2014 Cohort

Nadia Zepeda 


7387 Bunche


B.A., Chicano/Latino Studies & Spanish minor: Women’s Gender, Sexuality Studies,

California State University, Long Beach

Biography and Interests

Nadia Zepeda was born and raised in Santa Ana, CA. She is currently a doctoral student in the Cesar E. Chávez Department at UCLA. Her primary interest looks at Queer feminist of color collective formation.

Research interests include social movements, Chicana feminist collective formation, Oral History, Chicana/o student movements, Chicana/o history, Chicana feminisms, Women of Color Feminist Theory, Queer Theory, Decolonial Theory, Institutional Violence, Community Accountability.

Isabel Duron


7387 Bunche


B.S., Political Science and Ethnic Studies, Santa Clara University

Biography and Interests

As a Ph.D. student, Isabel is interested in examining gentrification and the impact of urban planning decisions on communities of color in California. While at Santa Clara University, Isabel studied a semester in Washington D.C. during which she completed her senior thesis that examined the impact of gentrification on Latinos in the Columbia Heights neighborhood.

Her research interests include: gentrification, urban planning, community development, coalition building.

Max Greenberg


7387 Bunche 


B.A., Spanish Literature with concentration in the Integrated Program for Humane Studies at Kenyon College, Cum Laude

Biography and Interests

Born and raised in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area, Max has been a passionate scholar of foreign languages and transnational cultures from an early age. She has been a student of Hebrew and Judaic studies since age five and became an avid Spanish student as a high school freshman. Her interest in the Spanish language has been enriched by various opportunities for travel and research throughout Mexico and the Southern Cone, including a 6-month study abroad program in Santiago, Chile in 2009. As an undergraduate student at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, she pursued a major in Spanish Literature and became increasingly interested in Chicana feminist discourse and the intersection between border identity and American popular culture.  Her undergraduate thesis, “El mercado de Nepantla: El legado del sujeto transfronterizo en la industria cultural estadounidense,” received Highest Honors from Kenyon’s Modern Languages and Literature Department, and draws from Gloria Anzaldúa’s concept of nepantlismo to explore how America’s cultural industry has constructed Chicana identity within music and film. A version of her thesis was presented at the Roundtable on Latina Feminism at John Carroll University in Cleveland, OH, April 2011. During her senior year at Kenyon, Max also received departmental awards from the Spanish and Integrated Program in Humane Studies departments.

Following her undergraduate career, Max enjoyed three years of living in Brooklyn and working in Manhattan at Condé Nast. She has since returned to her native California to pursue a doctoral education in Los Angeles. She is currently a member of the third cohort at UCLA’s César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies where she seeks training in, and use of decolonial methodologies to further explore queer identity construction within the Mexican-American borderlands. Her research interests include: Chicana feminist theory; queer culture/identity; the performance of memory in border music and pop culture; and the history of multiculturalism between Mexican Americans and Jews in Los Angeles.

Maria Daniela Z. Jimenez
7387 Bunche 
B.A. in Anthropology and Ethnic Studies (Double-major), University of California, Berkeley
M.A. in American Studies, Purdue University
Research Interests
 Cultural Studies, Popular Culture, Critical Media Studies, Horror Studies, People of Color Travel Experiences, Transnational Ethnic Studies, Music Culture, Race and Gender, Literature, Visual Art Production, Fandom Culture


Kaelyn Rodriguez


7387 Bunche


M.A., History of Art, University of California, Riverside

B.A., Art/ Art History, California State University, Fresno

Biography and Interests

Kaelyn was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. Growing up, she loved to observe graffiti and other forms of public expression. As an undergraduate, she was interested in looking at how gender and age informed makers of graffiti, street art and public culture. While studying abroad in London, England, she wrote an ethnographic report on her observations of the South Bank Skate Park. Since then, she has written about and presented on graffiti that is germane to London, England and Sao Paulo, Brazil. 

Kaelyn wrote her master’s thesis on two of Judy Baca’s murals, The Great Wall of Los Angeles and Mi Abulita. As such, her primary research interests are in public art, questioning politics of access to art as well as the construction of public space. She is also interested in the intersecting ways that race, gender, class, and sexuality impact these topics. 

Her research interests include: public art, visual culture, artivism, Chicana feminism, third world feminism, multiculturalism, public space, site and memory, alternative forms of knowledge, and social justice. 

Rafael Ramirez Solórzano


7387 Bunche


B.A., Rhetoric & Chicana/o Studies, University of California, Berkeley

Biography and Interests

Rafael is a proud Santanero, born and raised in Santa Ana, California.  He has been an educational and immigrant rights advocate and community organizer for over 15 years.  And, has been a part of many community and statewide campaigns designed to counter racial violence, achieve educational justice and end the school-to-prison-to-deportation pipeline.

Inspired by the youth activism in the past 20 years, Rafael is interested in documenting the “queer” youth voices and spaces that have shaped educational justice and immigrant rights campaigns across the state, specifically Orange County.  By exploring their campaigns, he wishes to outline the alternative forms of coalition building and multi-issue campaigns that emerged and thereby refashioning our notions of the immigrant, men and queer youth of color.  

Additionally, while at UCLA, Rafael plans to re-write Orange County history through a queer lens, documenting and uplifting the voices of undocumented migrant families, young men of color and undocuqueer organizers from Orange County.  Currently he is a Eugene Cota-Robles Fellow in the César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies at UCLA.

Brenda Nicolás-Sánchez


7387 Bunche 


M.A., Latin American Studies (Sociology emphasis), UCSD

B.A., Sociology and Latin American Studies, UCR

Biography & Interests

Brenda Nicolas was born and raised in mid-city Los Angeles. As a child, both her parents cultivated the importance of community participation and life with her pueblo, San Jerónimo Zoochina in the Sierra Juárez, Oaxaca. Since she was a child Brenda has participated in Oaxacan regional dances, including the Los Angeles Guelaguetza and in ceremonies back in Zoochina with her fellow villagers. Brenda transferred from Santa Monica College to UC Riverside where her study abroad program in UNAM & Oaxaca drove her to do research on Oaxaca and the Zapotec diaspora in the U.S. Her M.A. Thesis talks about the community and political participation of Zapotec youth that influence their indigenous identity in Los Angeles and Oaxaca City. She will continue developing her work on Zapotec youth identity as a PhD student for her dissertation.

Research Interests: Zapotecs, Indigenous peoples, youth, identity, indigenous rights, race, transnationalism, immigration, Latin America, social movements, history, oral history, community and political organizing.