Alda Migoni is in her second year of graduate school at University of California, Los Angeles where she was awarded a graduate opportunity fellowship her first year. Alda is currently an ARL Diveristy Scholar as part of their Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce. She is pursuing a master’s in Latin American Studies and will master’s of Library and Information Science.
As an undergraduate at the University of Redlands, Alda spent a semester abroad in Peru. In Cusco, Alda developed her passion for preservation of oral histories and research on Latin American community organizing. Her professional interests include cultural heritage preservation, digital humanities, and reference. Alda works as a reference assistant at UCLA’s Powell library, where she provides research assistance as well as instruction on access to patrons. Alda also works with UCLA’s Portuguese and Spanish Department building and assessing their collection for a new reading room. She is currently pursuing a concentration in archives.
Ashley Larson is a first-year master’s degree student in UCLA’s Library and Information Science program. Originally from Nebraska, Ashley moved to California and earned her bachelor’s degree from California State University, Fullerton, before heading to Vanderbilt University where she graduated in 2014 with an MA in Latin American Studies.
Ashley currently holds two positions at UCLA, splitting time between the Lorinne Lydeen Library in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese and the Hispanic American Periodicals Index (HAPI). At HAPI, she indexes journal articles for the benefit of students and researchers with an interest in Latin American topics. Additionally, she has led special projects, such as usability testing to validate the success of the new Web site launched in the summer of 2014. At Lydeen Library, Ashley focuses on the organization, evaluation, and assessment of the new library’s collection. Outside of work, she serves as vice-president of the UCLA Special Libraries Association (SLA) student chapter and as treasurer of the Information Studies Student Governing Board.
Prior to UCLA, she worked for Vanderbilt’s Center for Latin American Studies, performing a wide range of duties from event coordination to grant writing. In her second year, she worked under the direction of the Latin American and Iberian Bibliographer at the Jean and Alexander Heard Library, where she assisted with various collection development and research tasks. Outside of her assistantship, she served as the Project Coordinator for Conversations/Conversas, a collaborative project platform geared to facilitate artistic exchange and scholarly research between the Department of Art at Vanderbilt University and the School of Visual Art and Communications at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. In this capacity, she coordinated artist visits between Nashville and São Paulo, bridged communication between members, and served as the group’s documentarian.
Her research interests are divided between two area foci: Brazil and Guatemala. At Vanderbilt, she explored the convergence of Brazilian culinary culture and national identity in the early twentieth century, which culminated in “Serving a National Myth: Visions of Gastronomy in Gilberto Freyre’s Brazil”, a paper she presented at the 2014 Atlantic World Foodways conference at UNC-Greensboro. In this paper, she deconstructed the romanticized food ideology set forth by Brazilian sociologist Gilberto Freyre in his seminal work, Casa Grande e Senzala, and argued that Freyre encouraged Brazilian cultural nationalism through cuisine while criticizing the prevailing theory of white supremacy. In 2013, she spent two months abroad researching Brazilian culinary culture in Recife, Brazil at the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE).
A second interest cultivated during her graduate career involves the translation of K’iche’ Maya cultural heritage materials. At Vanderbilt, she completed a two-year program in K’iche’ Maya, which focused on the translation of colonial texts, such as the the Popol Wuj and the Rabinal Achi, and modern stories from the University of New Mexico’s K’iche’ Maya Oral History Project. In the summer of 2014, Ashley had the opportunity to spend six weeks in Guatemala to enhance her K’iche’ language skills and immerse herself in the culture by attending the Mayan Language Institute.
Upon graduation, Ashley hopes to combine her experiences and education in both Library and Information Science and Latin American Studies to pursue a career that strikes a balance between both disciplines, ultimately serving as a collection development specialist or subject liaison at a major research institution or special library.
Talía Guzmán González is a graduate student at the University of Maryland’s iSchool pursuing a Master’s in Library Science degree. She is an intern at the Smithsonian Latino Center working with the director of Public Programs and Exhibitions, researching partnership projects between the SLC and the DC Public Libraries. In 2014 she was a fellow of the Association of Research libraries Career Enhancement Program and participated in an internship at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, where she worked with Barbara Alvarez on collection development, instruction, reference services, and the creation of LibGuides on Brazilian Studies and Lusophone Africa.
Talía has a Ph.D. in Portuguese Language and Brazilian literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2010). Her dissertation is titled “Men at the Edge: Marginal(ized) Masculinities and Male Friendship in Late XIX and Early XX-Century Brazilian Novels”. She has published articles, translations and book reviews in the main journals in the field, as well as delivered conference presentations. Before pursuing the MLS degree, Talía was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Portuguese Language, Brazilian literature and culture, and Latin American Studies at the University of Maryland, where she taught undergraduate and graduate courses.
As a graduate student at the iSchool she has researched topics related to information and human rights in Brazil, international librarianship, and archival studies. After completing her degree, Talia plans to work as a subject specialist at an academic library or special collections library where she can combine library and archival work.