Core Faculty

Charles R. Venator Santiago, Interim Director of El Instituto and Associate Professor, Political Sciencefaculty

Charles R. Venator Santiago completed an M.A. in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations and a Ph.D. in Political Theory and Public Law. He teaches courses in Latino/a politics, Latino/as and the law, LatCrit, immigration, Puerto Rican politics, political theory, and public law.




Anne Gebelein, Associate Director, Associate Professor in Residence, El Instituto

Anne Gebelein is the Associate Director of El Instituto and Associate Professor in Residence. She received her doctorate in Hispanic Literatures from Yale University's Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Anne teaches a wide variety of courses in Latino and Latin American Studies, with a focus on migration, human rights, and border studies. She is the faculty Co-Chair of Service Learning for the university, the ECE coordinator for Latin American Studies, and she directs community outreach efforts for El Instituto.  



Mark Overmyer-Velázquez, Dean and Chief Administrative Officer, Hartford Campus

The graduate and undergraduate courses I teach examine the historical origins of the broad, transnational and interdisciplinary fields of Latin(o) American history, with special emphasis on the history of Greater Mexico (including the Mexico/US border and the Mexican diaspora). Topics analyzed in my courses include economic and political imperialism, human rights, migration, cultural nationalism, political membership, gender relations, race and racism, identity formation, religion, labor, immigration law, and the arts.




Diana Rios, Associate Professor, Communicationfaculty

Professor Rios served as director of the Institute for Puerto Rican and Latino Studies (IPRLS) from March 2009 to December 2010 and was associate director of IPRLS during 1997-2003. She is the author of many publications and papers examining mass media processes, audience and content, and aspects of ethnicity, race, culture, and gender.






Katerina Gonzalez Seligmann

Katerina Gonzalez Seligmann, Associate Professor, Literatures, Cultures, and Languages

Katerina Gonzalez Seligmann (they or she pronouns) is a scholar of Caribbean and decolonial literature, history, and social theory and the author of Writing the Caribbean in Magazine Time (Rutgers University Press, 2021). Katerina’s essays on literary magazines, literary infrastructure, and Caribbean textual and intellectual circulation also appear in MLNSmall Axe, South Atlantic QuarterlyThe Global SouthThe Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, and Inti. Katerina is also a member of the Aimé Césaire research group of the Francophone manuscripts team at the École normale supérieure in Paris and a translator of contemporary Cuban literature.




Rodolfo Fernandez, Assistant Professor in Residence, Historian

Rodolfo Fernández is a historian of Latin America specializing in modern Mexico.  He received his Ph.D. from Georgetown University and has taught at Georgetown, Brandeis, Tufts, Boston University, and Boston College.  His research focuses on the intersection of industrialization, urbanization, and revolution in Mexico.  He joined the Instituto in 2018 and teaches Latin American history surveys as well as more focused classes on topics such as colonial history and modern Mexico.




Bethsaida Nieves, VAP

Bethsaida Nieves, Visiting Assistant Professor, El Instituto

Bethsaida Nieves received her Ph.D. in Curriculum Theory and Research with a Ph.D. minor in the History of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She studies how constructions of difference are transmogrified into scientific facts and mobilized as mainstream ideologies. In her scholarship, she draws on the historical, scientific, philosophical, and legal construction of difference to analyze the systems of reason(ing) and intersectionalities that produce knowledge, power, and difference in education and society. She has taught undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral level courses in education theory, education methods, multicultural research ethics, and philosophy. She has also overseen thesis projects in education and health care. Her forthcoming publications examine historical and contemporary issues of education, public health, governmentality, eugenics, and biopolitics in Puerto Rico.


Lorena Solis headshot

Lorena Solis, Assistant Professor, Psychology

Lorena Solis is an Assistant Professor of Psychology, concentrating in Industrial-Organizational and Latinx Psychology. Her research interest is in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), with a specific focus on understanding how inequality manifest in hiring, retention, and career advancement practices for historically minoritized groups. Lorena completed her doctorate degree from the University of Calgary. She also attended the City University of New York public educational system, earning an Associate degree from Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) and a Master's degree from Brooklyn College. She received her Bachelor's degree from the State University of New York, Buffalo State College.




Dr. Beatriz Aldana Marquez (Dr. BAM) headshot

Beatriz Aldana Marquez, Assistant Professor, Sociology

Originally from Nezahualcoyotl, Mexico, Dr. Beatriz Aldana Marquez (Dr. BAM) grew up in Millerton, New York, a small farm town near the state line of Connecticut and Massachusetts. She spent ten years in Texas conducting research on Latin American immigrant communities and the impact of ICE immigration detention. As a former undocumented Mexican immigrant, Dr. BAM is passionate about immigrant rights and social justice reforms. Her published works center on Latino sociology, immigration and deportation, and critical race theory. When not conducting research or teaching, Dr. BAM enjoys a good family gathering, hiking with her wife and dogs, and coffee shops. 


ELIN Student Workers:
Diego Horisberger
La Plaza Virtual Team:  (Working with Professor Anne Gebelein)
Nataly Flores
Sofia Oyola Morales
Janelis Cedeno Negron