Lassen Fellowships in Latin American Studies, 2009-2010

María C. Abascal, Sociology

Maria Abascal
Abasacal earned the B.A. in sociology from Columbia University. Broadly interested in political sociology and immigration, Abascal has researched the effects of social ties to Cuba on Cuban American party identification and the relationship between levels of civic participation and understandings of democracy, through a comparative study of city council meetings in two Florida cities with different levels of immigration.

Sergio Galaz García, Sociology

Sergio Galaz García
Galaz García earned the B.A. in political science and international relations from El Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE), Mexico. His senior thesis used statistical and theoretical methods to explore the dynamics of conflict between informal street vendors and the local Mexico City government. Prior to entering graduate school, he worked to introduce budgeting-for-results techniques as an internal consultant in the Finance Department of the Mexico City government. He is interested in how culture can serve as a mechanism for political domination and stratification. His broad interests include the sociology of culture, the sociology of space, and political sociology.

Vanessa Grossman, Architecture

Vanessa Grossman
Grossman earned the professional diploma from the School of Architecture and Urbanism of the University of São Paulo, and the masters research degree in architectural history in the Department of Art and Archaeology, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University. She has worked as assistant editor of Archistorm and L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, and as assistant professor at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Versailles. She is the author of A arquitetura e o urbanismo revisitados pela Internacional Situacionista (2006). Much of her research focuses on the history of modernist movements in Brazil and in France.

Ezequiel Molina, Woodrow Wilson School

Ezequiel Molina
Molina earned the B.A. and M.A. in economics from the Universidad Nacional de La Plata in Argentina. Before joining the Woodrow Wilson School, Ezequiel was a junior professional associate at the Poverty and Gender Unit for the Latin American Region at the World Bank. Molina also has worked as a junior researcher at the Center for Distributive Labor and Social Studies (CEDLAS) and as a consultant at the Institute for Latin American Economic Research (FIEL). His interests include the political economy of development and redistribution (with special emphasis in Latin America) and development economics more generally.

Sebastian Ramírez, Anthropology

Sebastian Ramírez
Ramírez earned the B.A. in anthropology and psychology from Queens College, City University of New York. He conducted research on Spanish-speaking immigrants in New York and wrote his honors thesis in anthropology on the mediation of political agency and resistance among undocumented immigrants through community organizations. His dissertation concerns the desplazados in his native Colombia, the over three million currently displaced persons forced from their homes as a consequence of four decades of civil war.

Carlos J. Velasco Rivera, Politics

Velasco Rivera earned the B.Sc. in government and economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and the M.P.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He has worked as an advisor in the Lower Chamber of the Mexican Congress, contributed to the Mexican daily El Financiero, and has been a lecturer of public and international affairs at WWS. Through his research on political development in Latin America, he seeks a better understanding of the factors determining the preferences of leftist political parties in the region, as these factors affect democratic stability.