Claudia Brittenham, Interim Director (2020–21) and Associate Professor in Art History

Professor Claudia Brittenham leads the Center in coordinating University interests in research and teaching on Latin America. Her research focuses on the art of ancient Mesoamerica, with particular attention to the ways that the materiality of art and the politics of style contribute to our understanding of the ontology of images. Her most recent book is The Murals of Cacaxtla: The Power of Painting in Ancient Mexico (2015). She is also co-author with Mary Miller of The Spectacle of the Late Maya Court: Reflections on the Murals of Bonampak (2013), and with Stephen Houston and colleagues, a co-author of Veiled Brightness: A History of Ancient Maya Color (2009).

Natalie Arsenault, Associate Director

Natalie Arsenault manages the operations of the Center and fosters linkages with academic units on campus, community organizations, and professional associations. She is responsible for the Center's program planning and design, policy-making, budget, and supervision of administrative staff. She is also responsible for managing the Center's external grants and fellowships, including the Tinker Visiting Professorship and the Tinker Field Research Grant. Natalie holds an MA in Latin American Studies (with a focus on Brazilian Studies) from the University of Florida, and has spent 20 years working in Latin American Studies. She has served as Outreach Chair of the National Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs, and is an active member of the Latin American Studies Association.

Diana Schwartz FranciscoDiana Schwartz Francisco, Assistant Instructional Professor

Diana Schwartz Francisco serves as program adviser for the LACS BA degree and graduate certificate programs; teaches the required BA Colloquium, as well as courses of her own design;  and develops experiential learning opportunities for students. She earned her PhD in History from the University of Chicago (2016). Her work integrates economic development, indigenous politics, and environmental issues. Click here to link to her faculty page, which includes office hours.

Lindsay OrtegaLindsay Ortega, Student Affairs Coordinator/Office Manager

Lindsay Ortega is responsible for administering the CLAS BA and MA degree programs and courses as well as CLAS's various graduate fellowships. She also provides logistical support for CLAS operations. Lindsay holds an MA in Political Science/International Affairs and graduate certificate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies from the University of South Florida. She has managed programs at AmeriCorps, coordinated the Global Citizens Project and international internship programming at the University of South Florida, and worked as a GIS analyst.