Spring 2018 – Spring 2023

The capstone for the M.A. in Latin American Studies is a three-credit seminar that provides graduate students with an opportunity to demonstrate their comprehensive, integrated and interdisciplinary knowledge about Latin America and the Caribbean applied to a specific analytical question, case study, policy issue, new opportunity, emerging challenge, or project
chosen by students in their respective concentrations. The outcome of the capstone course is a professional deliverable that students can either use as a gateway to their professional careers upon graduation or as a means to advance in their current professions.


Assessing perceptions among Ecuadorian university students of a possible Free trade
Agreement (FTA) between Ecuador and the United States
Nabih Dahik
Partner Organization: Embajada del Ecuador

Militarized Policing and Crowd Control: A Case Study of the Carabineros de Chile
Kylie Stronko & Dana Figel
Partner Organization: El Observatorio de Derechos Humanos y Violencia Policial

Coca Sí, Cocaína No: A Critical Evaluation of the Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) Government’s Anti-Drug Policy in Bolivia
Gloria Monroy García and Nicholas Meissner
Partner Organization: William J. Perry for Hemispheric Defense Studies

Higher Education, Diplomacy, and Development: The Case of UNILAB in Brazil
Tiffany Brown-Louis and Crispin Beyogle
Partner Organization: The Library of Congress

An Examination and Analysis of Voluntary National Reviews – the Case of Argentina
Jessica Castillo and Juan Reyes
Partner Organization: UNDESA

Aquí, pero allá: History is a Family Scene
Melissa Flores and Tatiana Cherry Santos
Partner Organization: The Library of Congress, PALABRA Archive

Post-Zero Tolerance: An Assessment of Family Separation Policy
Amy Patricia Morales and Elizabeth Alvarado
Partner Organization: KIND

The Geopolitics, Economics, and Environmental Impacts of Rare Earth Elements: An Opportunity for Chile’s Mining Sector
Katherine Caesar and Christopher Lindrud
Partner Organization: AthenaLab, Santiago de Chile

Guyana’s Oil-bonanza: An Energy Development Strategy
Gerardo Penchyna Cárdenas and Bernarda Jarrín
Partner Organization: Rice University’s Baker Institute

Smoke & Mirrors: Examining the Impact of Queimadas on the Rule of Law in the Southwest Amazon
Natalie Chaudhuri and Liam Aranda
Partner Organization: GeoLAB, Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil

Gendered Power Dynamics at the Escobal Silver Mine: Examining the Governance Structure of Multinational Mining Projects
Anastasia Chacón and Rebecca Contreras
Partner Organization: Oxfam, DC



Considerations Of Caribbean Identity: A Comparative Analysis of Cuba and Puerto Rico in their Temporal and Thematic Subjectivities
By José Antonio Flores and Lydia Millhon
Partner Organization: Art Museum of the Americas (AMA)

Leveraging U.S. Official Development Assistance to Mitigate against Corruption as a Root Cause of Irregular Migration
By Rebecca Bock & Courtney Brantley
Partner Organization: US Global Leadership Coalition

Defining La Raza Chilena: Foundational Roots of Modern Exclusion
By Sean Buss
Partner Organization: Centro de Estudios Interculturales e Indígenas (CIIR) and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Combating Gender Violence: Evaluating Efforts to Mitigate Honduran Female Migration
By Anne-Cecilia Byrne and Leticia Chacón
Partner Organization: Brookings Institute

Poster Children, Postal Cities? A Comparative Evaluation Of Urban Regeneration As A Development Strategy In Latin America: The Cases Of Guayaquil, Ecuador And Medellín, Colombia
By Maria De Lourdes Despradel Aquino And Bryan Ricciardi
Partner Organization: World Resources Institute (WRI)

Searching for White Gold: China’s Quest for Latin America’s Lithium
By Kiano Emami and Yuetong Zhao
Partner Organizations: AthenaLab and Inter-American Dialogue

21st Century Itamaraty: Prioritizing Frontier Technologies
By Felipe Lobo Koerich & Luke Allen
Partner Organization: BrazilWorks

Women, Originary Peoples and Inclusion: A Comparative Constitutional Analysis
By Chelsea Meiners & Elliot Anderson
Partner Organization: Observatorio Nueva Constitución

El Salvador’s Bitcoin Remittance Experiment
By Kelvin Mejia and Selva Titania Astudillo Aguilar
Partner Organization: Global Financial Integrity

Designing Payments for Ecosystem Services Models in the Amazon to Combat Deforestation: A case for Silvopasture Systems in Colombia
By Susanna Meyer & Tamsin Zandstra
Partner Organizations: the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Centro Interdisciplinario de Estudios Sobre Desarollo (CIDER)

What Can the United States and Partner Nations in Latin America Do to Confront Malign Influence from External State Actors? Case Studies in Security Assistance and Cooperation
By Bradley J. Palmer-Lourenco and Josepht C. Rojas
Partner Organization: Strategic Studies Institute (SSI)

¿Pura Vida o Dura Vida?
Exploring Nicaraguan Migrant Domestic Workers’ Cycles of Vulnerability in Costa Rica
By Génesis Crystal Torres-Alcántara and Silvia Del Carmen Zelaya Jovel
Partner Organization: Migration Policy Institute (MPI)

Navigating Vulnerability: A Study of Socio-Economic Integration of Migrant Populations in Costa Rica
By Amelia Espinosa and Jordan Lloyd
Partner Organization: Migration Policy Institute (MPI) and Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM)
Published in ISIM


Assessing Perceptions of Grand and Petty Corruption in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)
By Jessica F. Chilin-Hernández and Carolina Marín
Partner Organization: Iniciativa de Transparencia y Anticorrupción (ITAC)

Family Separation: A Legal Practitioner’s Guide
By Izzy DeSpirito and Brynne Archbold
Partner Organization: KIND

Rethinking Civil-Military Relations In Latin America: The Implications of Civilian-Directed Role Expansion
By Shawn Grinnell and Daniel Alemany
Partner Organization: William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies

Stuck in The Middle With (E)U? A Comprehensive Analysis of Pathways Forward For The EU-Mercosur Free-Trade Agreement
By Cecilia Godoy Albuquerque de Almeida and George Hames
Partner Organization: Atlantic Council

From Penny Wars to Partnership: A Case Study Analysis of the TransMilenio’s Public-Private Partnership
By Allecia Jones & Raymond Rizzo
Partner Organization: World Resources Institute (WRI)

Reimagining Structural Racism and Inequities during the COVID-19 Pandemic:
Implications for Latino Communities in the U.S. as Analyzed Through Oral Histories and Children’s Poetry
By Keva Luke and Nelcy Ávila
Partner Organizations: Library of Congress (LOC) and InSeries

Redefining Tweets as Discourse: How El Salvador’s “Cool” President Impacts Cycles of Violence against Women and Girls
By Aiyanna Maciel and Majaella Ruden
Partner Organization: Inter-American Dialogue

A Series of (Un)Fortunate Events: The Build-Up to Mexico’s Recognition of Internal Displacement in 2019
By Lesly Tejada & Nicholas Marin
Partner Organization: Pan American Development Foundation (PADF)

Economic Reintegration: Barriers to the Labor Market for Ex-Combatants in Colombia
By Valencia Wilson
Partner Organizations: Revista Vive Africo and Nestle
Published in Pontificia Universidad Javeriana

MERCOSUR Unfinished Battles
by Maria José Flores
Partner Organization: IERAL and Argentina Global

The Responsibility to Protect in Conflict Resolution and Peace Building: A Case Study of Venezuela
Xueru Zhang
Partner Organization: Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)



She Stands Up: Understanding and Teaching about Women’s Activism in the Face of Violence
by Parker Benedict and Amalia Rubin
Partner Organization: Consortium of Latin American Studies Program (CLASP)

Cementing Women’s Visibility in CEMEX’s Integral Program for Rural Development: An M&E Methodology to Achieve SDG#5 in Nuevo León, México
by Abby Bowman and Judith Pérez
Partner Organization: CEMEX

Sustained Violence in the Northern Triangle and the Intention to Migrate
by Kelsea Cooper and Michael Willis
Partner Organization: United States Department of State (DOS)

Latin American Voting Pattern on US Priorities in the U.N. General Assembly: 1983-2018
by Agustín Grizia
Partner Organization: Council on Foreign Relations (CFR); Argentine Association of International Studies (AERIA); United Nations Foundation (UNF)

Digital Economy Strategy in Colombia: Domestic Innovation, Digital Security and Digital Trade
by Christina Huntzinger, Karolina Kvačková and David Mauer
Partner Organization: Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF)
Published by ITIF in 2020

Informing U.S. Strategy to Support Judicial Reform in Guatemala and Honduras
by Lauren Molina and Stacey Pirtle
Partner Organization: WOLA

Extrajudicial Executions in Venezuela Committed by State Security Forces in Carabobo and Miranda 2015-2020
By Ana Montañez & Rocío Ortega
Partner Organization: The Guernica Centre for International Justice

The Road to Vision 2040: An Education Strategy to Boost Human Capital in Guyana
by Laura Newton and Sara Jones
Partner Organization: Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI)

US-Cuba Agricultural Trade: How Trade Normalization Will Affect Exports and Investment
by Rolf Niederstrasser-Hernández and James Gordy
Partner Organization: Engage Cuba Coalition

Forced Disappearance in the Borderland: Unveiling Victim’s Invisibility in Norte de Santander
by Jessica Spanswick and Javier Ochoa
Partner Organization: Fundación Progresar, Cúcuta, Colombia.
To view the original in the Social Science Research Network, click here.

Human Rights Law, Transitional Justice and Addressing Underlying Causes of Conflict to Creating Lasting Peace
by John-Francis Villines
Partner Organization: Comisión de la Verdad (CEV), Colombia

Immigration, Economic and Social Integration in Chile
by Marvin Wiley and Duowei Chen
Partner Organization: AthenaLab, Santiago de Chile, Chile

Introducing Brazilian Abolitionism to U.S. Students: A Historiography of 19th Century Abolitionist Campaigns in Brazil & Resources for U.S.-Based Educators
by Sarah Brokenborough
Partner Organization: Library of Congress (LOC)


Our Partners Across the Pacific: A Comprehensive Strategic Plan to Strengthen Thailand’s Diplomacy in Latin America
by Tipaporn Attasivanon
Partner Organization: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand (MFA)

A Golden Partnership: Dialogue and Engagement in Latin America’s Extractive Industries
by Amanda Chatupron-Lacayo and Daniela Forero Benavides
Partner Organization: Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

The Fight for Inclusion: Gender and LGBTQ+ in the Implementation of the Colombian Peace Accords
by Laura Cossette and Kenia Saba Perez
Partner Organizations: WOLA ; Latin American Working Group (LAWG)

LUHPLA, Literature on Urban Health Policy in Latin America
by Nicholas Ebert and Camila do Amaral
Partner Organization: The Economic Commission for Latin America CEPAL, Santiago de Chile, Chile

Do Immigrants Cause Crime? The Effect of Immigration Size on Crime and Perceptions of Victimization in Chile
by Patrick Kim and Christopher Valdes
Partner Organization: Instituto de Asuntos Públicos y Centro de Estudios en Seguridad Ciudadana (CESC), Universidad de Chile, Santiago de Chile, Chile

Peace and Post-Conflict in Colombia: Politics and Elections in the Immediate Aftermath of War
By Diego Suarez Salazar & Cameron Trimpey-Warhaftig
​​Partner Organization: Centro de Investigación y Educación Popular (CINEP), Bogotá, Colombia

Downsizing and Upgrading: An Effective Path to Modernization for Argentina’s Armed Forces
by Sarah White
Partner Organization: Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars’ Argentina Project

The Salad Bowl Project
By Tiffany Wilt