Staff with Jorge Paulo Lemann
Lemann Center team
John Karam

John Tofik Karam, Director, On sabbatical

John Tofik Karam is a Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and Director of the Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies at the University of Illinois. His first book on Arab cultural politics in neoliberal Brazil (2007) won awards from the Arab American National Museum and the Brazilian Studies Association. It was translated into both Arabic and Portuguese by Centre for Arab Unity Studies and the Editora Martins Fontes, respectively. His current book project is titled, “Manifold Destiny: Arabs at an Exceptional Crossroads of the Americas.” As part of that project, his 2013 article, “The Lebanese Diaspora at the Tri-Border and the Redrawing of South American Geopolitics, 1950-1992,” was awarded the best article prize by the Brazil Section of the Latin American Studies Association. His work appears in both the Journal of Latin American Studies and the International Journal of Middle East Studies.


Flavia Andrade

Flávia Andrade,  Acting Director

Flavia Andrade is an Associate Professor at the School of Social Work and Associate Director of the Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies. Dr. Andrade has earned her bachelor’s degree in Economics and her master’s degree in Demography from the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil. She completed her master’s in Population Health and Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. Dr. Andrade is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America. She has published over 100 articles and book chapters examining older adults’ health in Latin America and the Caribbean, particularly Brazil. Her work has contributed to understanding how demographic, epidemiological, and nutritional changes, as well as social disparities, influence the health, well-being, and quality of life of older adults. Her work has been published in top journals in the US and Brazil. Dr. Andrade has advised many visiting students and scholars and collaborated with students and faculty in Brazil.



Marc Adam Hertzman, Acting Associate Director

Marc Hertzman is historian of Brazil with special focus on its African diaspora. He has written about race, music, intellectual property, and other topics, and he is completing a book about Palmares, Brazil's famed maroon society.  He is excited to be part of the Lemann team and looks forward to engaging with students and faculty this year.



Elis Gomes Artz, Senior Program Coordinator

Elis Artz is the Lemann Senior Program Coordinator and manages Center programs and projects under the direction of the Faculty Program Director. She is from the northeast of Brazil where she received her professional degree in Psychology.



Lucas Cavoli, Administrative Assistant

Lucas Cavoli serves as the Administrative Assistant at the Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies, overseeing daily operations under the director's supervision. With a degree in accounting and specialization in financial products, Lucas is eager to contribute his expertise towards achieving the center's objectives. Though originally from the interior of Minas Gerais, Brazil, his time in Rio de Janeiro has endowed him with a distinctive "carioca" accent.



Maria de Godoy Saab, Office Associate

Maria provides extra support to the Lemann center by overseeing event logistics, managing budgets, arranging travel, and handling catering. She manages daily mail and emails, responds to inquiries, and tracks expenditures.



Thallyta Laryssa P. F. Cavoli, Graduate Assistant

Thallyta Laryssa P.F. Cavoli is a Lemann Center Graduate Assistant. She is pursuing her doctorate at the College of Law and she works with the programs and projects of the center. She is from the southeast of Brazil and is glad to be a part of the center. She looks forward to contributing to expanding the knowledge about Brazil and supporting those researching the country. 



Rafaela Summer Xiayu Chen, Graduate Assistant

Summer Chen is the Lemann Graduate Assistant. She is a graduate student at the School of Social Work and was a 22-23 Lemann Graduate Fellow.



Jenna Manzano, Undergrad Intern

Jenna Manzano is the Lemann Website Development Intern. Jenna is a senior studying Psychology with a minor in Informatics. She has spent four semesters working under the ATLAS Internship program and is excited to end her journey with the Lemann Center. 



Will Schneider, Undergrad Intern

Will Schneider is the Social Media Intern. He is a senior studying communications and economics. He is focused on creating new and dynamic content for the Lemann Center's social media profiles.