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Undergraduate Certificate Program

Students interested in finding out more about the Latin American Studies certificate and our funding opportunities can make an appointment by phone.

Standing times are Mon. 10-11am, Tue. 3-4pm, Thurs. 11am-12pm, or by appointment.

Combined with a departmental concentration, the undergraduate certificate in Latin American Studies allows students to explore the diversity of culture, history, socioeconomic conditions, politics, and society in Latin America and the Caribbean. Senior thesis work is supervised by a faculty adviser and is combined with a departmental major.

Please refer to the Undergraduate Announcement for a complete list of certificate requirements.

Meet some PLAS Concentrators

Miryam Amsili

Miryam Amsili is a senior in the Politics Department. She is originally from Colombia, grew up in South Florida, and has had the opportunity through Princeton to spend summers in France and China and a semester abroad in South Africa. She is conducting senior thesis research in Buenos Aires about neo-Nazism and anti-Semitism, and anti-Zionism in Argentina during the 1960s.

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Alejandro Arroyo Yamin

Alejandro is a senior in the School of Architecture. He was born and raised in León, México and lived there until his high school years, which he spent at boarding school in Indiana. At Princeton, Alejandro decided to become a Latin American Studies certificate student as a way to continue his immersion and appreciation for the region he calls home. With his architecture background, Alejandro plans to continue his education and professional development in the field of Sustainable Development. His thesis, an analysis of the complex relationship between architecture and tourism in Mexico, aims to provide a better understanding of how crucial such a relationship has been for the overall development of the country. Besides from his academic interests, Alejandro is a member of the Student Design Agency, the captain of the men's Varsity Cross Country squad and a member of the Track & Field team.

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Emilie Burke

Emilie Burke is a Junior member of the Politics Department with a focus on American Affairs, pursuing certificates in Portuguese and Latin American Studies. Originally from Newark, NJ, Emilie is proud of her Brasilian background. During Summer 2013, she was generously funded by PLAS and the Fred Fox Fund to spend her summer traveling through Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, and the United States trying to understand the effects of a voting system of origin on voting behavior upon naturalization in the United States. She is interested in Latino Affairs, particularly in relation to veterans and women. At Princeton, Emilie is President of the women’s rugby team, a Supervisor at Tiger Call, Secretary of the Sport Club Executive Council, and a Mentor in the Latino Unidos for Networking and Advising Program. She would like to get involved in campaigns after graduation.

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Logan Coleman

Logan Coleman is a politics major from Charlottesville, Virginia fluent in both Spanish and Portuguese. She is also a two-time Sigmund Scholar. In the summer of 2012, she used the grant to explore the effects of U.S. migration on families in Guatemala and also participated in Princeton in Brazil. The following summer, she investigated post-war political ideology in El Salvador, focusing on regions previously under guerrilla control. Her independent work revolves around the Central American gang crisis--uniting her interests in politics, violence, and Latin America.

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Celina Culver

Celina Culver is a member of the class of 2015 and was born and raised in Sacramento, California. She is a Woodrow Wilson School major and is slightly obsessed with Latin America, having taken Spanish and Portuguese and studied in Peru and Brazil the past two summers. When not studying, Celina is an active member of the dance community on campus, specifically in BodyHype, Princeton University Ballet, and the dance department.

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Brett Diehl

Brett Diehl is a junior in the Department of History also pursuing certificates in Latin American Studies, Spanish, and Portuguese. Following his freshman year, Brett interned and conducted independent research at the Arquivo Público do Estado do Rio de Janeiro thanks to a grant from PLAS’ Paul E. Sigmund Scholars Award. The following summer, once again with funding from the Sigmund Scholars Award, he returned to South America, this time retracing 22-year-old Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s journey through the region. During his sophomore year, Brett studied abroad at the Universidad de La Habana in Cuba. He plans to write his thesis on a topic related to early 20th century Brazil.

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Joan Fernandez

Joan Fernandez is a junior and Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow concentrating in Latin American History. He was born in the Dominican Republic and was raised in New York City. During the summer after his freshman year, he interned for EducationUSA in São Paulo, Brazil. In the latter part of that summer, he participated in the Princeton in Brazil program in Rio de Janeiro. Recipient of the Sigmund Scholars Award, he spent two months during the summer of 2013 in Nicaragua. In that time, he interned for an NGO that seeks to build sustainable leadership in Managua's most marginal communities. He also conducted research about the Nicaraguan Revolution's afterlives. His fall independent work currently explores contending representations of late twentieth century revolution in Nicaragua as well as their implications on contemporary politics. He will spend the spring semester studying abroad at the University of Havana in Cuba.

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Damali James

Damali James '14 is a Woodrow Wilson School concentrator with a certificate in African American Studies. She became a Latin American Studies certificate student after her Junior Spring in Cuba. She spends the majority of her time dancing with BAC as well as cooking or doing arts and crafts like crochet and pottery. She is a study abroad peer advisor, music lover, and a huge fan of big puns.

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Neelay Patil

Neelay Patil is a senior in the Woodrow Wilson School pursuing a Certificate in Latin American Studies. Within the Program, Neelay has focused on U.S.-Latin American relations, drug trafficking, and Cuban policy. He has also worked for the U.S. Department of State at the U.S. Embassy in Lima, Peru.

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Sloan Rudberg

Sloan Rudberg is a senior in Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School for Public Policy & International Affairs pursuing certificates in Latin American Studies and Portuguese. A Spanish and Portuguese speaker, Sloan researches infrastructure investment and transportation modernization in developing economies. He is an inaugural recipient of the Princeton Brazil Global Fellowship in 2013 and has worked under this strategic partnership between Princeton and the University of São Paulo.

On campus, Sloan served as President of Business Today, a student-run non-profit organization. At Princeton, Sloan also serves as a consultant to the Office of the Executive Vice President and as an Orange Key Tour Guide. In addition to summer research in Latin America, Sloan has interned at American Airlines and Seabury Group.

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Peter Smith

Peter is a senior in the Sociology department pursuing certificates in Latin American Studies and Portuguese. He studied abroad in Rio de Janeiro during his sophomore spring, and spent that summer working on a community gardens project with an environmental NGO in Rio. He returned to Brazil this past summer to conduct thesis research in São Paulo and Brasília. At Princeton, Peter volunteers with the Petey Greene Prisoner Assistance Program and performs with Umqombothi.

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Sarah Town is a PhD candidate in musicology, having completed a Masters in musicology at City College of New York, and a BA in history, Portuguese, and Latin American studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research interests include Cuban popular music and jazz of the 20th and 21st centuries; music and dance in post-revolutionary Cuban film; the influence of folkloric genres on popular styles and the avant-garde; diasporic musics and transnational collaborations; and Afro-futurism.  She has presented her research at conferences and events in the United States and Mexico.  At Princeton, she has co-coordinated the 2013-14 Musicology Colloquium Series and precepted for Black Popular Music Cultures, Sounds in and Out of Africa (Music of Africa), and Introduction to Music.  Besides her academic work, Sarah has performed and taught a variety of popular music and dance forms, from Brazilian capoeira and maracatu to Cuban salsa and Latin jazz.  Her experience and training extend also to nonviolent communication, theater of the oppressed, and community organizing.  Sarah's dissertation focuses on the economics and aesthetics of Cuban dance culture in New York City. 

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Carrico Torres

Carrico Torres is a Politics major, originally from New Mexico, but having had the opportunity to live and work abroad in Latin America for a few years. At Princeton she is involved in the Princeton Quadrangle Club, Princeton Evangelical Fellowship, and works with the Office of Career Services. Her senior thesis is on slum development, focusing on a comparative study between Brazil and South Africa.

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Lauren Wyman

A native of northern Ohio, Lauren Wyman is a senior concentrating in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and pursuing certificates in Environmental Studies and Latin American Studies. She spent her junior spring in Panama, where she studied tropical ecology, coral reefs, parasites and Panamanian archeology. Thanks to the generosity of PLAS and the Sigmund Scholarship, Lauren was able to intern at the Bogotá office of the Nature Conservancy, where she helped to model tourism and ecosystem services in the Colombian Caribbean. When she’s not running around doing reporting for the University Press Club, you can find Lauren hanging out in the vegetarian co-op on campus or eating bagels in Guyot.

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