2013-14

LaToya Eaves (Ph.D. Comparative Sociology (2014)/Certificate in Women's and Gender Studies)

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While pursuing her Ph.D. at Florida International University in Comparative Sociology, as well as a certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies, LaToya Eaves was selected as a pre-doctoral Fellow In-Residence with the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) Program at the University of Connecticut (UC). It is an interdisciplinary program devoted to the critical analysis of gender and the pursuit of knowledge about women. Eaves joined three other fellows in different units on the UC campus. During the fellowship period, she will have completed her dissertation under mentorship from the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, as well as the Department of Geography. As well as a stipend, Eaves received support by having access to an office, computer, library, and professional development opportunities. She taught one course determined by WGSS in collaboration with the Department of Geography and was expected to share a portion of her work in a public forum. In spring 2011, Eaves first joined the Women’s Studies Center as a Teaching Assistant while in graduate school. Her research interests included racial identity, queerness, and life in the American South. Eaves learned recently that she had been chosen as a World’s Ahead graduate at FIU.

Jillian Hernandez (Art History/Women's Studies Certificate (2006))

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Jillian Hernandez graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor’s in Art History and a Certificate in Women’s Studies at FIU. She went on to earn her Master’s and Ph.D. in Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers University in May 2013. Hernandez sponsored many of the Girls Summit events in South Florida. In Fall 2013 she began teaching as an assistant professor in Ethnic Studies and Critical Gender Studies at the University of California, San Diego. Hernandez was also the founder for Women on the Rise! which is a unique gender-specific outreach program that presents the work of contemporary women artists to teenage girls who are served by juvenile detention and drug rehabilitation centers. Miami’s Museum of Contemporary Art educators visit these organizations and use contemporary art as a teaching tool. Recently, an article by Hernandez titled " 'Chongas' in the Media: The Ethno-Sexual Politics of Latina Girls' Hypervisibility," won Honorable Mention for the Best Article Prize from the Latina/o Studies Section of the Latin American Studies Association in May 2014.

Easmanie Michel (English and Women's Studies/Certificate in African & African Diaspora Studies (2004))

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Easmanie is the writer/director/producer of the film adaptation of Edwidge Danticat’s “Caroline’s Wedding.” In 2008, Michel approached Ms. Danticat about adapting this story from her novel Krik?Krak! to the screen and was granted the rights to adapt it into a feature film. “While receiving my certificate in African New World Studies, I was introduced to the writings of Edwidge Danticat and I was instantly captivated with her authentic portrayal of the life I was living - her stories reflected so vividly my Haitian-American experience. It is my belief that we have to tell our stories in order to reflect our reality.” Michel has also worked on the feature films Transporter II (2005), Hoot (2006) and Miami Vice (2006). She has produced, written and directed several short films including Harlem Echoes, which was shown at the New York Insight Meditation’s Arts Salon. She came to love film while studying abroad at the University of Westminster in London during her last semester at FIU. Currently, Michel lives in Brooklyn and is in her final semester at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where she is completing a Master’s program in Cinema Studies.