2012 Graduate Students

Angélica Becerra
abecerra5@g.ucla.edu
7387 Bunche

Education
B.A., Chicana/o Studies with minor in Film and Electronic Arts, California State University at Long Beach, Cum Laude

Biography and Interests
Born in San Juan de Los Lagos, Jalisco, Mexico, Angélica Becerra immigrated with her family to the U.S. when she was ten years old, and this bi-cultural heritage has shaped her academic pursuits. During her undergraduate career, she served as a student leader and helped establish her department’s first series of film screenings to showcase Latina/o issues.

A McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Scholar, Angélica's article entitled “Now Playing: Redefining Representations of Masculinity and Mexican Identity in Sólo Con Tu Pareja (1991)” was published in the McNair Scholars Research Journal in Spring 2012.  She also participated in a number of academic conferences dealing with the themes of Mexican identity, gender relations within Chicana/o culture, and the connection between expressive arts and cultural iniquity. Through the Getty Foundation Multicultural Undergraduate Internship, she worked at the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Press, where she helped prepare several forthcoming titles in the A Ver: Revisioning Art History book series for publication during Summer 2012.

Angélica plans to continue researching the ways in which Mexican cinematic representations converge with the pursuit of sociopolitical liberation, particularly through the struggle for gender equality. Her research interests include Film and Popular Culture, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality studies, Transnational Feminism, queer studies, and Cultural studies.

Jacqueline Caraves
jcaraves@ucla.edu
7387 Bunche

Education
B.A., Latin American and Latino Studies and Politics, University of California, Santa Cruz, Cum Laude

M.A., Chicana and Chicano Studies, University of California, Los Angeles 

Biography and Interests
Jackie is a gender non-conforming queer Latinx activist scholar who was born and raised in East Hollywood in Los Angeles. Jackie received her B.A. in Latin American & Latino Studies and Politics from the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) in 2010. While at UCSC, Jackie studied abroad at La Universidad de Chile, Santiago and also participated in the University of California's, Washington D.C. Visitors Program. In 2014, Jackie received her M.A. in the César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at UCLA and currently, titled “Latinas Straddling the Prison Pipeline through Gender (Non) Conformity” which analyses the ways in which four Latinas are criminalized for their gender transgression in the inside and outside of the juvenile justice system. 

Currently, Jackie is a Ph.D. Candidate in Chicana/o Studies. Since 2015 she has been working closely with the TransLatin@ Coalition, a national organization dedicated to the improvement of quality of life for all Trans Latinxs. In 2016, together with the president of TransLatin@ Coalition, Bamby Salcedo they released the report "The State of Trans Health: Trans Latin@s and their Healthcare Needs," to bring visibility of Trans Latinxs in Southern California. Jackie’s dissertation work centers the experiences of Trans and gender non-conforming Latinxs and the role of family and spirituality in serving as spaces of empowerment and resistance. 

Omar González
xicano73@ucla.edu
7387 Bunche

Education
M.A., Chicana/o Studies, California State University at Northridge

B.A., Chicana/o Studies, California State University at Northridge

Biography and Interests
Originally from Ysleta, Texas, Omar attended California State University, Northridge, where he is completing an M.A. in Linguistics with a TESL emphasis. Omar has conducted qualitative research on queer Chicano identity and literature, focusing on the work of John Rechy. His other research interests include queer Chicana/o history and activism.  Additionally, he plans to explore the role of HIV in the queer Chicana/o community. 

His goal is to contribute to the growing body of scholarship on queer Chicanas/os and Latinas/os and to help eradicate the stigma of HIV.

LeighAnna Hidalgo
leighanna.hidalgo@ucla.edu
7387 Bunche

Education

M.A., Applied Anthropology, California State University at Long Beach
B.A., Cultural Anthropology and Transborder Chicana/o Latina/o Studies, Arizona State University

Biography and Interests

As an undergraduate in Arizona State University, LeighAnna worked on a diverse range of research projects for the South Phoenix Collaborative, studying current and historic risk factors such as migrant status, poor quality of neighborhood amenities, lack of access to affordable healthcare and healthy food, and erratic income. While working in the South Mountain community she became aware of the differential socio-spatial distribution of banks and predatory lenders in urban spaces within the City of Phoenix. Her commitment to the families from South Mountain led her to undertake a historical and spatial analysis on the access to credit and finance in South Phoenix for an undergraduate seminar class.

After graduating from ASU, she entered the Applied Anthropology Masters of Arts program at California State University Long Beach (CSULB) with a focus on economics, urban space, and visual media. While there, she expanded her undergraduate research on financial inequality by designing a multimedia interactive fotonovela using maps generated from GIS, archival and contemporary photographs, and video taped interviews of community members. The goal of this was to make her research knowledge accessible to the public and provoke dialogue on salient economic and immigration issues.

While at CSULB, her thesis called “'Tacos! Burritos! Tortas!': Migrant entrepreneurs’ quest for economic mobility and safe spaces in Arizona" was an engaged ethnographic study in Phoenix, Arizona, where solidarity through political activism and labor aboard a food truck provided her the vantage point of understanding the living realities of Mexican migrant entrepreneurs. Migrant entrepreneurs contest local policies that exclude them and re-imagine themselves as cultural citizens, reclaiming public space in the city and the rights to live and work in the U.S. Through narrative analysis of interviews with taco vendors and community organizers, she illustrated how these enterprises are crucial to migrant struggles and to providing goods and services to racially segregated communities.

She received the UCLA's Graduate Dean’s Scholar Award and is currently a Eugene Cota-Robles Fellow at the Cesar E. Chavez Department of Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies. Her goal is to continue working with migrant entrepreneurs whose cultural traditions and resilience are transforming urban cities.  Topics of interest include access to credit and finance, self-employment, entrepreneurship, and resiliency among Latino migrants. She continues to practice a mixed methods approach using community embedded research utilizing anthropological methods with a focus on political economy, migration, urban spaces, and visual media as vehicles for advocating social change and community empowerment.

Kendy Rivera
riverak@ucla.edu
7387 Bunche

Education

M.A., Latin American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
B.A. Political Science and Latin American Studies, San Diego State University

Biography and Interests

Kendy, a Mexican/American transnational queer woman-of-color has been leading research in the politics, history, and culture of Afro-Mexican communities. As a U.S.-born daughter of Mexicans living in Tijuana until 2010, she fails, by default, to satisfy the exclusivist ideal of a Mexican citizen and understands on a personal level how differentiated experiences as a Mexican minority, a “migrant” in the United States, and thus a  second-class citizen in two distinct national contexts, politicizes individuals. She has become increasingly interested in the concept of intersectionality applied within the interdisciplinary field of Chicana/o studies – specifically how race, gender, class, and sexuality intersect and impact subjectivity.

As a Faucett Fellow in the summer of 2011, she conducted field research in the Afro-descendant communities of Veracruz, Guerrero, and Oaxaca, MX, to explore the process of black culture becoming political. She observed a parallel between political activism and participation of Afro-Mexicans that had lived, worked or migrated temporarily to the U.S. In UCLA’s doctoral program in Chicana/o Studies, she hopes to study the correlation between the migrant Afro-Mexican population in the United States and contemporary Black activism towards the achievement of ethnoracial rights in Mexico. Her aim is to understand the African root in the Mexican social spectrum and further Chicana/o scholarship towards an even more reflective and comprehensive racial and cultural Mexican-American society. Due to her deep interest exploring Black Diasporic Politics she traveled to Brazil as a FLAS fellow in the summer of 2012 to gain a comparative understanding of Afro-Latin@ politics. She looks forward expanding her research interests in U.S. - Mexico border issues, gendered race/racialized gender identities, abject/subject politics, and the most marginalized minorities within minority studies. 

As a member of the first doctoral cohort in Chicana/o Studies at UCLA, she aspires to become an interdisciplinary scholar and be able to educate, empower and inspire minority within minority students of color.

Her research interest include: Afro-Mexican politics; Afro-Latin@s in the U.S.; Latin- American racial minority migrant groups in the U.S.; Black Diasporic politics; queer women-of-color identity politics; and race, class, citizen, and gendered minorities.     

Silvia Rodríguez Vega
silvia.rodriguez.vega@ucla.edu

7387 Bunche

Education

M. Ed., Education, Harvard University
B.A., Political Science and Transborder Chicana/o Latina/o Studies, Arizona State University

Biography and Interests

Silvia was born in Chihuahua Mexico and raised in Phoenix Arizona. Currently she is a Eugene Cota-Robles Fellow in the César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies at UCLA. Her primary research interest focus on the effect of immigration raids on children’s education, physical, and emotional wellbeing.  In addition to how these children perceive both immigration policy and authority figures like law enforcement.  She is also interested in studying the resilience with which immigrant children and young adults pursue higher education in spite of the obstacles youth of color face. She is also concerned about immigration policy, mixed status families, poverty and inequality, undocumented students and college access, and arts for social justice and human rights.

Carlos Rogel
carlosnrogel@ucla.edu
7387 Bunche

Education

B.A., Studio Art, University of California at Los Angeles

Biography and Interests

Carlos is an emerging interdisciplinary media artist. His works include video installation, painting and digital media. His work as Project Manager at the Social and Public Art Resource Center focuses on the creation of new public artworks through the UCLA@SPARC Digital/Mural Lab, mural advocacy, preservation and expanding the role of collaborative visual art in interdisciplinary education. A first-generation born of Salvadoran immigrant parents who arrived in Los Angeles at the beginning of the civil war, his work is often concerned with the representation of post civil war iconography and its effect on transnational identities. He has worked extensively assisting world-renowned artist & Distinguished UCLA Professor Judith F. Baca on signature works such as the mural restoration of the Great Wall of Los Angeles, the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Arches at the LAUSD RFK Community Schools-Paul Schrade Library, La Gente del Maiz digital mural at the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex, the Ataco Mural Project in Ataco, El Salvador on behalf of the State Department/US Embassy, and the Richmond Digital Mural Project for the Richmond Arts Center in Richmond, CA.

His latest work can be seen in the upcoming San Francisco SOMArts Cultural Center’s group show Mourning and Scars: 20 Years After the War, an exhibition about Salvadoran immigrant community issues around the 20th anniversary of the Peace Accords. February 1-28, 2013

His research interests include: the continuation of the Great Wall of Los Angeles program and designs; interpretation of histories through collaboration in visual media and technology; activism and education in applied visual arts; preservation of Los Angeles Murals especially Chicano/Latino iconographic public artworks; using technology in the creation of new public works and preserving historical works; and researching new material applications and addressing issues of material wear and deterioration in exterior environments.