2013 Graduate Students

RSimmons Portrait

Rosanna Simons


7387 Bunche


B.A. in English, Palm Beach Atlantic University                       

M.A. in Humanities and Social Thought, New York University 

Biography and Interests

Rosanna Simons is a poeta, translator, and radical scholar from the warm waters of Miami. She is currently making her home in los ángeles, as a PhD student at UCLA’s César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies. Rosanna's background as an activist and interpreter in Central America influenced the direction of her current academic and creative work, where Rosanna explores the political potential of performance and imagination within the (im)migrant rights movement to relocate the site of the creation and transmission of knowledge to the body and enact resistance to oppressive regimes of documentation. In her research, rosanna engages ideas about performance & embodiment, queer temporality, archiving & documentation, and nationalism, citizenship & migrant subjectivities.

Rosanna’s intention is to practice disidentificatory and decolonial methodologies, working from within and through the institution of the university to challenge and transform neoliberal models of knowledge production that value individualism and the ownership of ideas, by engaging in research and pedagogy that is coalitional, collaborative, and community-centered.

Rosanna is co-creator and co-editor of Bozalta, an online interactive archive that aims to cultivate conversation across disciplines, from within, beyond, and between the traditionally disjointed spheres of academia, arts, and activism. rosanna’s other publications include a paper entitled “Translated, Translator”, in Multilingual Identities: Translators and Interpreters as Cross-Cultural Migrants, March 2013; a work of short fiction entitled “Number 22”, in Anamesa, an Interdisciplinary Journal, fall 2011; and translations of poems by Wingston González entitled “Retrato con Madona, santos y granero”, “Vida de parque”, and “Escribi a la iglecia de filadelfia (De frente a la estatua de Colon en Livingstone)”, in Palabras: Dispatches from the Festival de la Palabra, March 2013.

Chantiri Ramirez


7387 Bunche


B.A. Development Studies: Discipline: Economics, Geographical Concentration in Latin America. University of California, Berkeley 

Biography and Interests

Chantiri was born in Queretaro, Mexico and raised in Santa Barbara, California.

She is a Eugene Cota-Robles Fellow and Graduate Dean’s Scholar Award Recipient. At UC Berkeley, she engaged with different quantitative and qualitative approaches to the study of migration, diaspora and displacement of Latin Americans across Europe and the United States. Her activist and academic work has focused closely in supporting the struggle for emotional and economic wellbeing of undocumented youth, low-income immigrant and refugee communities in California.

As a member of the second cohort in Chicano and Chicana Studies, Chantiri plans to continue conducting research with the active participation and collaboration of undocumented youth. She is interested in understanding the relationship between illnesses, marginalization and political mobilization in the context of undocumented youth in the U.S.

Her research interests also include: refugee and transnational migrant narratives; the production of migrant illegality, state violence and neuroses.

Carissa Garcia


7387 Bunche  


B.A., World Arts and Cultures/Dance, University of California at Los Angeles, Cum Laude

Biography and Interests

Carissa is an interdisciplinary artist who approaches her work as a storyteller and poet, engaging in thoughtful oral histories and intimate visual ethnographies. Her focus as a Cota-Robles Fellow is on community cultural development and the collective memory of Chicana artists in California’s San Joaquin Valley, where she was born and raised.

As an Undergraduate Research Fellow at UCLA, she completed a short film entitled “Brotitos,” which looked at the intersections between family, activism, and Chicana/o cultural identity through her grandfather’s stories, songs, and poems.  A longer version of “Brotitos” was created as her senior project, centering reflexively on the process of cultural transmission and transcending the archive. 

She also facilitated art workshops in continuation high schools throughout Los Angeles as an Astin Civic Engagement Scholar with her community partner The Heart Project and as a liaison to the UCLA Art and Global Health Center. Her research looked at how art-based sexual education could reduce dropout rates through the lens of social justice education.

Carissa can often be found in the Chicano Studies Research Center, where she works/volunteers as a Library Assistant, archiving cherished collections.

Her research interests include: visual ethnography, oral history, and the archive; oral traditions and “other ways of knowing”; performing identity and cultural transmission; memory and place; collective memory; Chicana artivism; Chicana feminism; community cultural development; social justice driven art education; creative writing.