Previous Lemann Graduate Fellows

2020-2021 Lemann Graduate Fellows

Carmen GallegosCarmen Gallegos
2020-2021 Lemann Fellow
Department of Spanish & Portuguese

Quantifying Amazonia: Ecocritical Narratives and the Afterlife of the Rubber Boom in Brazil, Peru and Colombia (20th & 21st Centuries)

This project asks how the Amazon became both a drama and a number during the economic downfall of the rubber boom economy in Brazil, Peru and Colombia and how this narrative was reinvented through time. How was economic decline captured in photography, infographics and charts as part of an official narrative in which the government and the elites rationalized the Amazon into statistics while constructing nature as alleged valuable raw material?


Cintia Martins FreitasCintia Martins Freitas
Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Collective Candidacies and Gender Equality Platforms in Brazil’s 2020 Municipal Elections

Gender disparities impact Brazil gravely today, and they are manifested in many areas of life, including health, education, politics, and economics. Due to structural challenges, the solution for all of these gaps must come from public policies aimed at reducing gender inequalities. One symptom of political disparity is the underrepresentation of women in federal, state, and local government. In the past few years, the country has witnessed the rise of collective candidacies – groups of activists who collectively run for elections. Their strategy is based on the premises of the “new municipalism” movement. This study will analyze the potential of new municipalism to elect nonestablishment candidates in the upcoming municipal elections.


Flávia Batista da SilvaFlávia Batista da Silva
2020-2021 Lemann Fellow
Department of Spanish & Portuguese

“Righting” Foreign Policy: Bolsonaro’s Electoral Campaign in Brazil and the Venezuelan Crisis

This research examines the use of foreign policy as electoral tools by presidential candidates during electoral campaigns. Specifically, I will analyze how and for what purpose(s) Bolsonaro framed the Venezuela Crisis during his 2018 presidential campaign in Brazil. I adopt a qualitative methodology that will track materials of Bolsonaro’s campaign through social media. I argue that Bolsonaro used the Venezuela Crisis during his campaign for specific purposes: (i) to generate fear and moral panic in population by connecting his domestic opponent with the Venezuelan regime and (ii) to obtain U.S. support for his campaign and for future government, by adopting the “Make Brazil Great Again” as his motto.

Ana Paula Spranger Correia de OliveiraAna Paula Spranger Correia de Oliveira
2020-2021 Lemann Fellow
Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Event-based Decision-making for Distributed Brazilian Agricultural Systems

Inefficiencies are inherent to any production system. In food and agricultural systems, inefficiencies include grain loss, often occurring due to uncertainties in weather conditions and in farm management. Further, farmers often manage several distributed parcels of land in different locations, which significantly increases challenges and risks associated with farm management and asset allocation. Our goal is to validate optimization modeling tools with logistics data for distinctly different regions and types of farms in Brazil. Our long-standing collaboration with ESALQ-LOG provides us a key opportunity for access to relevant data for validation.


2019-2020 Lemann Graduate Fellows

Filipe Pecas CorreiraFilipe Pecas Correia
2019-2020 Lemann Fellow
Department of Finance

Do Firms’ Risks Propagate to their Employees?

The severity of the recent Financial Crisis drew attention to how credit shocks are propagated throughout the real economy, which can harm both firms and households. Despite the obvious channels of contagion between firms and the individuals they interact with, the literature analyzing how firms’ idiosyncratic credit shocks affect their employees is still modest. Our interest in this paper is to document how a firm’s credit risk is transmitted to its employees.



Juan Andrés Suárez OntanedaJuan Andrés Suárez Ontaneda
2017-2018 Lemann Fellow
2019-2020 Lemann Fellow
Ph.D. Candidate, Departement of Latin American Literatures and Cultures

I was born and raised in Quito (Ecuador), and I moved to the United States after I won a scholarship to study at Saint Anselm College in Manchester (New Hampshire). As a political philosophy major, I constantly inquired into the role of culture as field to debate and construct the meaning of citizenship and nation. My undergraduate thesis analyzed the role of Vallenato—a musical genre from northern Colombia— in the novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967), as a political venue were race, class, and ideology were constructed as national project. After I graduated from Saint Anselm I lived in Costa Rica for a few months, leading a National Geographic youth group to work in community projects in Guanacaste. Following that Central American experience, I worked as a political consultant in New Hampshire during the 2011 elections, and later volunteered in Ecuador at a high school in La Cananga, a small town in Esmeraldas—the Ecuadorian province with the largest Afro-descendant population. I have lived in Illinois since 2012, where I completed my MA in Spanish Literature, and where I plan to complete in 2019 my Phd in Latin American Literatures and Cultures.

Marcelo Boccato KuyumjiamMarcelo Boccato Kuyumjian
2019-2020 Lemann Fellow
2013-2014 Lemann Fellow
2011-2012 Lemann Fellow
School of Music

Performing Samba: Aesthetics, Transactional Modernisms, and Race

Samba’s entry into mainstream Brazilian culture was understood to have resulted from constant collaborations between white and non-white musicians and the music’s ability to represent nation rather than race. My analysis of music sound and discourse shows that the genre became a site for performance of both blackness and whiteness.

Brunna Bozzi Feijó
2020-2021 Werner Baer Fellow
2019-2020 Lemann Fellow
Spanish & Portuguese

The Gendered Face of Development: Brazil and the First United Nations Conference on Women (Mexico City, 1975)

My research is about the interplay of social movements and state projects in Brazil in relation to the First United Nations Conference on Women, held in Mexico City, in 1975. Domestically, this conference is frequently underscored as the starting point for contemporary feminist movements in Brazil (SARTI, 2004). Internationally, however, expectations for “feminine solidarity” were largely frustrated due to intense disagreements between delegates from developing and developed countries(OLCOTT, 2017). By juxtaposing these two dimensions of the 1975 Conference, the domestic and the international, my research raises questions on the contingent and gendered assumptions regarding the idea of development in 1970s Brazil.

2018-2019 Lemann Graduate Fellows

Marília CorrêaMarília Corrêa
2018-2019 Lemann Fellow
2016-2017 Lemann Fellow
Ph.D. Candidate Department of History

My project studies the trajectories of military personnel who were expelled from the armed forces and persecuted during Brazil’s military dictatorship (1964-1985). For decades, scholars studying the Brazilian dictatorship have emphasized opposition between civil society and the institution of the armed forces, a division that my project challenges. This binary framework lays the forces, together with some conservative groups such as national and international private sectors, on one side of the spectrum as the enforcers and supporters of military rule; while on the other side of the spectrum, resisting authoritarianism are progressive sectors such as the student and the union movements. This interpretation, which marked the most important works on the era, is not entirely wrong, as the dictatorship pitted military against civilian. However, it is incomplete and, as a result, portrays this period in Brazilian history in misleading fashion. My research builds from previous works, while also redirecting our attention to the reach of the military dictatorship into sectors of Brazilian society often thought to have been shielded from it, including and especially the military itself. The project examines dissent and repression within the armed forces, focusing on the trajectories of thousands of soldiers and officers expelled from the forces as military leaders consolidated decades of authoritarian political power.

Michael StableinMichael Stablein
2018-2019 Lemann Fellow
Ph.D. Candidate Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering

In Brazil, algal systems have shown great potential in remediating wastewater and simultaneously producing a wealth of renewable resources, such as food, fuel, pharmaceuticals, among others. My PhD research focuses on the biological recovery of wastewater nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus for generation of algal biomass, measured for high value quality in terms of protein, carbohydrates, lipids, and other derivative biometabolite compounds. Through the Environment Enhancing Energy (E2E) Paradigm, our international team working in Brazil and the US couples this emerging biotechnology and a pyrolytic process, Hydrothermal Liquefaction (HTL), to recover value from wet organic waste, often produced in agriculture. While producing renewable biocrude, this thermochemical technology uses high pressure and heat to convert different biowastes into oil and a nutrient dense, toxic aqueous phase that can be utilized as a new alternative input for algal growth in production of valuable compounds. The generated algal biomass, after extraction of these compounds, can also be recycled back into the HTL process for maximal utilization of the waste stream.  Specifically, algal wastewater systems have great potential to reduce waste and create new bioeconomies in Brazil, especially, because of the evolving sustainability practices and renewable strategies that are prevalent in this agricultural stronghold.

Cassandra A.W. OseiCassandra A.W. Osei
2018-2019 Lemann Fellow
Ph.D. Candidate Department of History

Cassandra’s research interests include, Modern Latin America & the Caribbean, African Diaspora in Latin America, Brazil, Racial Inequality, Race, Gender, & Power, Social Geographies of Race. As a doctoral student her research examines twentieth century Brazil and modern Latin American history. Cassandra is interested in racial inequality in Brazil, Afro-Brazilian movements, and African Diaspora in Latin America & the Caribbean. My dissertation project is invested in questions on Afro-Brazilian women and their economic mobility and immobility in Brazil’s labor market in the later twentieth century. My case studies for this research are in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais and Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul. Foreign Language & Area Studies Fellowship (Portuguese), 2017-18. Some of the grants Cassandra has received include Department Pre-Dissertation Grant (History), Summer 2017, Department Fellowship (History), 2016-17, Tinker Fellowship (Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies), Summer 2016.

Luis Gonzalo Pinilla GomezLuis Gonzalo Pinilla Gomez
2018-2019 Lemann Fellow
Ph.D. Candidate Department of Art History

I have a MFA in Print media from the University of Iowa where my research was oriented towards the interaction between new media, digital technologies, and traditional printmaking techniques. Currently, I am pursuing a Ph.D. in Art History at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign focusing in artistic Print media as expanded field during the 1960s and 1970s in South America and pursuing a minor the History of Latin American Photography. My research explores artistic practices in the 1960s decade in Brazil, Chile and Colombia. This decade constituted an astonishingly effervescent period of cultural production and social transformation, perhaps the greatest South America had experienced during the twentieth century. Particularly in Brazil theatre, visual arts, poetry, and music lived a moment of particular intensity. Culture, in the expanded meaning of the word, in Brazil, Chile and Colombia in the 1960s, moved forward and merged with the social space. And culture expanded by challenging conventions and questioning judgments and hierarchies that seemed immovable. My research is about some artistic expressions that deserve more visibility in this great and magnificent scene marking a before and after in the cultural history of South America, for instance, print media. It explores the practices, methods, histories, and conceptual approaches of artists in Brazil who redefined the function of the print studio and role of artistic print media. Beginning in the late 1950s and up to the late 1970s, artistic print media in Brazil experienced a boom that forces us to reconsider its significance.

Amanda RectorAmanda Rector
2018-2019 Lemann Fellow
Ph.D. Candidate Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Amanda graduated with an M.A. in Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Illinois in 2014. Her research interests are centered around 18th-20th Century Luso-Hispanic Immigration, the Luso-Hispanic Atlantic, travel writing, transnationalism, affect, citizenship, and belonging. Some of Amanda’s academic awards include Spanish and Portuguese Department Small Research Fellowship, Summer 2017. My dissertation project aims to understand the notions of citizenship and belonging that emerge during Portuguese migration to Brazil from 1830-1914. With a steady influx of Portuguese migrants to Brazilian shores, their social and legal status became a recurring focus of diplomatic correspondence and newspaper articles. I argue that these documents show how Portuguese diplomats and other migrants articulated new ways of thinking about the relationship and ties between former colonies and colonial powers and emphasize the complicated nature of being “in-between” states. The focus of my project is two-fold as I ask both how Portuguese migrants negotiated citizenship and belonging, and how Brazilians perceived of Portuguese migrants’ attempts to belong. The following questions guide my research: To what extent did migrants’ status of being emotionally “in between” their places of origin and settlement hinder their attempts to belong?  How did migrant communities and intellectuals help reconstruct transatlantic bonds between the ex-colony and ex-empire as a new way to express their emotional ties to their homeland?

2017-2018 Lemann Graduate Fellows

John Ben SoileauJohn Ben Soileau
2017-2018 Lemann Fellow
2013-2014 Lemann Fellow
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Anthropology University of Illinois

My dissertation, titled, For the Forest, the Trees, or the People: The Quilombolization of an Amazonian Peasantry, is based on ethnographic fieldwork since 2012 with descendants of quilombo (maroon) communities in the Amazonian municipality of Gurupá, Brazil. The Brazilian government recognizes quilombos as “traditional populations” and grants them collective title to their historically-occupied territory. In the case of Gurupá, quilombo recognition was the outcome of a broader NGO campaign for environmental sustainability against rampant illegal logging. Quilombo communities were granted land titles on the assumption they would maintain a low-impact and subsistence-oriented way of life. After the NGO left the region, however, quilombos forged partnerships with a private Brazilian logging company for the large-scale extraction of trees from collectively-owned quilombo territory. During fieldwork, I used these logging partnerships as a lens through which to analyze quilombo environmental politics and the socio-environmental effects of quilombo legal recognition. The main thesis of the dissertation is that the quilombo land title is a mechanism of environmental governance that regulates the use and access of forest resources through an emerging political economy in which “traditional people” exchange resources in a bid for infrastructure development and cash payments.

Kelly Norell SentersKelly Norell Senters
2017-2018 Lemann Fellow
2016-2017 Lemann Fellow
Ph.D. Candidate, Department Political Science University of Illinois

Concentrating in comparative politics, I study decentralization, elections, corruption, and political behavior in Latin America.  Many of the themes comprising my research agenda are found in my dissertation in which I quantitatively assess the causes and consequences of subnational fragmentation – a process by which local communities fragment into two or more new communities – in Brazil. Interviews and archival research conducted during my six months in residence in Brazil as both a Tinker and Lemann Fellow supplement the quantitative research. I find that a combination of local grievances, state and local political alignments, and voters’ abilities to access relevant information about fragmentation differentiates municipalities that fragment from municipalities that do not fragment and that fragmentation helps underperforming municipalities to improve the quality of services that they provide to their constituents. The effect of fragmentation on political participation, by contrast, is underwhelming; fragmentation enhances turnout and the valid vote share in the first post-fragmentation election, but participation subsides in subsequent post-fragmentation elections.  These results suggest that decentralization and small local governments can live up to some of their promises, especially in the provision of public goods, and hold implications for political institutional design, public policy implementation, and development in developing countries.

Thais R.S. Sant’Ana
2018-2019 Werner Baer Fellow
2017-2018 Lemann Fellow
Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of History at the University of Illinois

2016-2017 Lemann Graduate Fellows

Lucas Trevisan

Lucas R. Trevisan
2016-2017 Lemann Fellow
M.S. Department of Agriculture and Biological Engineering

My research is related to the Brazilian agriculture and agro-industrial sectors. Additionally, it involves post-harvest losses in Brazilian scenarios and the effects of typical Brazilian conditions on grain quality by quantifying dry matter losses related to grain respiration during storage. The activities included adapting instrumentation system, developing experimental design and collecting data on soybean storage. As a subsequent step, this data will be used to develop guidelines for a maximum allowable storage time of soybeans in Brazil, to fill a gap in Brazil’s soybeans production and create reliable, safe storage guidelines that reduce post-harvest losses and consequently increases economic aspects in Brazil. The main objectives of my activities are to help develop a more efficient storage system and help the logistics of grains transportation once the grain production in Brazil strongly contributes to economics aspects of the country. It is understandable that improving this sector would lead to economical improvements, jogs generation and, very important, increase the percentage of food available for processing. I Graduated in Biosystems engineering at the University of São Paulo (USP). Currently, I am starting my PhD program at University of São Paulo in Brazil to work in partnership with University of Illinois to explore more about agricultural infrastructure needs, administration improvements and how to avoid production losses during storage and transportation and find ways to apply this changes in the production centers, to develop a more efficient and sustainable system.

Kelly Norell Senters
2017-2018 Lemann Fellow
2016-2017 Lemann Fellow
Ph.D. Candidate, Department Political Science University of Illinois

Marília Corrêa
2018-2019 Lemann Fellow
2016-2017 Lemann Fellow
Ph.D. Candidate Department of History

2015-2016 Lemann Graduate Fellows

Maraya Balhego de Lima
Maraya Balhego de Lima
2015-2016 Lemann Fellow
M.A Department Urban and Regional Planning

Maraya’s research Haitian Presence in Southern Brazil: Its Present and Future Impact on Immigration Policy examines the contemporary migration circuit between Haiti and Brazil. Her work examines the impacts and influence of migrations as it interacts with national, state, and local government policy. Maraya is currently and associate planner at Salt Lake City Corporation.



John Marquez
John Marquez
2015-2016 Lemann Fellow
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History University of Illinois

John’s research Community, Culture and Conflict: The Lives of Enslaved and Free People of African Decent in Late-Colonial Rio de Janeiro focusses on the vice-regal capital of colonial Brazil. It examines social relations in slave society in order to understand the tension between the social and cultural proximity between slaves and free people amid differences of social hierarchy and legal status. John’s fields of research include colonial Brazil and Latin America. His research interests focus on slavery, empire, and race in Latin America and global context. John’s Ph.D. dissertation Freedom’s Edge: Slavery, Empire, and Power in Colonial Rio de Janeiro, examines the evolving meaning of freedom and manumission across the second half of the eighteenth century in the Atlantic port of Rio de Janeiro.

Lenore E. Matthew
2017-2018 Werner Baer Fellow
2016-2017 Lemann Graduate Fellow
2015-2016 Lemann Graduate Fellow
Ph.D. School of Social Work

Renato Schwambach Viera
2017-2018 Werner Baer Fellow
2015-2016 Lemann Graduate Fellow
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics

2014-2015 Lemann Graduate Fellows

Annie ContractorAnnie Contractor
2014-2015 Lemann Fellow
MA Department of Urban and Regional Planning University of Illinois

Annie works as an urban planner, applying social science principles to work toward pay and workplace equity. This work includes workplace studies in local markets, assessing institutional commitments and worker perceptions of equity in the workplace. Her professional interests are currently focus on the United States. She stays connected to social change work in Brazil as a writer for Rio On Watch, the news arm of Catalytic Communities; She will soon release an article released regarding electioneering tactics in Rio’s recent past as a framework for understanding the upcoming elections. Her broader research interests include special social justice, gendered dynamics of urban planning, and meaningful stakeholder engagement in public decision making.


Hapsatou WaneHapsatou Wane
2014-2015 Lemann Fellow
PhD Candidate, Program in Comparative and World Literature

Hapsatou is an Assistant Professor at Georgia Southern University-Armstrong Campus in the Department of Literature. Her research centers on Francophone and Anglophone African and Afro-Brazilian literature, gender and women studies, postcolonialism, indigenous critical theory autobiographies and memory. Hapsatou completed her dissertation, entitled “Decolonizing Autobiography: Experience in Autobiographies by Women Writers of African Diaspora.” Her dissertation explores the ways in which women writers of African Diaspora de-racialize, de-colonize and de-gender the autobiographical discourse and genre as they trouble and blur the boundaries/limits of autobiographies by establishing Black Diaspora Bildungsroman as a genre of life-writing allowing them to produce alternative autobiographical narratives. Hapsatou graduated with an MA in English Studies/African Civilization and Literature at the University Gaston Berger in Senegal. She also holds an MA in African Studies and an MA and Ph.D. in Comparative World Literature from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign where she was a Holocaust, Genocide, Memory Studies Graduate Student as well as a Gendell/ShinerFellow.

2013-2014 Lemann Graduate fellows

Rafael P. Ribas
PhD Candidate, Department of Economics
Research Title: Direct and Indirect Effects of Cash Transfer on Labor Supply and Entrepreneurship: The case of Bolsa Família in Brazil

Rafael was born in Santa Rosa-RS, Brazil. He received his B.A. in Economics from the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande Sul (UFRGS) in 2004. In 2006, he received his M.A. in Economics from the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG). His Master’s thesis is on measuring poverty mobility and dynamics of income inequality. From 2006 to 2008, he worked for the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) at the United Nations. Currently, he is a PhD candidate in Economics at the UIUC. His dissertation is on the effect of the Bolsa Família program on employment decisions and entrepreneurship in Brazil.

Krystal Maria Montesdeoca
M.S. Program in Agricultural and Consumer Economics, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics
Research Title: The Economics of Safrinha Succession Cropping System

Krystal Montesdeoca earned a B.A. in Spanish and Economics from Illinois State University. Upon graduation she received a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship to study at Pontifícia Universidade Católica in Rio de Janeiro for two years where she studied Business Intelligence and conducted volunteer work. She has centered her interests on the future of agriculture and using this industry to increase the world food supply and improve the world economy. Currently she is working on her master’s degree in agricultural and applied economics at the University of Illinois. She is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese and speaks intermediate Japanese. Krystal hopes to pursue a career in agribusiness and international trade.

John-Ben Soileau
PhD Student, Department of Anthropology
Research Title: Tensions of Practice: Açaí and the Commodification of Subsistence Agriculture in Brazil’s Lower Amazon

John-Ben received his BA in cultural anthropology from the University of New Orleans, and his MA in Latin American Studies from Tulane University, also in New Orleans–his hometown. The Lemann fellowship will support his third year of the PhD program in sociocultural anthropology, during which time he will analyze preliminary fieldwork results and prepare for long-term ethnographic fieldwork. His dissertation project examines the participation of a rural Afro-Brazilian community in the regional and international açaí market.

Isabel Freitas Peres
J.D. Candidate 2014, University of Illinois College of Law
Research Title: Engaging the Brazilian Diaspora in Development – A Proposal for Brazilian Diaspora Bonds

Isabel Freitas Peres, originally from Joinville, Brazil, earned her bachelor’s degree in Law at Escola de Direito de São Paulo da Fundação Getulio Vargas in 2010, as well as an LL.M. degree at the University of Illinois College of Law in the same year. After finishing her LL.M. degree, she also earned a master’s in Law and Economics from the European Master in Law and Economics program through studies in Italy and Germany. She is currently pursuing her J.D. degree at the University of Illinois College of Law and her current academic interests center around business law, law and development, and law and economics. In her research, she will focus on the viability of Brazil utilizing diaspora bonds and other innovative types of financial instruments to finance investments in infrastructure projects in Brazil.

Chris Wilhelmi
Degree: M.S. Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Research Title: Preventing Post-Harvest Soybean Losses in Brazil

Chris Wilhelmi received his B.S. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering with a minor in Food Science from the University of Illinois in the fall of 2012. His undergraduate work concentrated on food and biological processing, with a personal interest in grains. He began his master’s work the following spring with a focus on Brazilian soybeans. He is currently working with UFMT-Sinop on studying and preventing losses in soybean yield due to transportation from interior production areas to coastal ports. He is working on gaining proficiency in Portuguese and plans to visit Brazil in the spring of 2014 to continue his research in the field.

2012-2013 Lemann Graduate fellows

Pamela Cappas-Toro
PhD, Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
Research Title: Race and Dictatorship

Laura Chinchilla
PhD, Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
Research Title: Detecting the Americas: Travel, Crime and Conspiracy

Rejane Dias
PhD Program in Bilingual Education, Division of Language & Literacy, Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Research Title:Teachers’ Perception of Bilingualism and Biculturalism: The Case of Brazilian Borderlands

Vivian Felicio
PhD Program in Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education
Research Title: Linguistically and Culturally Relevant Literacy Practices for Speakers of Brazilian Portuguese Language

Erin McKenna
PhD, Department of Recreation, Sports and Tourism
Research Title: Converging Cosmopolitanism in Salvador’s Alternative Tourism Sector

Bradley R. Skousen
PhD, Department of Business Administration
Research Title: Enterpreunership and Innovation in Brazil

Paulo Henrique Vaz
PhD, Department of Economics
Research Title: Brazil Long-Term Economic Grouth: Investigating the Puzzle from a Fim-level Perspective

2011-2012 Lemann Graduate fellows

Marcelo Boccato Kuyumjian
DMA Program in Jazz Studies. Division of Jazz Studies, School of Music
Research Title: Elis Regina’s Quartet and its Interpretation of Samba: Issues in the Process of Innovation of Popular Music in Brazil

Marcelo Boccato Kuyumjian, originally from Campinas-SP, earned his bachelor’s degree in Popular Music at UNICAMP in 2007, as well as a Master’s of Music degree at the University of Iowa in 2010. During his tenure at U of Iowa, he was a teacher assistant in the Department of Jazz. He is currently pursuing his DMA in Jazz Studies at University of Illinois. As a performer and researcher, Marcelo is interested in different ways in which Jazz and Brazilian music interacts.

Vivian Carla Felicio
PhD Program in Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education
Research Title: Linguistically and Culturally Relevant Literacy Practices for Speakers of Brazilian Portuguese Language

Vivian Felicio received her B.A. in Portuguese and English Languages and literature from the University of Sagrado Coração (USC) São Paulo, Brazil, and her M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language (MATESL) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Currently, she is a Ph.D. student in the College of Education at University of Illinois in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Through her work as a research assistant, Ms. Felicio worked on the Improving Bilingual and ESL Education grant funded by the United States Department of Education. In this role, she participated in professional staff development projects at local elementary and middle schools and the infusion of instructional methods for linguistically diverse students into content area curriculum. Ms. Felicio was also a teaching assistant for CI 415, a course designed for pre-service teachers enrolled in the elementary teacher education program. The course focused on issues related to appropriate educational programs and pedagogical techniques for linguistically and culturally diverse students.

Diego Sanches Correa
PhD Program in Political Science, Department of Political Science
Research Title: Switching Sides: Income Redistribution and Realignment of PT’s Electoral Bases

Diego Correa studies the association between programs of income redistribution and presidential elections. More specifically, he investigates how the recent spread of Conditional Cash Transfer programs across Latin America has affected the electoral performances of incumbent presidential candidates. In the case of Brazil, the focus is on the Bolsa Família program, and the 2002, 2006, and 2010 electoral contests.

Narlan Matos Teixeira
PhD Program in Brazilian Literature, Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
Research Title: The Genesis of Post-Modernity in Brazil: Notes on Industrial Design, Tropicalia and Counterculture.

Narlan Matos earned a BA from the Federal University at Bahia, where he was awarded several research fellowships. He holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of New Mexico, where he was also a TA. Has worked for nearly six years as a TA at the Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign where he is currently writing his PhD thesis entitled Inventory of Chaos: Rogério Duarte, Tropicália and Post-Modernity. His work has brought back to attention the lost legacy of Tropicalist theoretician Rogério Duarte. As a result of that, a whole lost generation legacy has been identified and reincorporated to the canon. He has participated in the International Visitor’s Leadership Program, as an official guest of the United States of America.

Carla da Silva
PhD Program in Portuguese Studies, Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
Research Title: The Journey Within: travel narratives in Brazilian cinema

Carla da Silva earned a dual B.A. in English and Portuguese along with a teaching certificate from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). She also earned an M.A. in American & English Literature from the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ). Passionate about teaching, she spent more than a decade teaching ESL in Brazil. Since 2007, she has worked as a teaching assistant of Portuguese at the University of Illinois. Her current academic interests are Brazilian literature and cinema and the teaching of Portuguese as a second language.

Euler P. G. de Mello
PhD Program in Economics, Department of Economics
Research Title: Extending the Maternity Leave in Brazil: An Assessment