Recognizing Leaders of Hispanic Scholarship

September 15, 2023

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, we recognize our scholars who are leaders and pushing the boundaries of knowledge.

Rosa Angela Calosso, Alumnus Daniel Valtueña, Mila Burns, and John Guttierrez headshots
Naiomy Guerrero, Daniel Valtueña, Mila Burns, and John Gutierrez

The Graduate Center is a member of the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities and our scholars are taking leadership roles in organizations that push scholarship by and about Hispanic communities to new heights. During Hispanic Heritage Month, we are celebrating those leaders and all our scholars who are shedding new light on Hispanic research, art, poetry, music, and science in Hispanic countries. 

Sonja Elena Gandert portrait
Sonja Elena Gandert (Credit: Alex Irklievski) 

Sonja Elena Gandert, whose Art History dissertation focuses on the work of four Chicano artists in New Mexico and Texas, has won multiple prestigious fellowships to support her work. She discusses her research and shares her future plans.  

Image of Mila Burns And John Guttierrez
Mila Burns and John Gutierrez

Two Graduate Center alumni, John Gutierrez and Mila Burns, are the new leaders of the Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies. They spoke to The Thought Project about their goals for the organization

Paquito D'Rivera in a light blue car with his clarinet
Paquito D’Rivera

In an evening of performances and discussion on October 4, Cuban-born musician Paquito D’Rivera speaks with Mila Burns about his monumental performing career as a saxophonist and clarinetist and his genre-crossing work in composition. Reserve your tickets for this free event.

Andréa Becker headshot
Andréa “Dre” Becker

Reproductive rights scholar Andréa “Dre” Becker (Ph.D. ’22, Sociology), who immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico as a child, will explore the way gender, culture, and race shape people’s experiences with health care in a tenure-track position at Hunter College. 

Nicolas Orozco-Valdivia headshot
Nicolas Orozco-Valdivia

Already an accomplished curator, Nicolas Orozco-Valdivia joins the Ph.D. Program in Art History to make a difference in the art world and for Latinx artists.

Crossing Latinidades Student Fellows: Naiomy Guerrero, Bianca Moran, and Rosa Calosso
Naiomy Guerrero, Bianca Morán, and Rosa Angela Calosso (Bianca Morán's photo by Alex Irklievski)

Three Graduate Center Ph.D. students — Rosa Angela Calosso (Urban Education), Naiomy Guerrero (Art History), and Bianca Morán (Art History) — were chosen to participate in a summer institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago that is part of Crossing Latinidades: Emerging Scholars and New Comparative Directions, a nationwide initiative supported by the Mellon Foundation.

Enrique Desmond Arias headshot
Enrique Desmond Arias 

Professor Enrique Desmond Arias (GC/Baruch, Political Science) has been appointed director of the Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies, which fosters dialogue and research on the governance, security, and economic well-being of people in the Americas. He shares the direction he plans to take the center

Cristina Pardo Porto
Cristina E. Pardo Porto

Weeks after defending her dissertation on contemporary Latin American photographers, Cristina E. Pardo Porto (Ph.D. ’22, Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures) started as an assistant professor of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics at Syracuse University. She shared what helped her stand out for the tenure-track role.

Lizet Garcia headshot

Lizet Garcia enters the Earth and Environmental Sciences Ph.D. program with an impressive background in researching the school-to-prison pipeline, which is informed by her own high school experience

Melissa Ceren headshot
Melissa Ceren

Melissa Ceren, a first-generation college student whose parents immigrated to the United States from Guatemala, joins the Educational Psychology Ph.D. program to research STEM education.

Daniel Valtueña headshot
Daniel Valtueña

Alumnus Daniel Valtueña (Ph.D. ’22, Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures) found success and fulfillment as a Madrid-based arts consultant. His work includes a project to democratize the commissioning of public art, which grew out of his work as PublicsLab fellow at the Graduate Center.

Melissa Castillo Planas and cover of her book Chingona Rules
Melissa Castillo Planas and cover of her book Chingona Rules

Professor Melissa Castillo Planas (GC/Lehman, English), whose books include Chingona Rules and A Mexican State of Mind: New York City and the New Borderlands of Culture, explains why she loves poetry.

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