2016 Graduate Students

  Walter Thompson Hernandez  
   wthompsonhdz@gmail.com
   7387 Bunche  

   Education
   B.A., Political Science, University of Portland 
   M.A, Latin American Studies, Stanford University

   Biography and Interests
Walter is a multimedia scholar who is interested in themes related to race, migration, and sports in the U.S. and the Americas. His photos and writings have been featured in CNN,  BBC, Los Angeles Times, and Fusion. 

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Dafne Luna 
dafneluna@g.ucla.edu
7387 Bunche  

Education
B.A.,Gender Studies with a minor in Chicana and Chicano Studies, University of California, Los Angeles 

Biography and Interests
Dafne has been working in Silicon Valley providing peer-support services to Queer and Transgender youth that has strongly influenced the direction of her community work.As a doctoral student, Dafne would like to expand the concepts of gender, sexuality, and identity in Chicana and Chicano Studies. She want to understand how Kern County culture impacts the development and navigation of Queer and Transgender identities for Latinx and how they perform these identities in a transphobic, sexist, and homophobic cultural environment. Dafne's additional research interest include the intersections of Latinx communities and mental health, Chicana feminism and Theory, the politics of self-care and self love, and Fat Studies. READ FULL BIOGRAPGHY HERE

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Rudy Mondragón
rudym@g.ucla.edu
7387 Bunche  

Education
B.A., Chicano/Latino Studies with minors in African American Studies and Education,University of California, Irvine

M.Ed., Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (Higher Education), Iowa State University

M.A., Chicana and Chicano Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

Biography and Interests
Rudy’s research utilizes the sport of boxing as a site to interrogate representations of race and ethnicity, masculinities, immigration, and citizenship. Focusing on the ways in which boxers of color utilize spatial strategies to negotiate their position beyond the boundaries of boxing to creatively claim space as active agents of resistance. As a Eugene Cota-Robles Fellow, Rudy aims to advance the collective idea that Chicana/o Sports Studies should become a subfield due to the rich material that scholars can draw from to better understand the complexities of broader social issues. READ FULL BIOGRAPHY HERE. 

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Gabriela Rodriguez - Gomez 
grgomez@ucla.edu
7387 Bunche  

Education 

B.A. History of Art and Visual Culture & Art, University of California Santa Cruz

M.A. Art History, University of California Riverside

 

Biography and Interests 
Gabriela was born in Watsonville, California an agricultural hub in  Santa Cruz County. Gabriela graduated from Watsonville High School in 2004 and kept her undergraduate studies local by attending UC Santa Cruz and finishing with a double major in Art and History of Art and Visual Culture in 2008. After writing an undergraduate thesis titled "La Virgen de Guadalupe: Four Centuries of Visual Transformation and Appropriation," she took a year off to teach as a certified bilingual substitute teacher for Santa Cruz and Monterey counties to not only outreach education but art as well within the Pajaro Valley extending into areas like Salinas to teach English Language Development students. In 2009, Gabriela moved to Riverside to pursue a Masters in Art History with a focus on the Modern Art of Mexico and the Mexican Muralists Rivera, Orozco, and Siqueiros. She graduated in 2012 from UC Riverside and published a Thesis titled, " Re-Conceptualizing Social Medicine in Diego Rivera's History of Medicine in Mexico: The People's Demand for Better Health Mural, Mexico City, 1953." During her studies at UC Riverside and after returning from field research in Mexico City and Guadalajara in 2012 Gabriela's interest in murals, public / social, and urban / street art intensified by continuing research on contemporary art, community outreach, and photo documenting contemporary street art and murals from Southern CA cities like Riverside, Palm Springs, and Coachella as well as San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Cruz, Watsonville, and Seaside. As part of the 6th Cohort in Chicana/o Studies Gabriela will focus on contemporary muralism, street and graffiti art, and explore new perspectives regarding murals as public art between North, Central, and South America, the impact of social media on artists, communities, and the art market, as well as raising awareness on social and cultural issues such as ARTivism.

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Fernando Villegas
fervrivera@g.ucla.edu
7387 Bunche  

Education 
B.A., Political Science and Public Administration, Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa, México.

M.A., Social Sciences with emphasis in regional studies, Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa, México,

Biography and Interests 
During his graduate studies, Fernando's work focused on the economic, social and political impact of collective remittances in community development in Sinaloa, México. Because of his work, Fernando was invited by the Latin American Research Centre (LARC) at the University of Calgary in Canada to serve as a Visiting Researcher in Residence. More recently he served as a field researcher in an international interdisciplinary project called: “Transit migration along Mexico’s Ruta Pacifico: analyzing the State, civil society, and communities”. Through ethnographic interviews and participant observation, he examines transit migration by focusing on practices, discourses and relations between state institutions, civil society organizations and local communities. Currently, he was awarded with the UC MEXUS-CONACYT Doctoral Fellowship. READ FULL BIOGRAPGHY HERE

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Natalie Santizo 
nsantizo@g.ucla.edu

7387 Bunche

Education:
B.A Psychology 2014, B.A Sociology 2014, Minor in American Studies & Ethnicity, 2014, University of Southern California

                                   M.S Justice Studies 2016, Arizona State University

Biography:

Natalie explores the relationship between identity, race, and ethnicity through a food studies lens. She is particularly interested in analyzing the role of food spaces and pathways in developing conceptions of identity, race and ethnicity in the San Gabriel Valley of Southern California. How do interethnic relationships inform identity concepts and what role does structure and landscape play in suburban areas? How do these experiences shape self identity among millennials and how do these experiences then replicate meanings of identity? Natalie uses an array of methodology, including qualitative interviewing, cognitive mapping, surveys and census data to draw rich cultural histories in the San Gabriel Valley. She hopes to continue her work in the San Gabriel Valley to further expand the research of this geographical, culturally rich suburb of Los Angeles.