CUSLAR Class of 2020

On behalf of CUSLAR and our advisory board, we’d like to share our congratulations to this spring’s CUSLAR graduating seniors!
On Thursday, May 7, 2020 we held a farewell / “hasta luego” Zoom session for our grads. The virtual meeting was not exactly how we pictured showing our appreciation, but either way they will continue to be a part of CUSLAR’s international network.
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Melanie Calderon, American Studies, Cornell University, has been with CUSLAR for four semesters.
Melanie represented CUSLAR with presentations at the October 2018 forum, “Mexico’s New Era? Mexican Politics and the Future of U.S.-Mexico Relations” and at the February 2019 Cornell Latin American Studies Symposium.
She has interned at the offices of the legislators of her home state of Nevada and has brought valuable perspectives to CUSLAR from that experience.
Her recently completed senior thesis is titled, “Land of the few, home(s) of the brave: How housing affects civic engagement.”
She has written the following pieces for CUSLAR publications:
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Rebekah Jones, Development Sociology, Cornell University, has been with CUSLAR for three semesters.
Rebekah has been instrumental in developing a partnership with Sembrandopaz, a grassroots peace organization based in Sincelejo, Colombia. She visited the organization in January 2020 and conducted interviews of grassroots leaders. She put all of the pieces in place for a speaking tour to the U.S. Northeast by Sembradopaz leaders (including Lillian Hall, CUSLAR/Cornell alum ’84). CUSLAR members will put dates to the tour after the coronavirus pandemic has passed.
She proposed and carried out a redesign of the CUSLAR Newsletter starting with the Summer/Fall 2019 edition — you can see the befores and afters here:
Rebekah’s senior thesis is titled, “The Limitations of Therapeutic Jurisprudence: Mental Health Courts in the American Criminal Justice System.” She will be attending the University of California at Berkeley to pursue a Ph.D. in political science.
She has written the following pieces for CUSLAR publications:
Joshua Lam Photo Fall 2019
Josh Lam, Spanish, Ithaca College, has been part of the CUSLAR team for two semesters.
Josh has brought unparalleled skill as a Spanish translator to CUSLAR and our networks. He has translated: original intelligence documents from the 1965 revolution in the Dominican Republic for a forthcoming publication; and news and statements for CUSLAR’s partner, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. He is also part of the Spanish translation team for the national Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.
His senior project at Ithaca College is called “Deconstructing the Literary Canon: Centering on Poets of Color in the Spanish-Speaking World.” The final form of the project is a syllabus of underrepresented Spanish-language poetry. Josh’s professors at Ithaca College are already considering incorporating some of the readings and materials that he proposed.
He wrote the following piece for CUSLAR publications:
Please join me in congratulating our CUSLAR Class of 2020!
We’ll leave you with a few lines from Chilean singer-songwriter Violeta Parra’s “Me gustan los estudiantes”:
¡Que vivan los estudiantes
Jardín de nuestra alegría!
Son aves que no se asustan
De animal ni policía
Y no le asustan las balas
Ni el ladrar de la jauría
Caramba y zamba la cosa
¡Que viva la astronomía!
Me gustan los estudiantes
Porque levantan el pecho
Cuando le dicen harina
Sabiéndose que es afrecho
Y no hacen el sordomudo
Cuando se presenta el hecho
Caramba y zamba la cosa
¡El código del derecho!