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Faculty and Student Spotlight: Karen Velasquez and Charlotte Blair ’17

At the end of May, Karen Velasquez and Charlotte Blair ’16 attended the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Conference in New York City. While at the conference, Karen and Charlotte co­presented a research project based on fieldwork on cultural/linguistic diversity in Mexico City. Their research focused on mapping methodologies to help create an atlas of Mexico City, similar to Rebecca Solnit’s atlas Infinite City.

Eight of ten GLCA professors and scholars involved in the Mapping Megalopolis Grant attended. The research was a collaborative effort between six GLCA schools ­ covering disciplines in humanities and social sciences. The project hopes to catch the complexity and expansiveness of the megapolis and is based on themes of order/disorder. The goal is to use digital mapping tools such as MapMe and StoryMaps as well as finding artistic ways to render these themes through maps.

Other members in attendance presented on the following diverse themes: Carlos Slim’s urban development projects; notions of insecurity and security among people living in working class gated communities; landmarks of Mexico City seen through the eyes of characters in famous Mexican novels; and Korean language and culture in Mexico City ­ seeing the city through the lens of immigrants in Mexico City.

The conference allowed for great networking opportunities. Most notably, Charlotte was able to connect with GLCA members to develop her fieldwork research and senior thesis into a chapter to be included in the final publication of the Mapping the Mexico City Megalopolis Atlas and Essay Collection!

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Tanya Couch serves as the Career Communications Coordinator within the Cooperative Education Program. In this role, Tanya prepares students for post-graduate success, by assisting in career development such as resume building, interviewing skills, online profile development, and providing general advice and guidance how to pursue a full-time work or graduate studies opportunity.

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