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

As a bilingual, Jewish American, born and raised in Northern California, Max is interested in the intersections between the Jewish diaspora, race, borderlands and transnational networks throughout the Americas.  Their research draws from existing literature in Latin American Jewish Histories, Border Studies, Racial Geography, and original archival research, to explore Jewish migration to, and integration / investment in Latin America, with particular emphasis on Mexico. 

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., Chicana/o Studies, UCLA

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

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

Biography & Interests

 Brenda Nicolás was born and raised in Mid-City Los Angeles. Her personal passion stem from her experience with her Zapotec town, San Jerónimo Zoochina, in diaspora and in Oaxaca.  Her MA thesis at UC San Diego, "'Reclamando lo que es nuestro': Identity Formation among Zapoteco Youth in Oaxaca and Los Angeles,” examines how Zapotec youth in both cities reclaim and re-create their indigenous identity against state created (discriminatory) notions of what it means to be indigenous. Her second MA thesis, "'Soy de Zoochina': Zapotecs Across Generations in Diaspora Re-creating Identity and Sense of Belonging," uses a critical hemispheric indigenous framework to analyze the transnational communal participation of indigenous diasporas and communities across settler-states. Brenda will continue expanding her work by looking at the 1.5, second and third Zapotec generation in California. Recently, Brenda has obtained a gender studies specialization certificate from the Gender Studies Department at UCLA. Some of the projects she is currently working on are as the staff member for the Latin American Indigenous Diaspora team of the Mapping Indigenous Los Angeles Project (MILA) at UCLA. 

Research Interests: Indigenous peoples, critical hemispheric indigeneites, settler colonialism, identity, youth, indigenous rights, transnationalism, immigration, social movements, oral history, community and political organizing