Your alumni network is among the most enduring benefits of a UConn education.

A degree from the Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies forever connects you with a powerful personal and professional network of fellow Huskies. Find out how to keep in touch with the Institute and stay connected to UConn Nation.

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Meet Our Alumni

Carla Silva-Muhammad

Carla Silva-Muhammad

M.A. in International Studies with concentration in Latino & Latin American Studies
Current Occupation: Director of Strategy and Operations at Relay Graduate School of Education (New Haven, CT)

"The Master's in International Studies with concentration in Latin America from El Instituto was truly a turning point in my career. Amongst other great academic experiences, I was given the unmatched opportunity to become the founder and primary researcher of a graduate working group, a teacher assistant, as well as a graduate assistant. While in the program, I organized meetings, talks, non-class websites, as well as the visits of prestigious scholars concerned with social justice, all while connecting and collaborating with outstanding faculty and graduate students from diverse fields and departments at UConn, thanks to the interdisciplinary nature and support of El Instituto. I was, thus, well-prepared to transition to administrative roles in academia upon my graduation in 2014, working as a graduate Program Coordinator at the Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS) at the University of Texas at Austin, and currently as a Director of Strategies and Operations for Relay Graduate School of Education."

Matthew Perse

Matthew Perse

M.A. in International Studies with a concentration in Latino and Latin American Studies 
Current occupation: Chair of World Languages Department and Instructor of Spanish at Christ School (Arden, NC)

"I was drawn to study Latinx/Latin America at UConn with the idea of using it as a launchpad for a PhD. As I progressed with my research, I also discovered that I began to feel compelled to share what I had been learning with a wider audience. Learning how to research, synthesize, and distill vast amounts of complex information helped me develop a communication style that ultimately lent itself to teaching and, later, influencing curriculum as World Languages Department Chair. I reflect fondly on my time at UConn and the opportunities it has afforded me."

Ruth Hernandez-Rios

Ruth Hernández-Ríos

M.A. in International with a concentration in Latino & Latin American Studies, Ph.D in Sociology
Current occupation: Teaching Professor in Sociology at Skidmore College (Saratoga Springs, NY)

"As a second-year M.A. student at El Instituto, I knew I wanted to continue to the Ph.D. The decision solidified when I took a class with Dr. Manisha Desai, who later became my doctoral advisor in the Sociology Department at UConn. There is no doubt in my mind that the MA prepared me for the Ph.D. at ELIN, I learned to read and write critically, present to a non-generalist audience, and use my academic skills in applied settings such as non-profit work. As a first-generation Mexican immigrant from a working-class background, ELIN helped me understand that my voice matters and that my community's story deserves a platform."

Emma Amador

Emma Amador

M.A. in International Studies with a concentration in Latino & Latin American Studies, PhD in History
Current Occupation: Assistant Professor of History and Latina/o, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies

"Receiving my MA in Latin American and Latinx Studies at UConn was a life changing experience. I enrolled in the program because of my broad interest in Latin America and Latino/a/xs communities in the US. As a student I had developed my research and writing skills in close collaboration with faculty mentors and completed a final masters project that enticed me to further pursue Puerto Rican history as a scholar. I later received a PhD in history at the University of Michigan, held a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship at Brown University, and taught as a tenure-track faculty member in the History Department and at El Instituto. I have been very excited to return to UConn as a faculty member in the History Department and at El Instituto. It has been amazing to come back to this vibrant community, to work with UConn students as a professor, and to participate in the groundbreaking research conducted at El Instituto."

Caesar Valentin SP22

Caesar Valentin

Joint M.A./M.P.A in International Studies with a concentration in Latino & Latin American Studies
Current Occupation: Equal Opportunity Employment Specialist, for the Department of Administrative Services

"My senior year at UCONN, El Instituto and the School of Public Policy (SPP) came together to create a joint Masters, and, because I was already looking to do the fast track, they encouraged me to go for the joint degree. The SPP’s fast track enabled me to finish the first year of this 3 year degree as an undergrad. I felt support constantly, and was able to do research in more areas than I realized. When I began working on my thesis, El In’s director let me know that the SPP was  working on a project associated with cannabis legalization. This lead me to working with the Institute of Municipal Research and the SPP to examine some of the legalization bills throughout the country, and how Connecticut compares. I was able to do real policy analysis, and get an understanding of how policies today impact different groups. El in and the SPP prepared me for anything that I might pursue, whether it was in Academia or in government. Though currently I am going into government, I have considered going back to school, and I know that skills and connections I obtained through El In will come in handy later on. If I wasn’t in this program the last two years I’m not sure what I would be doing. But I do know that I wouldn’t be in a position within the state government, and I would not have had the chance to meet the people who made this program great."

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No matter where you live in UConn Nation, sharing your personal stories and accomplishments can inspire current students to find their own path.
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More Resources for Alumni

Latino and Latin American Studies Career Exploration Page

The Latino and Latin American Studies Career Exploration Page is designed for you to explore and learn about career options both directly and indirectly related to this major. Review Latino and Latin American Studies career options by reading about sample job titles as reported and held by current students and alumni, as well as graduate programs where Latino and Latin American Studies alumni have studied.

UConn Center for Career Development

Becoming Career Ready:

The Uconn Center for Career Development can help identify transferable skills that are highly valued by employers and considered key predictors of career success. Your experiences at UConn and beyond offer many opportunities to develop and enhance these eight competencies, including participation in classroom projects and assignments, internships, co-ops, research, on-campus involvement, work experience, or other on- or off-campus endeavors. Check out how to become career ready.



The Uconn Center for Career Development has a variety of resources to deliver comprehensive, innovative, and inclusive programs and services for all students. The Center for Career Development helps cultivate connections to campus and community partners promoting opportunities for students to become contributing members of the state, national and world communities. Check out the resources from the Career Development Center.


Prepare for an Interview:

The Uconn Center for Career Development can help you understand what to expect within the interview process and how you can demonstrate that you are the best fit for the position. Learn what to do before, during, and after an interview and how to answer typical interview questions and receive feedback with one of their Career Coaches. Check out how to prepare for an interview.

State of Connecticut Executive Branch Jobs

The State of Connecticut offers a variety of careers in healthcare, engineering, IT, skilled trades, public safety, and more. The State of Connecticut offers its employees generous benefits, career development, and an opportunity to create lasting impacts on your state and community.

UConn Alumni Events

Whether you’re in Connecticut or across the globe, UConn provides a variety of opportunities to network and socialize with fellow Huskies. Check out all alumni events on the UConn Alumni calendar.

Support El Instituto

By making a gift to El Instituto, you can help us support student success and innovation. You can direct your gift to an area that is most meaningful to you. Learn how to give to areas of priority.

Contact the CLAS Office of Alumni Relations