Students graduating from various degree programs were awarded certificates in international area studies on May 11.
By Amanda Frederick
Over 20 Duke University students received graduate and undergraduate certificates in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and East Asian Studies at two graduation ceremonies.
Families, friends and Duke professionals gathered May 11 at Duke’s Center for International and Global Studies (DUCIGS) as faculty and staff from the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) and the Asian/Pacific Studies Institute (APSI) awarded certificates to students graduating from their respective programs.
“We are celebrating Duke’s emphasis on the interdisciplinary study of global issues," said Kenneth Maffitt, academic program director of CLACS. "As an interdisciplinary study center, we appreciate our very well-rounded and talented group of students who have taken the time to make sure they did interdisciplinary study at the undergraduate or graduate level.”
Two undergraduate students and nine graduate students were awarded certificates in Latin American and Caribbean Studies from CLACS, while 13 graduate students received the master of arts in East Asian Studies diploma from APSI. Students who receive the certificate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies develop cross-cultural fluency, deepen their knowledge of the region and learn to develop moral arguments about issues of social justice in Latin America and the Caribbean. Students in the master of arts in East Asian Studies program engage in the interdisciplinary study of China, Japan and/or Korea.
Student majors for those receiving international area studies certificates ranged from political science and history, to environmental science and fine arts. At the ceremonies, graduating students shared the unique and valuable academic experiences they gained while at Duke in addition to their ambitious future plans.
Alexandra Lee Wisner, an undergraduate majoring in environmental science and policy, received the undergraduate certificate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Among her many accomplishments while at Duke, Wisner, a 2018 Benjamin N. Duke Scholar, studied abroad in Vietnam, Morocco and Bolivia, researching the impact of climate change on the politics of food, water and energy.
After graduation, she will work in Washington, D.C., as the associate program director of the Rachel Carson Council, an environmental justice group that works on the intersection of human rights and the environment along racial boundaries in North Carolina and nearby states.
Techa Ruth Beaumont, a graduate of the master of in international development policy (MIDP) program, and Stephanie V. Reist, a graduate of the Ph.D. program in Romance Studies, both received the Dennis A. Clements Outstanding Service Award in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. This award is presented to Latin American and Caribbean Studies certificate students who exemplify Dr. Clements’ commitment to civic engagement.
Beaumont, a student from Australia, worked with the largest indigenous community in the Peruvian Amazon to assist artisans with a sustainable livelihood opportunity. Reist participated in a Bass Connections project to study access to higher education within the periphery of Rio de Janeiro. Following her participation in the project, Reist created a documentary of their work in Brazil.
In addressing guests of APSI’s graduation ceremony, director Richard Jaffe welcomed parents and friends who traveled from distant places to join in celebrating the graduating class of the master of arts in East Asian Studies, and their achievements.
Jaffe gave the following advice to graduating students, “I hope that all of you will take what you’ve learned out into the world and practice it at just the right moment, and continue to learn and continue to study.”
APSI’s director of Graduate Studies, Professor Kristina Troost, handed out diplomas to the graduating students.
For information on CLACS’ certificate programs, visit https://latinamericancaribbean.duke.edu/academics. For information on APSI’s MA in East Asian Studies, please visit https://asianpacific.duke.edu/academics-graduate/ma-east-asian-studies.
Undergraduate Certificate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Ashley Lizette Middleton – Political Science & Public Policy
Alexandra Lee Wisner – Environmental Science & Policy
Graduate Certificate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Techa Ruth Beaumont – Master of International Development Policy
María Magdalena Berríos Vergara – Master of Liberal Studies
Kaley Clements – Master of Fine Arts in Experimental & Documentary Arts
Ginette Paulina Miranda Gutiérrez – Master of Liberal Studies
Yuridia Ramírez – Ph.D. in History
Stephanie V. Reist – Ph.D. in Romance Studies
Odette Rena Rouvet – Master of International Development Policy
Rachel Schmidtke – Master of International Development Policy
Maria Soledad Silva-Benítez – Master of Liberal Studies
Master of Arts in East Asian Studies
*Graduating summer 2018