Advanced Research Collaborative  


Below are the short bios of the 2019-2020 ARC Student Fellows:

Gladys Aponte
Gladys Y. Aponte is a doctoral student in Urban Education at The Graduate Center, City University of New York.  Prior to pursuing a doctoral degree, Gladys was a dual language bilingual teacher in New York City public schools. As an adjunct instructor and CUNY-NYSIEB Research Assistant, Gladys has continued to work closely with teachers of bilingual students to transform classrooms in culturally/linguistically-sustaining ways. Gladys holds a BA in Elementary Education from Hunter College, and a M.S.Ed. in Dual Language Bilingual Education and Childhood Special Education from Bank Street College.
Varnica Arora
Varnica Arora is a doctoral student in the Critical Social Personality Psychology at The Graduate Center, The City University of New York and an Adjunct Faculty at the Department of Psychology, City College of New York. Prior to pursuing a doctoral degree, Varnica worked for over a decade with a Non-Profit, PRADAN, in conflict affected regions in rural India. At PRADAN, Varnica was involved with organizing over 6000 women in Self Help Groups, to address issues of economic development, governance and Gender Justice. In 2017, Varnica was selected as a Visiting Atlantic Fellow at the International Inequalities Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science where she undertook research to study the impact of Self Help Groups in addressing issues of gender inequality among the Gond indigenous community in India. Varnica has a Masters and Bachelors degree in Psychology from the University of Delhi.
Tania Aviiles
Tania Avilés is a Ph.D student from the sociolinguistic track in the Latin American, Iberian and Latino Cultures program at The Graduate Center, CUNY, and a member of the Grupo de Glotopolítica. She has a BA and a Master in Hispanic Linguistics from the Universidad de Chile. Her dissertation project examines private letter writing as a social practice among the lower ranks of Chilean society during its nation state building process in the second half of the nineteen and the beginning of the twentieth century. From a Glottopolitical perspective, she is interested in observing how subjects constitute and negotiate political subjectivities in the process of national constitution through private and intimate linguistic practices. She is also engaged in establishing theoretical connections between the field of historical sociolinguistics and the Glottopolitical perspective.      
Fernanda Blanco Vidal
Fernanda Blanco Vidal is a doctoral student from the Environmental Psychology at the Graduate Center (CUNY) interested in forced displacement, people`s relationship to land and water and political suffering. She is Adjunct Faculty at the Department of Psychology, City College of New York where she teaches a course of her creation “Psychology of People in Places – From Climate Changes to Gentrification. She holds an M.A in Sociology from University Federal of Bahia focus on people`s forced displaced by dams and published the book “Longing yes, Sadness no – Social Memory, Psychology and Forced Displacement”. Prior to pursuing a doctoral degree, she has worked with communities and social movement that fights against dispossessions such as Gamboa de Baixo (Fishman community in Salvador), the MST (Landless Workers Movement), Cascalheira (affected by technological disasters) among others and she has worked as Coordinator and Faculty member in two colleges in Salvador. She has been working with social memory and narratives, social and political subjectivity, social movements in Latino America. Email:
Stephanie Cruz
Stephanie Cruz is a doctoral student in the Cultural Anthropology program at the Graduate Center, CUNY. She holds an M.A. in Cultural Studies from the Colegio de La Frontera Norte, Mexico and a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Hamburg, Germany. Previously, Stephanie worked as a research assistant and translator for the National Institute of Anthropology and History and the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. As part of an interest in theory and politics of movement, her research will focus on the relationship between imaginaries, ideology, and migration. Her dissertation project will examine the experience of staying or non-migration in places in Mexico with a long history of migration to the United States. 
Patrick DeDauw
Patrick DeDauw is a Ph.D. student in Geography at the Graduate Center, CUNY. His dissertation research traces the uneven geographical and demographic expansion of incarceration in Canada since the 1990s, particularly the sharp rise in the incarceration of Indigneous people. Examining the reorganization of industrial, agricultural, and extractive complexes and the transformation of urban and rural welfare states, he hopes to show why things are the way they are, and, drawing on struggles over regional development visions from above and below, how they could be made otherwise. Patrick’s research is supported by the Québec Research Fund (FRQSC), the Gittell Urban Studies Collective, and the Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy. He holds a BA from McGill University in Montréal and an MA from Freie Universität-Berlin. He has taught social sciences and urban studies at FU-Berlin and Queens College, CUNY, and has been active in labor organizing and prisoner solidarity work for the past decade.
Joanna Dressel
Joanna Dressel is a Ph.D. student in Sociology. She received her B.A. in Sociology from American University, where she developed an interest in narratives of place, specifically in the context of urban development and what is good for the city. Recently she has been working on a project that considers the role of venture capital and the startup economy in cities. Two related questions guide her research: first, how do the particular cultural, historical, and political dynamics of urban places shape the venture capital market; and second, in what ways does venture capital shape and enact power in social-geographic space?
Angela Dunne
Angela Dunne is a doctoral student and Social Media Fellow in the Urban Education Program at the Graduate Center, CUNY. She works in the First Year Experience Program at Guttman Community College, CUNY where she develops curriculum as well as teaches in a collaborative course called City Seminar. Her research revolves around community college, open enrollment, democratic classroom practices, social identity, and the development of critical consciousness. As an ARC Research Praxis Student Fellow in the Critical University Studies Track, Angela will 1) examine and interrogate the ways that political discourses are constituted through CUNY’s institutions and practices 2) analyze how those systems contribute to the ways that different groups of students come to understand themselves in this social context 3) to develop practices that engage students as historical actors and incorporate their lived histories within this research 4) provide historical context for the present conditions of public higher education and 5) develop and enact institutional visions and practices that incorporate these critical analyses.
Andre Eliatamby
André Eliatamby is a doctoral student in the Linguistics program at the CUNY Graduate Center. His main research interests concern the acquisition of meaning and structure during childhood. In particular, he’s interested the mechanisms that underlie the development of children’s understanding of literal and inferred meaning, and the implications this has about our understanding of cross-linguistic diversity and human cognitive architecture. His current work takes experimental, computational, and formal analytic approaches to these questions. In addition to language acquisition, he is interested in methodological issues in the sciences and humanities, epistemology, and the factors that govern disciplinary boundaries. He received a BSc (CompSci)/BA (Linguistics) and an MA (Linguistics) from the UNSW Sydney, Australia.
Juan Cruz Ferre
Juan Ferre is an MD from Argentina, journalist and political activist pursuing a PhD in Sociology. He's co-founder of the Political Economy Workshop at the CUNY Graduate Center. Juan holds a Master in Public Policy (Johns Hopkins). His research areas are Latin America, labor, political economy, welfare states and inequalities.

Jessica May Fletcher
Jessica Fletcher is a doctoral student at the Graduate Center, CUNY in the Art History Department. She is currently researching how voluntary organizations and the state built housing and health centers for working-class women in New York City and London in the 1920s and '30s, focusing particularly on how the needs of mothers and single women were formulated and responded to architecturally. Since moving to New York, Jessica has also worked at the curatorial departments of the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney, as well as Artists Space. She holds a B.A. from University College London and an M.A. from Columbia University.

Beiyi Hu
Beiyi Hu is a Ph.D. student in Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center. Beiyi received her B.A. in Sociology from Minzu University of China and M.A. in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. Her research interests include ethnoracial categorization, immigration, citizenship, nationhood, and urban sociology. Her current research focuses on the myth of Swedish national identity and its relations with refugees. Rather than framing refugees and asylum seekers as “invaders” or “threats” to the national community, her study flips the gaze around and examines “what symbolic and material work are the refugees doing for the construction of the nationhood?”
Andrea N. Juarez Mendoza
Andrea N. Juarez Mendoza is a scholar-activist, artist, and organizer whose work has centered on community and youth-driven change in San Francisco, California. She holds degrees in Psychology and Ethnic Studies from Mills College. Andrea uses creativity-based praxis in working with organizations, large and small, to bring communities together to discuss difficult topics through art and expressive modalities. Her work is rooted in an understanding that community needs and desires must be at the center of equitable and visionary research and justice work. As a doctoral fellow of Urban Education at The Graduate Center at the City University of New York, Andrea’s current research broadly looks at transnational migration experiences, family separation, social movements and response to deportation regimes. She works as a translator with the Feerick Center for Social Justice for mothers and children in detention; by accompanying families and individuals to court; and through a national project on documenting and archiving migration stories through Participatory Research and art, with the American Psychological Association.
Luis Monroy-Gomez-Franco
Luis Angel Monroy Gómez Franco is a Ph.D student in  Economics at the Graduate Center, CUNY. His main research interests lie at the intersection of labor and development economics, particularly the topics of social mobility, inequality of opportunity, income inequality, poverty, human development and economic growth. Before coming to the GC, he worked as part of the research team on social mobility commissioned to design the ESRU Social Mobility Survey 2017 for the Centro de Estudios Económicos Espinosa Yglesias in Mexico. He holds a M.Sc. in Economics from the Colegio de México, and a B.A. in Economics from the School of Economics of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

Pablo Lara
Pablo Lara is a PhD student in Economics at the Graduate Center, CUNY. His research interests are mainly related to macroeconomics and monetary policy and theory. Currently, he is working on the effect of crime and weak rule of law on Mexican firms’ outcomes in terms of expenditures and size. He is also working on the effect of monetary policy on house prices and household consumption, in the context of a New Keynesian model. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) and an M.Sc. in Economics and Finance from the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
Cass Lowry
Cass Lowry is a PhD student in Linguistics and the lab manager of the Second Language Acquisition Lab (SLAL) at The Graduate Center, CUNY, as well as a Graduate Teaching Fellow in the Linguistics Program at Brooklyn College. His research uses psycholinguistic methods to investigate the morphosyntactic processing of heritage languages. As an ARC Student Fellow, he will conduct a study investigating the differential processing of (un)grammatical structures—relative clauses, nominal agreement, and island violations—between first- and second-generation Spanish-English bilinguals using event-related potentials, under the direction of Prof. Gita Martohardjono.  
Ashley Marinaccio
Ashley "Ash" Marinaccio is a theatre artist and scholar who creates work to challenge the status quo. She is dedicated to documenting the socio-political issues that define our times. As a director and playwright, her work has been seen off-Broadway, at the White House, United Nations, TED conferences across the United States, Europe, and Asia. Currently, Ash is working on her Ph.D. in the Department of Theatre and Performance at the CUNY Graduate Center, where her research is focusing on the intersections of theatre and war. Ash is a member of the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy certificate program, a New Media Lab fellow, contributor to Visible Pedagogy and a NY Public Humanities Fellow. She is the founding Artistic Director of the theatre company and United Nations NGO Girl Be Heard, where she received numerous accolades, including LPTW’s Lucille Lortel Women’s Visionary Award. She is a co-founder/director of Co-Op Theatre East and creator/host of the new web series Stage Left. Learn more: [].
Lorena Paz Lopez
Lorena Paz López  is a Ph.D. student in the Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures Program at the Graduate Center, CUNY. She holds a B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature and a M.A. in Literary Theory and Comparative Literature from the University of Santiago de Compostela. She is researching the work done by Spanish intellectual women in Argentine publishing houses during the years of the republican exile, after the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). She is focusing particularly on the role of these women as translation agents.

Carmin Quijano
Carmín Quijano is a doctoral student in Sociolinguistics in the Latin American, Iberian and Latino Cultures Department at The Graduate Center (CUNY). She is also a member of the Grupo de Glotopolítica, which brings a new perspective in the field of Sociolinguistics that focuses on the intersection between language and politics. She is currently interested in the formation of racialized and gendered identities through the perception and evaluation of linguistic practices by creole elites in the context of Puerto Rico. She has two Master’s Degrees, one in Hispanic Lexicography and another in Communications, and a Bachelor's Degree in Hispanic Studies.

Nick Rodrigo
Nick Rodrigo is a PhD student in Sociology at the Graduate Center, CUNY. He is a founding member of "The Social Anatomy of a Deportation Regime" a research working group based out of John Jay College, which examines the nature of the deportation and punitive immigration enforcement system in New York City and the country more broadly. He is also the host of the Groups podcast "They are just Deportees", which interviews scholars and community organizers on specific aspects of the deportation regime, whilst also providing historical context to the current immigration crisis in the US. His dissertation research focuses on the US/Mexico border and the way in which a border security nexus of private and state actors use violence and moral panics to build policy frameworks to justify and expand their mandate. He teaches Crime and Migration at Queens College, and is active in the Palestinian solidarity movement in New York City.
Maya Rose
Maya Rose is pursuing a PhD in Educational Psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center.  Prior to entering the program, she worked on the evidence development team at an educational technology startup that designed video games to improve attention. Her current research examines how varying the input of the language that is received and individual differences effect second language acquisition among late adolescents and young adults. Specifically, she is creating a computer assisted language learning platform for Turkish language learning along with test variations, to pinpoint the most effective methods for language learning. This work aims to have border implications for resettling populations and CUNY students acquiring a variety of second languages. She is also interested in designing and assessing cognitive game-based trainings and researching the development of behavioral and neuropsychological indices of executive functions.
Janina Selzer
Janina Selzer is a Ph.D student in Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center, who received her B.A. in Politics, Psychology and Sociology from the University of Cambridge, UK and an M.A. in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. Her research focuses on the intersection of race, immigration and gender in an urban context. More specifically, she is interested in the ways that those inequalities become inscribed in space and how spatial boundaries are constantly contested and redefined - spatially as well as symbolically. Currently, her research looks at the causes and consequences of the converging anti-refugee narratives by the German far-right and feminists.

James Tolleson
James Tolleson is a PhD student in cultural anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center. He received a B.A. in Ethnic Studies (Interdisciplinary program) from Davidson College. Broadly, his work seeks to draw connections between critical race studies, economic anthropology, and the anthropology of space and place, with a focus on the southern United States. His current research explores the articulations of race and capital in the 20th-century agricultural and land development of south Florida, paying particular attention to changing meanings and values across an extended process of industry restructuring, mechanization, and financialization. He has taught at Hunter College (CUNY) and currently works as a Social Media Fellow for the GC Anthropology Program.
Karen Zaino
Karen Zaino is a PhD student in Urban Education at the CUNY Graduate Center and a Teaching Fellow in the English Education program at Queens College. She holds a B.A. in English Literature from Swarthmore College and an M.A. in Education from Villanova University. Before pursuing a PhD, Karen taught high school English for 12 years. In her scholarly work, she is interested in exploring the subversive histories, theoretical possibilities, and disruptive forms of community that can and do exist in educational institutions.
Anna Zeemont
Anna Zeemont is a PhD student in the English program at the Graduate Center, where she concentrates in Composition-Rhetoric and American Studies. Broadly speaking, she studies the politics and movement of literacy, particularly in and around urban educational settings such as CUNY. As an ARC fellow in Critical University Studies, Anna is especially interested in using critical-race and decolonial approaches to conceptualize the academy, writing pedagogy, and education justice. Other research areas include digital/multimodal rhetorics, critical and activist pedagogies from K-college, cultural geography, and feminist theory. Anna is currently at work on her dissertation, a transdisciplinary, archival project that brings together New Literacy Studies, urban education, (neo)liberal critique, and histories/legacies of college student activism. Prior to starting her PhD, Anna earned a BA in English and Biology from Oberlin College and worked as a secondary educator in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she grew up. She teaches composition courses at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and work as a professional consultant at Baruch College’s Writing Center.
Ke Zeng
Ke Zeng is a student in the Doctoral Program in Sociology at the Graduate Center. His major research topic focuses on the labor market and Dual-track economic system in China. Currently he is taking the research project on the intergenerational mobility in China using the micro data. After implementing the Open-up-and-reform policy in 1978, China witnessed an enormous economic boom, and rocketing inequality. However, due to the socialist ideal aim, government is manipulating the inequality data. Therefore, for this project, he hopes to reveal the circumstance of (intergenerational) inequality in current China.

Read about past student fellows.