Fund for Latino Scholarship Recipients

2021 Fund for Latino Scholarship Recipients

APSA awarded the following individuals and institutions the 2021 Fund for Latino Scholarship award:


Jesse Untitled design (11)Acevedo is an Assistant Professor at the University of Denver. His research focuses on the political economy of emigration and remittances in Latin America. The Fund for Latino Scholarship will support his project on collecting original survey data in Honduras to understand how different forms of emigration affect political attitudes and policy preferences among Hondurans during an election year.








Maya CUntitled design (10)amargo-Vemuri is a PhD student at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Her research examines mass violence and repression, with an emphasis on genocide, mass atrocity, and human rights violations. Her work on identity politics has also led her to look at related issues of power and persuasion, including nationalism and propaganda, as they relate to violence and conflict. Her dissertation focuses on violence during genocide, examining trends within and across cases to develop a descriptive and comparative framework for such violence in the contemporary era. The Fund for Latino Scholarship will support her efforts in data collection and integration efforts.






Juan C. Campos isUntitled design (12) a PhD student in political science at the University of California, Berkeley. He is generally interested in studying the relationship between security institutions and organized crime in Latin America. His dissertation seeks to explain how criminal organizations can affect public safety through attacks on the police in Mexico. Another project explores how local policing is associated with the diversification of revenue streams of drug-trafficking organizations. Juan currently serves as the Graduate Student Coordinator for the Comparative Politics Colloquium at UC Berkeley’s Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science. He is also a resident research associate at the Center on the Politics of Development. Furthermore, Juan holds an MA in political science from UC Berkeley and another MA in the same discipline from California State University, Long Beach. Juan also holds a BA in Government & International Politics from George Mason University.






Untitled design (13)Kim Cardenas is a PhD Candidate in the department of political science at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests lie at the intersection of race, sexual orientation, and political participation. Kim's dissertation examines the prevalence of LGBTQ+ people of color as visible leaders and organizers of racial justice efforts across the nation and how intersectionally-motivated individuals understand politics. Her research is funded by the Fontaine Fellowship and the National Science Foundation. The Fund for Latino Scholarship will support Kim's qualitative data collection, including in-depth semi-structured interviews with Philadelphia LGBTQ+ of color activists.






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Fernando Nobre Cavalcante is a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Applied Linguistics of the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil. Cavalcante works with media ethnography data to get insights into the linguistic computation. He is the creator of Qualichat, a computational methodology available in Python for analysis of interaction frames on WhatsApp groups. Cavalcante researches the mediatization of politics in Latin America focusing on the history of experiences and the links of interaction in mediatized groups. He is a media ethnographer specializing in digital humanities by framing linguistic corpora overhead in quantitative reports. He is also a senior qualitative researcher at Ernest Manheim Lab leading usability tests, focus group, in-depth interview, eye tracking by driving, and analyzing qualitative data. Since 2014, Cavalcante has worked as a Lecturer at the Department of Communication at UNI7, Fortaleza, Brazil. He is also the ZeMKI Visiting Research Fellow 2020 at the University of Bremen (Germany).





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Ely Orrego-Torres is a PhD candidate in political science at Northwestern University. Her research agenda intertwines political theory and international relations to address questions on religion and politics in the global context. Her interdisciplinary approach relies on critical theories and liberation theologies to account for narratives of religious freedom, political theologies, and secularisms in the history of the present. In her dissertation, she focuses on the questions surrounding the theory and practice of “religious freedom” by devoting attention to transnational and regional networks in the Americas. The Fund for Latino Scholarship will support the qualitative data collection of her dissertation's chapter on the Ibero-American Congress for Life and Family at the Organization of American States (OAS).







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Maricruz Osorio is a PhD candidate at the University of California, Riverside. Broadly, her work examines political engagement and behavior of marginalized groups, with a focus on the political behavior of women and immigrants. Her dissertation work argues that immigrants participate in politics after a series of risk assessments shaped by gender and citizenship status. Maricruz also has a number of working papers on gender and political engagement. She has published in Aztlan and PS: Political Science and Politics. She has also contributed to other forms of publicly available scholarship including policy reports, blogs, encyclopedia entries, and public radio. Maricruz will use the grant from the Fund for Latino Scholarship to fund her dissertation work. She is going to be interviewing California immigrant organizations to better understand how immigrants conceptualize what risks specific acts of political engagement carry.






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Eva Quinones is a PhD candidate in political science at Yale University, within the political economy subfield, and a JD candidate at New York University. She holds a BA from Bard College and an MA and MPhil from Yale. She studies the economic determinants of voting behavior, democratic backsliding, and election law, voting rights, and disenfranchisement. Previously, Eva has worked on several political campaigns, held a research fellowship and a (separate) organizing position at the Andrew Goodman Foundation, and was the 2020-2021 Student Co-Coordinator for Yale's Leitner Program in Comparative Political Economy. She intends to use funds from the Fund for Latino Scholarship to complete fieldwork and interviews for her dissertation, which focuses on the extent and causes of a subnational resource curse within developed democracies.







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Valentina Salas Ramos is a PhD candidate in political science at the University of Minnesota. She is also affiliated with the Human Rights Center at the Law School. Valentina’s research interests are at the intersection of socio-legal studies and comparative politics, with a focus on legal consciousness, access to justice, and legal empowerment in Latin America. Her co-authored paper "Why People Turn to Institutions They Detest: Institutional Mistrust and Justice System Engagement in Uneven Democratic States" was recently published in Comparative Political Studies. She is conducting her dissertation on the rights consciousness and legal agency of marginalized groups in Chile. With the support of the Fund for Latino Scholarship, Valentina attended the 2021 APSA Annual Meeting to present her research and attend panels in her research areas.







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Rodolfo Solís is a PhD student in the department of political science at the University of California, Los Angeles. He holds a masters degree in political science from UCLA and a bachelors degree in political science and Spanish from Wabash College. Solis' research examines how American national identity impacts the political attitudes and behavior of Latinx conservatives. The Fund for Latino Scholarship will support his qualitative data collection for which he will conduct in-depth interviews with Latinx conservatives across the South Texas regions, Bexar County, and Miami-Dade County.








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Daisy Vazquez Vera is a PhD student in the department of political science at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research lies at the intersection of political behavior, institutions, and state politics. Her dissertation will focus on the political consciousness, attitudes, and participation of undocumented immigrants across the US. She is also a Senior Research Fellow at the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative and has contributed extensively to their Democracy and Voting Portfolio. She is also a co-founder of the Undocumented Student Equity Project, one of the first comprehensive and comparative studies of institutional practices that support educational equity for undocumented immigrant college students. Daisy’s co-authored and collaborative work is featured in Law and Policy, Law & Social Inquiry, and Boom California. Her research has been supported by the Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, the American Political Science Association Minority Fellowship, the APSA Latino Fund Scholarship, and the Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowship. As a proud first-generation student, Daisy is committed to her role as a graduate research mentor and instructor for the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows Program and the Undergraduate Research Center at UCL





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Gabriel Vergara is a PhD student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Within political science, Vergara focuses on political theory. Currently, Vergara is interested in pursuing topics in democratic theory—primarily on political education and the political party, respectively—and Marxist political thought. Through his scholarship, Vergara hopes to broadly engage with Latin American politics and Latin American political thought. For example, his past work examined Antonio Gramsci’s political thought to better understand political mobilization and the maintenance of group alliances; in order to elucidate his analysis, Vergara turned to Fidel Castro as a historical example. Prior to becoming a PhD student, Vergara was a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow at Cornell University. He holds a BA in government from Cornell University.







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Verónica Zebadúa-Yáñez is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the University Honors program at the University of Maryland, College Park. After earning a PhD in politics from the New School for Social Research, she joined the University of Virginia's politics department as a Diversity Postdoctoral Associate and Lecturer. Her research and teaching focus on feminist political theory, transnational and decolonial feminisms, and women’s and LGBTI rights. Verónica also has over seven years of professional experience as a women’s rights specialist in the United Nations. Currently, Verónica is working on a book manuscript titled Visions of Freedom: The Plural Genres of Feminist Political Theory. The manuscript argues that feminist theory-making and claim-making are not tethered to one set of practices, but many. To probe this, she broadens the archive of feminist political theory to include genres other than traditional scholarship. By exploring autobiography, biography, fiction, transnational collective manifestos, Latin American protest-performance, and feminist violent practices in México, Visions of Freedom develops an affirmative feminist political theory of freedom grounded on lived experiences. She has published in Hypatia and in Arendt Studies. The award from the Fund for Latino Scholarship will contribute to editorial support for her book manuscript.




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Daniel Hiram Zengotita (they/any) is a third-year political theory PhD student in the department of political science at the University of Florida. Currently, they are researching the relationship between code-switching, language-acquisition, and competing racialized competency-standards in primary/secondary education and their respective roles in the formation of political judgment. As part of this broader theoretical project, Daniel is building an oral history archive centering the experiences of bilingual students and the role language-brokering played in forming their sense of politics, community, culture, citizenship, and judgment. These accounts focus on the meaning-making language of the student (Spanish, Spanglish, etc.) and how their experiences navigating daily obstacles illuminate the everydayness of politics. With the APSA Latino Scholarship Fund’s support, some of these oral histories will be transcribed and made publicly available via the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program and the University of Florida Library. In the coming years, Daniel aims to use the skills acquired from this project to teach a course on Politics and Oral History to train a new cadre of political scientists interested in preserving the diverse voices and values of the community and, in turn, creating a living archive of the past for the present and future.