he served in the Peace Corps in Guayaquil, Ecuador from 2019-2020 as a TEFL Volunteer and then served in AmeriCorps as the VISTA Leader for Equal Justice Wyoming in Cheyenne, WY from 2020-2021.

He is passionate about criminal justice reform and indigent defense and hopes to attend law school upon completion of the LACIS program.


Jean Vilbert

Jean Vilbert is an MIPA student in international public affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests in Political Economy include governance, poverty, economic growth, and social development, with particular focus on the effects of legal, economic, and political institutions on poverty. Jean earned an LLM from the University of West Santa Catarina, and an LLB from the Community University of Chapecó Region, serving as a judge for 5 years and as a professor for 10 years in Brazil.


Anika Rice

Anika Rice is a People-Environment Geographer studying agroecology, gender and migration in a changing climate. She received her BA in Human Geography from UC Berkeley in 2014 and has since interned at National Geographic Explorer Programs in DC, instructed field courses with GirlVentures in the greater Bay Area, and worked as a farm educator at Urban Adamah in Berkeley, CA. In 2016 she completed a project titled “Migration, Women and Coffee Production: Changing roles on Guatemalan and Nicaraguan farms” as a National Geographic Young Explorer grantee.

Her background in experiential education includes food systems & farm ecology curriculum, native plants & folk herbalism lessons, backpacking skills, mindfulness, earth-based Judaism, and holding intentional space for group connection. In her free time she enjoys weaving, fermenting things, and learning about the plant world.