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Department Highlights


Announcing the Inaugural Palestinian Community Leader In Residence at UCramah-awad_highlight.png San Diego

Please join us in welcoming the Department of Ethnic Studies' inaugural Palestinian Community Leader In Residence, Ramah Awad. Ramah currently serves as the Executive Director of Majdal, the Arab Community Center of San Diego, a local resource hub for refugee and immigrant communities. Beyond her community leadership, she continues to find joy and rootedness in her heritage as a member of the House of Palestine's "dabkeh" dance troupe.
Read about Palestinian Community Leader in Residence Program here.

best-advisor.jpgMónica Rodriquez de Cabaza: 2023-2024 Academic Advising Awardee

Mónica Rodriquez de Cabaza, our very own Undergraduate Coordinator, is the recipient of not one, but two of the inaugural Undergraduate Academic Advising Awards. The annual Dean of Undergraduate Education’s Undergraduate Academic Advising Awards at UC San Diego celebrate and increase visibility for the diverse academic advising dedication and talent across our community members.
Advising Student Advocate Award Winner: Mónica Rodriquez de Cabaza
This award recognizes an exceptional advisor who has consistently demonstrated a relentless commitment to enhancing the student experience. This prestigious accolade is bestowed upon an individual who has gone above and beyond in advocating for students' needs, well-being, and overall success. Through their unwavering dedication, creativity, and compassion, they have made a lasting impact on the lives of students, enriching their academic journey and personal development.

Advising Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Champion Award Winner: Mónica Rodriquez de Cabaza
This award celebrates an advisor or advising team that has demonstrated exemplary commitment and leadership in promoting justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion within the advising community and among the students they serve. This prestigious award recognizes their tireless efforts to create an inclusive advising environment, where all students feel valued, supported, and empowered to thrive. 
We are very proud of Mónica and grateful for her unwavering commitment to supporting and advocating for our undergraduate students at the Ethnic Studies Department.

Professors Jose Fuste and Holly Okonkwo Named 2024-2025 Hellman FellowsHellman-Fellows-Logo-1024x395.png

Professors Jose Fuste and Holly Okonkwo have been selected as a 2024-2025 Hellman Fellow. The Society of Hellman Fellows is an endowed program to support the research of assistant professors who show promise for great distinction in their chosen fields across each of the ten UC campuses. The landmark Hellman Fellows Program has been transformational for scholars throughout the years, providing early career fellowships before tenure that allows faculty to continue to take risks, gather necessary data or to complete research that will take their academic careers to the next level. The expectation is that the award will contribute substantially to the professional growth of each Fellows. The most important aspect of the selection is the quality of the research rather than the popularity of the field of study.

Congratulations to Our Newest PhD: Dr. Jael Vizcarra

Congratulations to our newest PhD: Dr. Jael Vizcarra who successfully defended her dissertation, "Latin Asian American city-making in the Global South: Lao Refugee Resettlement and the Emergence of Southeast Asian Argentina in Misiones" on April 12, 2024.

Jael Vizcarra's dissertation research focuses on the Argentine Southeast Asian Refugee Resettlement Program (1979-1982) during the Argentine military junta period. Using a Critical Refugee Studies and Hemispheric Asian American Studies approach, she conducted oral histories with Lao refugees and archival research in Argentina to create a counter history of Lao resettlement in the border province of Misiones. Jael's research exemplifies a Transnational Ethnic Studies project centered on race, immigration, and labor that sheds light on contemporary Latin Asian American histories by showing how the Argentine military junta turned toward Asia as a means to channel both capital and labor to the country. As an Ethnic Studies educator and researcher, Jael is excited to continue pursuing questions related to immigration, labor, and racialization processes in urban contexts in and beyond the Global North.

The Department of Ethnic Studies Receive an Award from the Mellon FoundationMellon-image-highlight.png

The Department of Ethnic Studies received an award from the Mellon Foundation to fund the department's critical work of training undergraduates and advance the study of race, ethnicity, and gender studies through its new Affirming Multivocal Humanities initiative.

Click here for the press release that includes a link to a page that lists the full grant cohort.

Stephanie Y. Martinez Awarded the 2024-25 UC President’s Pre-Professoriate Fellowship (PPPF)

S.Y.Martinez_Headshot2022_edited.jpgCongratulations to Stephanie Y. Martinez, who was awarded the 2024-25 UC President’s Pre-Professoriate Fellowship (PPPF), which is part of the UC-Hispanic Serving Institutions Doctoral Diversity Initiative (UC-HSI DDI). Stephanie's outstanding academic achievements, commitment to advancing issues of equity and inclusion, and interest in pursuing a career in the professoriate makes them an ideal Fellow.

Stephanie Y. Martinez is a first-generation Chicanx scholar and Ph.D. candidate in ethnic studies who specializes in Critical Gender Studies and Interdisciplinary Environmental Research. Selected as a 2024-2025 UC President’s Pre-Professoriate Fellow, Stephanie is dedicated to advancing work on their dissertation on the history of extractive industries and formations of resistant cultures in the South Bay of Los Angeles. They will focus on professional development activities in the upcoming academic year and aspire to pursue a tenure-track assistant professorship beginning in 2025-2026.

We are very proud to have Stephanie represent UC San Diego and the Department of Ethnic Studies in a growing cohort of UC President’s Pre-Professoriate Fellows!


Publication Announcement from That Painted Horse Press for Gumbo Circuitry

That Painted Horse Press, a borderless nonprofit press is pleased to announce the release of Andrew Jolivétte’s debut poetry-cookbook collection, Gumbo Circuitry: Poetic Routes, Gastronomic Legacies. Author Jolivétte explores triumphs, trauma, and thrivance in verse while celebrating community and “kin-gathering” through food and memory. Including a forward by Tracey Colson-Antee and afterword by Maaliyah Papillion.

You may order a copy through your online retailer including Amazon or by emailing 

Juvenal-Caporale-Professional-Photo.pngDr. Juvenal Caporale (MA '12) awarded the 2023-2024 American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education Faculty Fellowship

Congratulations to Dr. Juvenal Caporale (MA '12) who was awarded the 2023-2024 American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education Faculty Fellowship. The primary goal of this program is to prepare Latina/o/x faculty for successful careers in academia and beyond by increasing the number of tenured and promoted Latina/o/x faculty.

Dr. Caporale is an Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies (Chicano/a/x-Latino/a/x Studies) at California State University, Stanislaus. He completed his Ph.D. in Mexican American Studies at the University of Arizona, an MA in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, San Diego, and an MA in Political Science at California State University, Northridge. Dr. Caporale's research interests include healing, re-indigenization, and re-humanization, and his work centers on Chicanx, Latinx, and Indigenous men who participate in restorative justice and transformative justice practices. Dr. Caporale is a Ford, Fulbright, Bilinski, and AAHHE Fellow, and he has authored essays and chapters in Aztlán, Urban Education, Routledge, Springer, Sage, and the University of Arizona Press.

To read more about the 2023-2024 Faculty Fellows, please visit here.

Quintanilla_headshot2.jpgDr. Olivia Quintanilla (PhD '20) honored by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors with 2023-24 Exemplary Program Awards

Congratulations to Dr. Olivia Quintanilla (PhD '20) from MiraCosta College for being honored by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors with 2023-24 Exemplary Program Awards for their outstanding efforts in promoting and advancing ethnic studies programs.

"MiraCosta College’s successfully meticulous approach involved establishing a work group comprising faculty and students that led to a new Ethnic Studies Department in fall of 2022 and the hiring of the college’s first full-time, ethnic studies faculty member, Dr. Olivia Quintanilla, who designed and taught several sections of Introduction to Ethnic Studies. She also proposed several new courses – Introduction to Native American and Indigenous Studies, Introduction to Chicana/o Studies, Introduction to Black Studies and Introduction to Pacific Islander and Oceania Studies – to be offered this coming fall. This past fall, six of seven existing classes were filled with waitlists."

Read the full press release here.



Congratulations Noelle Sepina, 2024 Suraj Israni Center for Cinematic Arts Film Fellowship Awardee

While holding this fellowship, Noelle will make an experimental documentary, "Made in the Philippines," for which she serves as director and writer. This documentary will accompany the writing in her dissertation. In this documentary, Noelle responds critically to the documentary Machete Maidens Unleashed! (2010), which depicts the history of exploitation filmmaking in the Philippines in colonial terms that relegate Filipinos and the Philippines to stereotypes. Noelle's film will counter these erasures by highlighting Filipino perspectives and contributions to cinema, thereby illuminating the history of transnational filmmaking in the Philippines by centering perspectives, experiences and voices of the Philippine film industry and Filipino filmmakers.  

Prof. Shelley Streeby recognized in 2023 Distinguished Research Award Lectures

“Speculative Feminist Ecologies: Worldmaking and the Archive in Science Fiction”
Shelley Streeby, PhD; Professor of Literature and Ethnic Studies Joint Appointment; Chancellor's Associates Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching; Hellman Fellow

Welcome Dr. Monika Gosin, New Associate Professor of Ethnic StudiesMonika Gosin

Monika Gosin is an Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies with specializations in African American and Latinx relations, migration studies, and Afro-Cuban and other Afro-Latinx immigrant experiences in the United States.

Dr. Gosin was hired through the Latinx-Chicanx Cluster Hire Initiative. Everyone who was hired through this particular initiative has a history of being involved in committed, impactful academic institution building with Chicanx, Latinx, and Latin American communities. We look forward to working with her to continue building Latinx/Chicanx and Latin American Studies at UCSD!

Restrepo-headshot-resized.jpgWelcome Dr. Isabella C. Restrepo, 2023-24 UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow

Isabella C. Restrepo (she/they) is an interdisciplinary feminist scholar whose research mobilizes disability studies, girlhood studies, Chicana feminist methods, and abolition studies to analyze the U.S. foster care system. Restrepo earned her doctorate in Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Restrepo’s research offers a critical lens that excavates the criminalization and pathologization that is inherent in the foster care system and centers the experiences of racialized Latina foster girls with carceral tools like behavioral diagnosis and mandated services.

Read more about the President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program and see Dr. Restrepo's profile here.

Meet Ethan L. Banegas, UCSD Culture Bearer In Residence 2023-24


Ethan Lawrence Banegas, a descendant of the Kumeyaay, Luiseño/Payómkawichum, and Cupeño/ Kuupangaxwichem bands of Native Americans, grew up on the Barona Reservation in San Diego County. He received his Bachelor of Arts in History, Religious Studies and Political Science in 2009 and his Master of Arts degree in History in 2017 from the University of San Diego (USD).

Banegas is the co-owner of and Historian for the San Diego History Center, which operates the Junípero Serra Museum. He taught history within the Grossmont Cuyamaca College District (Kumeyaay College) for five years and currently teaches at San Diego State University. He served on the Board of Directors at the Kumeyaay Community College and Barona Museum. He was first published in 2017 (Indian Gaming in the Kumeyaay Nation) and in 2020 published the Kumeyaay Oral History Project, a community-based research project, after collecting thirty-one personal interviews, video-taped oral histories, and photographs from San Diego’s First People. Through this project, Banegas collected the voice of the Kumeyaay people, giving a voice to the voiceless.

Read about the UCSD Native American Elder/Culture Bearer in Residence Program here.

Jason Magabo Perez (PhD '16) Named San Diego Poet Laureate for 2023-2024


In case you missed it: alum Jason Magabo Perez, who earned a doctorate in Ethnic Studies and Communication (PhD '16), is the 2023-24 poet laureate of San Diego. Perez hopes to use his role to launch an ethnic studies-based writing program for San Diego’s youth. “Poetry is grounded in bigger questions of community building and empowerment to articulate ourselves, our desires and our visions,” he told UC San Diego Magazine. Perez also serves as an associate professor and director of ethnic studies at CSU San Marcos.
Read the full article here.