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Posts from the ‘Alumni’ Category

NEWEST feature of New Roots/Nuevas Raíces: Meet the interviewers!

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Pictured : Fran Reuland, UNC Global Course Guanajuato Class of 2016

We are so excited to share the NEWEST feature of New Roots/Nuevas Raíces called “Meet the Interviewers“/”Conoce a las y los entrevistadores.”

Get to know featured faces from the UNC Global Course Guanajuato class, who were behind some of the interviews on newroots.lib.unc.edu. Read more to learn about their projects and reflections on the experience.

 

Alumni Profile: Shaw Drake

B. Shaw Drake Headshot

Shaw Drake, UNC ’10

The Latin American Studies Undergraduate major (LTAM) provides students with the opportunity to master multiple methodological skills and acquire the language competence through which to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the Latin American and Caribbean experience. In preparing students for public and private sector careers, LTAM alumni have gotten jobs in the U.S. State Department in a number of different Latin American countries, transnational companies that operate in the US and Latin America, and in non-profit organizations that work with migrants in the United States.

We had the pleasure of sitting down one of these accomplished alums, Shaw Drake.

When he’s not being published in the New York TimesHuffington Post, or JURIST , Shaw Drake, UNC ’10, works as an Equal Justice Works Fellow at Human Rights First in New York City, NY. The Georgetown University Law Center graduate has experiences ranging from conducting legal research on surveillance of human rights lawyers in Colombia, studying judicial independence in Guatemala, serving as a Military Commission observer in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,, supporting survivors of torture from over 90 countries in accessing legal, psychological, and medical services at the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture, as well as conducting an extensive fact-finding project regarding stateless children’s access to education in the Dominican Republic.

Having grown up in Greensboro, NC, Drake experienced an initial interest in migration after working with refugee families and going on a trip to Guanajuato, Mexico. When he came to UNC, Drake found the Latin American Studies major as a good fit for his interests.

“The major is a balance of being small and involved in the community, but broad enough to also be involved in bigger opportunities,” said Drake.

One of those bigger opportunities was Drake’s junior year spring break when he had the chance to work with No More Deaths, a humanitarian organization recommended to him by Latino Migration Project Director Dr. Hannah Gill. Drake was so impacted by the experience that upon returning, he changed the topic of his honors thesis to write about the U.S. border enforcement strategy and human rights on the Arizona-Mexico border.

A double major in LTAM and Romance Languages, which is common for the majority of Latin American Studies majors, Drake said being an LTAM major gives students an opportunity to look at a dynamic part of the world from historical, political, and human rights perspectives, and teaches students ways to critically examine future challenges.

“[The LTAM major] gives you the latitude to pursue interests and encourages you to take on a wide variety of disciplines,” said Drake. “Take it on and view it as an opportunity to examine a dynamic and amazing part of our world.”

Many thanks to Shaw Drake for sitting down with us, we look forward to the great things he will continue to do!

About the LTAM Major

The BA in Latin American studies, offered by the Curriculum in Latin American Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, is designed to foster intellectual engagement with a region of extraordinary diversity and rich cultural complexity, within an interdisciplinary but integrated framework.

 

 

New Roots/Nuevas Raíces Program Reception and Launch

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Thank you to the over 90 community members who came to celebrate the launch of the New Roots / Nuevas Raíces Latino oral history collection. This bilingual collection of interviews, transcribed in both Spanish and English, focuses on Latino/a migration and the formation of new communities throughout the South.

Featuring the voices of students, workers, and activists, this collection brings home the challenges faced by recent immigrants as well as their children and grandchildren. The program included a brief video which documented the project’s evolution, followed by comments from library archivists and community partners. The reception featured music by Charanga Carolina and held listening stations where guests could experience interviews first-hand.

Fall Migration Social Sept. 29

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Network with fellow students and faculty in the atrium of the FedEx Global Education Center who are engaged in migration/immigration-related research in multiple disciplines and professional schools at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Learn about research, coursework, travel, and internship opportunities.

For more information please visit the event calendar and the Institute for the Study of the Americas’ Facebook page.

UNC in Guanajuato: New Exchange Program!

Click to learn more.

Spend a Semester or Year-long studying in a UNESCO World Heritage Site at the Universidad de Guanajuato, Mexico!

featuredFAST FACTS:

• Language of Instruction: Spanish

• Exchange Program

• Housing: Homestays

• Cost: see website

• Eligibility: at least upper level sophomores with a GPA of 2.75 or higher

Overview

The Institute for the Study of the Americas, the Department of Romance Studies and the Study Abroad Office are pleased to offer an undergraduate student exchange program with the Universidad de Guanajuato (UG) in the city of Guanajuato, Mexico. Guanajuato is a safe, laid-back colonial, cultural rich, authentic, enjoyable and peaceful city all year long. This will be a two-way exchange, with semester and year-long options, commencing in the spring of 2016 and continuing every semester thereafter.

Academics

UNC undergraduate students will have the opportunity to take a full course load of 12-18 credit hours per semester. Students will be able to choose a wide variety of courses from the Departments of Art, History and Literature at UG. In addition to the regular course load at the UG, during the semester students will complete a total of 30 hours of community service work. The community service work will be directed by a UNC-CH faculty member (Dr. Hannah Gill), in coordination with Fundacion Comunitaria del Bajío (FCB). The service work will take place in local community organizations affiliated with the FCB in communities which have been affected by migration to the United States. The Service Learning course will offer one UNC-CH graded credit.

Guanajuato alumni, WE NEED YOU! 

Specifically:

One student to talk with incoming students about their experience in Guanajuato at 3 pm on Aug 20, 2015 at the UNC Student Union and

several students to talk with incoming students about their experience in Guanajuato in half hour slots from 10 am to 3 pm on Sept. 11 at the Global Education Center Study Abroad Fair. 

Email Dr. Hannah Gill for more information, hgill@email.unc.edu

Meet Alumni Committee Member, Katie Gutt

The Latino Migration Project (LMP) is pleased to announce the creation of a new alumni leadership committee that will help ensure the legacy of LMP’s work in the coming years. Committee members will advise and coordinate with the LMP team on communication, upcoming events, and growth goals.

Last week we were delighted to introduce founding members Felicia Arriaga and Alex Dest. Today, we are pleased to present founding member, Katie Gutt.

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“My favorite memory is sitting at the kitchen table in our host home in Trancas and listening to our host father tell us stories about the twenty times he had migrated to the US. I will never forget how openly he shared his stories and how eagerly he wanted us to understand what the experience is like.” -Katie Gutt

Q: Katie, thank you so much for joining us! First, please tell us more about yourself.

A: Hi! I’m from Weddington, North Carolina. This weekend I will graduate from UNC with a double major in Hispanic linguistics and Latin American studies. During my time at UNC, I volunteered with Enrich ESL and El Centro Hispano. I also took Dr. Gill’s Latino Migration Perspectives course in the Spring of 2015.

Q: Tell us more about brought you to the Latino Migration Project. How did the experience impact you?

A: I was inspired to apply for the Global Guanajuato course after talking to some classmates who had taken the class in 2014. It seemed to be the perfect way to draw together my interests NC’s recent history and community service. The class and the trip to Guanajuato have challenged me and changed me in ways I never expected. I only wish I had been able to take the course sooner, so that my experiences could have informed my work with the Chapel Hill/Carrboro immigrant community earlier in my college career.

Q: We love that it had such an impact on you. What do you tell your friends when they ask you about your experiences in Guanajuato? What’s your favorite memory?

A: I think the most important thing I’ve shared is the value of the conversations you have with community members in Guanajuato. Learning about immigration from the people who have migrated, the people who have never migrated, and the children who have families split by migration is invaluable to understanding the immigrant community in the United States. My favorite memory is sitting at the kitchen table in our host home in Trancas and listening to our host father tell us stories about the twenty times he had migrated to the US. I will never forget how openly he shared his stories and how eagerly he wanted us to understand what the experience is like.

Q: What does the Latino Migration Project mean to you? Why should others care or get involved?

A: The Latino Migration Project has inspired me to seek a career in serving the immigrants in my community. Before taking the Global Guanajuato course, I did not have a clear plan for after graduation. This course showed me the many ways I can advocate for change in the treatment of immigrants and create a more welcoming environment in the state I have called home for more than 20 years. I think everyone could benefit from learning about immigration from an immigrant’s point of view. Luckily, LMP helps facilitate this exchange with the New Roots oral history project, training students on how to conduct oral history interviews, and providing a course that informs students of the immigrant experience.

Q: Of course we have to ask the biggest question—what are your plans for after graduation?

After graduation I will be working as a programming intern with the Rural Education Institute of Mexico— back in Guanajuato! I will be working with a couple others to plan and implement after school programs in two towns near San Miguel de Allende. The goal of the programs is to address high dropout rates by providing tutoring and activities to keep kids interested in learning. I’m so excited to start this position in September!

Q: We look forward to the great work you will do! When you weren’t in class, what do you enjoy doing?

I love to read! I’ve amassed a collection of books from my travels, and I’m just now getting into books I bought more than a year ago. It’s great to revisit places I’ve been through the works of their famous authors.

Thank you so much, Katie! We look forward to a great year!

Learn + Connect + Give

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LMP alumni are working across the state, nation, and world in career fields from advocacy to public health. To build on the fast-growing network of these remarkable students, the Latino Migration Project (LMP) is pleased to announce the creation of a new alumni leadership committee that will help ensure the legacy of LMP’s work in the coming years. Committee members will advise and coordinate with the LMP team on communication, upcoming events, and growth goals.

We are pleased to introduce two founding members: Felicia Arriaga and Alex Dest. We hope you will enjoy getting to know them more!

Calling LMP Alumni-We want to hear from you!

Want to be involved? Email Sara Peña, sarapena@unc.edu.

  • Share your interest in serving on the LMP leadership committee by emailing us with subject line “LMP Leadership Committee”
  • Update us: Have you changed jobs in the last year? Have an exciting promotion? We want to hear about it!
  • Send your stories, photos and memories.

Meet Alumni Leadership Committee Member, Felicia Arriaga

"For me, the project is a valuable resource where the stories of immigrants and those working with immigrants can be easily accessed." -Felicia Arriaga

“For me, the project is a valuable resource where the stories of immigrants and those working with immigrants can be easily accessed.” -Felicia Arriaga

The Latino Migration Project (LMP) is pleased to announce the creation of a new alumni leadership committee that will help ensure the legacy of LMP’s work in the coming years. Committee members will advise and coordinate with the LMP team on communication, upcoming events, and growth goals.

We first met Felicia Arriaga as the LMP ambassador, and now are so delighted to introduce her as a founding committee member.

Q: Felicia, thank you so much for joining us! First, please tell us more about yourself.

A: I’m from Hendersonville, NC and I’ve lived in Durham for the past 7 years, attending Duke University. I’m a third year PhD student in Sociology and I study the use of federal immigration enforcement at the local level of the criminal justice system.

Q: Tell us more about brought you to the Latino Migration Project. How did the experience impact you?

A: I think I read Mai Thi Nguyen and Hannah Gill’s report on 287(g) programs in the fall of 2013 while trying to put together a literature review for my proposed dissertation research. It was a fortunate coincidence that they are both here at UNC. After a little bit of research, I discovered that Hannah taught a really interesting course and as a graduate student I had the option of taking courses at UNC-CH, NC State, and NCCU. Unfortunately, there is not an immigration course offered in my home department, but I contacted Hannah to see if she would allow me to enroll in the Global Guanajuato course. I was able to participate in the course in the spring of 2014 and then I became the TA in the spring of 2015. I have learned so much about UNC students, about Guanajuato, about teaching, and so much more. This really is a great project where students can learn about the local and the global.

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Photo Credit: M.A.G. photography

Q: What do you tell your friends when they ask you about your experiences in Guanajuato? What’s your favorite memory?

A: Well, the first year I went to Guanajuato, I was definitely impressed by La Fundacion. When I was able to return this past spring, I was impressed by the progress they had made in Trancas. We were able to have movie nights with the youth in the new community center and we got to spend time with members of the neighborhood association. This year when we traveled to Mineral de Pozos, we were able to see the variety of projects being supported by La Fundacion. Another fun memory is the photo shoot that occurs near this old van in Pozos, courtesy of Michele from La Fundacion.

Q: What does the Latino Migration Project mean to you? Why should others care or get involved?

A: There are so many aspects of the Latino Migration Project that I can use in my teaching and community work. For me, the project is a valuable resource where the stories of immigrants and those working with immigrants can be easily accessed. I had the opportunity to conduct four oral histories for New Roots with Latino/a educators in North Carolina who are actively working to promote Latino/a student success. In many regards they were pioneers in the K-12 teaching profession and I think it’s important to raise up their stories and to recognize challenges that still exist in our education system for Latino/a students.

11046917_1011409445555716_914476530302252986_nQ: When you’re not pursuing your PhD, what do you enjoy doing?

A: I LOVE meeting new people so I try to go to a lot of different events, rallies, etc. I think it energizes me to know there are so many great groups out there working for social justice. I really enjoy being secluded without access to internet, facebook, etc. We don’t have internet at my house in Hendersonville, NC and growing up I thought it was a pain, but now it’s a blessing. I try to spend as much time with my familly and friends when I go home, and during the summer that means going swimming, hiking.

Thank you so much, Felicia! We look forward to a great year!

 

Meet Alumni Leadership Committee Member, Alex Dest

The Latino Migration Project (LMP) is pleased to announce the creation of a new alumni leadership committee that will help ensure the legacy of LMP’s work in the coming years. Committee members will advise and coordinate with the LMP team on communication, upcoming events, and growth goals.

We are so delighted to introduce founding member, Alex Dest.

"I think what sets the LMP apart is that it works with both local communities and those abroad to facilitate dialogue around Latinos’ experiences and to make real change." -Alex Dest

“I think what sets the LMP apart is that it works with both local communities and those abroad to facilitate dialogue around Latinos’ experiences and to make real change.” -Alex Dest

Q: Alex, thank you so much for joining us! First, please tell us more about yourself.

A: Hi everyone! In 2014, I graduated from UNC with a dual BA in Latin American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies. While at UNC, I was a mentor for SLI, volunteered at El Pueblo, and was part of the Latino Migration Project’s summer internship. After graduation, I started working at El Pueblo where I coordinate a sexual health education program for Latino teens

Q: Tell us more about what brought you to the Latino Migration Project. How did the experience impact you?

A: What attracted me to the program was the opportunity to see another side of immigration. Before volunteering with the LMP, my experience with immigration had mainly been limited to the work I did with Latinos at a local level in North Carolina. One of the most important things that I came away with at the end of the summer was a better understanding of the struggles and hardships faced by those in these communities who don’t emigrate —a story that I don’t think we hear very often.

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Q: What do you tell your friends when they ask you about your experiences in Guanajuato? What’s your favorite memory?

A: I usually tell people that my summer in Guanajuato was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences I’ve had. Living in such an isolated, rural community was a big adjustment for me, but getting to work with the youth and hearing the stories of other community members really made the experience worthwhile. I also love sharing the pictures I took while I was in Guanajuato because they show a way of life that is so difficult to portray with just words.

Probably one of my favorite memories was coming home late every night from the school to drink hot chocolate and eat sweet bread with my host mom. It was such a simple and comforting way to end the day and quite a few of our late night conversations left a significant impression on me.

Q: What does the Latino Migration Project mean to you? Why should others care or get involved?

DSCN3556A: My internship with the Latino Migration Project was such an important experience for me and really informs the work that I continue to do. I think what sets the LMP apart is that it works with both local communities and those abroad to facilitate dialogue around Latinos’ experiences and to make real change.

Q: When you’re not in the office, what do you enjoy doing?

In my free time, I really enjoy making pottery. It’s a hobby I picked up recently, so there’s still quite a bit of mess-ups, but it’s really nice to have a creative outlet. Plus, the pieces that aren’t horrible make good gifts!

Thank you, Alex! We’re looking forward to a great year!

A look back: American Friends of the Bajío Celebration

We had a wonderful reception and conversation in the spring with Adriana Cortés Jiménez, the director of the Fundación Comunitaria del Bajío in Guanajuato, Mexico, and Millie Ravenel, Director of the American Friends of the Bajío and former director of the Center for International Understanding.

Adriana is a native of Irapuato, Guanajuato and has over 25 years of experience in community development.  Adriana has hosted numerous delegates from North Carolina to teach about migration issues and has been a close partner of the Latino Migration Project since 2006, with LMP student interning and working with the Fundación through Project Guanajuato.

Millie Ravenel is Director of The American Friends of the Bajío, which supports the work  of local development in rural Mexican communities which have been affected by US-Mexican migration. She is also the former director of the Center for International Understanding and spent 32-years helping North Carolinians engage with the world. Millie’s leadership forged a pioneering organization that delivers unique and relevant global programming.

Students, staff, and community members enjoyed meeting one another and hearing a presentation by Adriana Cortés Jiménez on the great work being done in Guanajuato. We hope everyone enjoyed the event as much as we did!