LACIS 2020 Spring/Summer Graduates!

by Kierstin Conaway, LACIS Graduate Project Assistant

Congratulations to the Class of 2020!

LACIS is proud to announce that eight seniors graduated from the program with bachelor’s degrees this spring, and two additional seniors will be completing their LACIS major this summer! Unfortunately, LACIS was not able to host its usual celebration event due to the pandemic, but a virtual event was held on May 1, 2020 to recognize the accomplishments of these seniors. LACIS staff wishes to thank all of the students, staff, and faculty that attended the online celebration.

The celebration included a brief keynote speech from LACIS Director Kata Beilin, and remarks from LACIS Associate Director Alberto Vargas.  A recording of the event, along with an automated transcription, is available for those that were unable to attend. You can view/listen to the celebration HERE.  (Please note that you will need a password to sign in: Kgj5EhZ8).

The campus-wide commencement held this past Saturday (May 9) is also viewable online with the program published as a news article.

LACIS wishes the best to the graduates and is looking forward to seeing what they accomplish next!

Without further ado, LACIS graduating seniors are:

  • Jillian Aragon
  • Alondra Avitia Lechuga
  • Louisa Mahlon Forrest
  • Orlando Rafael Guzman-Santiago
  • Sari Hattis
  • Amelia Heusinkveld
  • Logan Allen Krishka
  • Adeline Lennon
  • Ana-Yuli Marin-Gonsalez
  • Claudia Pott

Please continue below to read some of our graduates’ experiences at UW-Madison and their future plans.

Jillian Rose Aragon

What are your immediate and future plans? 

Under the new circumstances, I am conducting a virtual internship with The Foundation for Studies and Research on Women (FEIM). For FEIM, I am translating any important documents from the United Nations NY office that need to be distributed to non-profit organizations working on women’s rights throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. I began my journey with FEIM while I was studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I’m grateful to have the chance to help them during this challenging time! My future plans include moving to Geneva, Switzerland in September to start a Master’s Program in Transitional Justice.

How did the LACIS major contribute to your future plans? Did the major contribute any to your success at UW-Madison?

The LACIS major contributed to my plans by giving me a direction. I came into college knowing I wanted to travel but I had no idea where to start. After studying abroad in Seville, Spain, and continuing with Spanish, I knew that the LACIS major would allow me to dive deeper into the regions I had come to love. Shortly after I declared the major, I found myself in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I built the foundation I needed to pursue Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. In my final year in college, I worked with different faculty members in the LACIS department to successfully design and fund a research study concerning human trafficking in Argentina. I have the department to thank for that accomplishment. I hope that someday I will be able to execute those plans!

Did you have major(s) and certificates besides LACIS? If so, what were they?

I graduated with two other majors: International Studies with a concentration in Global Security and Legal Studies.

Louisa Mahlon Forrest

What are your immediate and future plans?

I have been accepted into UW-Madison’s capstone program for Communication Sciences and Disorders. So, this fall I will be returning to campus to be a Badger for one more year! After that, I am hoping to attend graduate school for a master’s degree in speech and language pathology.

How did the LACIS major contribute to your future plans? Did the major contribute any to your success at UW-Madison?

The LACIS major was an awesome way for me to take classes that I wouldn’t have otherwise taken; it was really great for me to take classes in art, history, literature, and culture. Those classes challenged me in much different ways than my other classes. I learned so much about the world and also myself through this major. It made me proud of my undergraduate career here at UW.

Did you have major(s) and certificates besides LACIS? If so, what were they?

Yes, I also majored in Linguistics and Spanish.

Adeline Rose Lennon

What are your immediate and future plans?

For now I am looking for a full-time job somewhere in the Midwest, but look forward to traveling to/working in Latin America in the future.

How did the LACIS major contribute to your future plans? Did the major contribute any to your success at UW-Madison?

I loved the LACIS major for its flexibility and crossover with my other areas of study! It really helped me to make connections across all of my coursework and hone my passions for human rights, social justice, and cultural competency. I also was awarded a research grant that allowed me to travel to Argentina to study editoriales cartoneras, which are cardboard books that are sold to make literature more accessible and affordable, and the classes I had taken through my LACIS major proved invaluable to helping me understand deeper historical and cultural contexts as I traveled.

Did you have major(s) and certificates besides LACIS? If so, what were they?

I was also a Spanish major and got a certificate in Gender and Women’s Studies.