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Meet the Graduating Class of 2019


Henry Bacha

Anthropology, Latin American & Caribbean Studies

Favorite LACS course

Either Musical Multiculturalism in Brazil (S. Assad), or Brazil: Another American History (B. Fischer)

Henry broadly traces his interests in Latin American history back to the summer he spend in Brazil following his first year in the College. The classes he took during his second year, Musical Multiculturalism in Brazil, Revolution and Violence in Latin America, the Latin American Civilizations sequence, further cemented his intellectual curiosity in the region. Henry is particularly interested in themes related to religion in Latin America: the history of evangelization/Christinalization, religious syncretism, and the contemporary rise of Evangelical Prostenantism. He plans to incorporate these interests into his BA thesis where he will focus on the development of a popular devotional Catholicism among indigenous and mestizo peoples of the Peruvian Andes.

Henry spent his summer in Cusco, Peru, conducting archival and ethnographic research that will serves as the foundation for his BA thesis.

Putting That Degree To Use/Plans For the Future

Henry intends to attend graduate school for anthropology.

Josiah Brown

Statistics, Latin American & Caribbean Studies

Favorite LACS course

The Latin American Civilizations Sequence in Oaxaca

Josiah became interested in Latin American Studies after she lived in Guatemala in 2016. She has loved the interdisciplinary aspect of the major, which has allowed her to take anthropology, public policy, history, statistics, and language courses. Josiah spent the summer working as a research assistant with the Harvard School of Public Health, working on environmental justice issues that pertain to the connection between contamination and cancer clusters. 

Putting That Degree To Use/Plans For the Future

Josiah hopes to pursue teaching after graduation.


Emily Feigenbaum

Political Science, Latin American & Caribbean Studies

Favorite LACS course

Revolutions, Dictatorship, and Violence in Modern Latin America (B. Fischer)

Emily was drawn to the Latin American & Caribbean Studies major because she loved the history and Portuguese classes she was taking. She's most interested in 20th-and 21st-century Latin American politics. For her BA thesis she intends to write about the legacy of military dictatorship in contemporary Brazilian politics. Emily spent her summer interning at Legal Services Corporation in Washington, D.C., and used a Foreign Language Acquisition Grant ot study Portuguese in Salvador, Brazil for 2 months.



TJ L'Heureux

Public Policy, Latin American & Caribbean Studies

Favorite LACS course

Trade, Development, and Poverty in Mexico with Chad Broughton. The course has great material, an incredible teacher, is super intersting and opened my eyes through books and journalism. I could not recommend it enough...though there are so many great classes in the major."

TJ is a double major with Public Policy. His interest in Latin American & Caribbean Studies was first sparked by his interest in the Spanish language. From there his interests grew into Latin American cultures. After he went to Ecuador for a summer (by way of the University's funding), he decided he wanted to pursue more classes that dealth with culture and economics. Anything that fits under those broad categories interests him the most (currently). TJ spent his summer as an intern in Mexico City where he conducted political risk analysis for Mexico and other Latin American markets.

TJ will write his BA thesis on the economics of labor through a study of whether or not changes in the U.S. immigration policy (particularly from the southern border) has led to labor shortages

Putting That Degree To Use/Plans For the Future

Though he's not sure yet, graduate school is in the stack of viable options for life after UChicago. TJ would love to do something where he deals with international relations, or at least analyzes them. 

Martina Lentino

Art History, Latin American & Caribbean Studies

Martina is a double major with Art History, in which she has been focusing on Latin American art. She's particularly interested in finding ways to integrate socio-historical thought into her analysis of art and art history. Her BA thesis will focus on two contemporary argentine photographers. She plans to craft an analysis of their work that is both social and art historical. 

Martina spent her summer interning at Christie's New York where she worked with the Latin American Paintings department.

Diestefano Loma

Favorite LACS course

Revolution, Dictatorship, and Violence in Modern Latin America (B. Fischer)

Growing up, Diestefano always valued his roots and the history and rich cultures of Latin America. As a senior in high school, when he first heard that there was a major in Latin American Studies, he knew right away that it was for him. As he first entered the College, he wasted no time in taking as many LACS courses as he could. The books from these courses are the only ones he keeps as he hopes to create his own little LACS library. Diestefano's interests lie within the revolutions and dictatorships that occurred in the 20th century, drug trafficking in Mexico and the corruption that comes with it, and organized gangs/violence in Central America.

For his thesis, Diestefano plans to focus on the portrayal of Latin American gangs and cartels in the media, in particular cinema. He wishes to explore the relationship of corruption and collaboration between these organizations and high profile figures in sports and entertainment.

Diestefano spent his summer interning with the Partnership for College Completion, a non-profit organization that aims to eliminate institutional achievement gaps in college degree completion for low-income and first generation students in the Illinois region. 

Putting That Degree To Use/Plans For the Future

After graduating, Diestefano intends to pursue an MA in journalism. He is interested in sports journalism, broadcasting, and investigative reporting. Having worked with non-profit organizations for several years, he looks to continue his work with them, specifically in the city of Chicago with low-income/first generation students. Having grown up in the city, Diestefano is acutely aware of the various disadvantages students of color have when it comes to success, especially in education. He wishes to bring more awareness to these issues and, ultimately, to help resolve them.

Zachary Sherman

Favorite LACS course

Progress and Development in Latin America (P. Palomino)

Zach was drawn to Latin American and Caribbean Studies by the desire to understand how colonialism, imperialism (and movements against those forces) have shaped Latin America, particularly how that manifests in arts and politics. His BA Thesis will focus on the aesthetics and ideology of the Latin American movement. Zach prefaced his final year at UChicago with a two-week tour of the west with his best friends.

Putting That Degree To Use/Plans For the Future

Zach would like to design video-game environments but will probably work in an arts or environmental non-profit