B.A in Anthropology/ Latin American Studies, B.A in Spanish I was introduced to the Latin American and Latino Studies (LAST) program during my freshman year by Veronikha Salazar who was working for the University of Arkansas Multicultural Center at the time. I had already decided to study Anthropology and Spanish and LAST seemed like the best program to unite my two areas of study. As a U.S born and raised daughter of Mexican immigrants, I learned from a young age that if I wanted to learn about my heritage and culture, I was going to have to do it on my own. I was in shock on my first day in “Intro to Latin America”, when I saw so many students wanting to learn about my heritage and culture as well. I loved my studies so much, that even my electives were overbooked with LAST courses! I made many friends from different countries and even met a long-distant cousin I had no idea I had! While I learned more about other beautiful cultures in Latin America, I was able to use my knowledge more extensively outside of the classroom, among the communities in Northwest Arkansas. With such a fast growing Latino population here, it is hard to ignore the fact that sometimes to relate to someone you have to know where they come from, their history. I now work for Arkansas United Community Coalition, which is a non-profit organization created to empower immigrants through organizing, civic engagement, and navigation of legal services. I see people come in everyday from different nations, and I love that I can help them with their immigration cases based on the history I know from each country and their foreign immigration treaties. I can joke around about the cultural differences of our heritage and make them feel at home when I tell them an anecdote about my studies in regards to their homeland. The LAST program has impacted my life greatly, and if it was not for those professors, I probably would not be where I am now.
Dr. Edvan P. Brito
Dr. Edvan Brito received a B.A. in Portuguese and Linguistics from the University de São Paulo (USP), an M.A. in Mass Communication and Media Studies from Howard University, and also holds an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Georgetown University. His dissertation study focused on sociolinguistic variation, race/color, and stance taking in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His research interests include language and identity, comparative race relations in Brazil and the United States, and Portuguese as a foreign language.