MARSLAC Alumni & Placements
Placement & Employment Insights
To view video testimonials from MARSLAC students and alumni regarding their experience the program please click here
Academic & Non-Academic Placements
Alumni surveys covering 2010 to 2021 graduates, indicate that 22% go on to pursue further graduate studies, including 16% that pursue Ph.D.s and 6% that pursue law or other graduate degrees.
Alumni have gone on to Ph.D. programs in African & African Diaspora Studies, Comparative Literature, Economics, Education, Ethnomusicology, Health Services, History, Latin American Studies, Political Science, Sociology, and Urban Planning.
Doctoral programs of alumni have included, City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center, Columbia University, Stanford University, Tulane University, Universite Paris II Pantehon-Assas, University of British Columbia Vancouver, University of California San Diego, University of Cambridge, University of Chicago, University of Texas at Austin, University of Washington Seattle, Vanderbilt University, and Yale University.
Alumni have also pursued Law degrees and additional Masters degrees (e.g., Education and MFA in Creative Writing).
Where MARSLAC Graduates Work
Alumni surveys covering 2010 to 2021 graduates indicate that 25% work in education, 24% at Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) or Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs), 21% in the public sector, and 30% in the private sector.
About one quarter of alumni are in education (including 10% working in higher education, 7% that are currently in a graduate degree program, and 5% working in elementary or secondary education).
Alumni include those working in higher education as professors, researchers, instructors, and administrative staff, including Harvard University, Lehman College (CUNY), Maastricht University, New York University, University of Cambridge, University of Hartford, University of Southern California, University of Wisconsin Madison, and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney.
Some former MARSLAC students also work in elementary or secondary education including DREAM Charter School, East Harlem Tutorial Program, Princeton Day School, and York Prep School
About one quarter of alumni work at nonprofit institutions, including Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) focused on international or domestic issues.
There are alumni working at IGOs like the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Pan American Development Foundation, the United Nations headquarters, the United Nations World Food Programme, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Alumni also hold positions at NGOs focused on international affairs and development, like the Americas Society/Council of the Americas and the International Rescue Committee.
Other alumni apply their skills at US foundations and other non-profits focused on a variety of other issues, including Latino communities, the environment, health, and public policy, among others. Alumni are employed, for example, at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, Black Economic Alliance Foundation, Hudson County Latino Foundation, National League of Cities, Natural Resource Defense Council, Next100, Pew Research Center, Pure Earth, and The Nature Conservancy
About 20% of alumni work in the public sector. Among these are those that work in the U.S Federal Government, including the US Department of State, US Department of Defense, and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Other alumni work in the Foreign Ministries or other governmental institutions of other nations, including, for example, those working at the Consulate General of Brazil in New York, the Embassy of Mexico in the United States, the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Media & Communications
About 10% of alumni are applying their knowledge, research, and communications skills working in the journalism and media sectors. This includes both private and non-profit media organizations. MARSLAC graduates currently work or have worked at BBC News Brazil, CNN, Globo News, LinkedIn, National Public Radio (NPR), Prospero Latino, Reuters, Revista Piaui, and The New York Times.
About a third of alumni are employed in the private sector, applying their knowledge and skills in a wide range of different corporations, including, for example, those in the media, publishing, legal, finance, telecommunications, energy, and other sectors. Examples include Korea Telecoms (KT), LinkedIn, Macmillan Publishers, Michael Kors, Millenium Management Global Investment, and PepsiCo.
Alejandra Vazquez Baur: Alejandra is an educational equity and immigration justice advocate. At Next100, Alejandra is working on federal solutions to expand systemic academic, social, and emotional supports for K-12 immigrant newcomers and multilingual learners. She also works with ImmSchools in NYC, facilitating “Know Your Rights in School” sessions for immigrant students and families, and providing educators and school staff with professional development to adequately support undocumented and mixed-status families. Prior to MARSLAC, Alejandra was a high school math teacher in Miami Dade County Public Schools and a youth advocate. Her graduate thesis, The Double Bias: Trends, Racial Tensions, and Policy Recommendations to Protect Adolescent Migrants from the Northern Triangle led her to pursue educational equity for adolescent newcomers at the New York Immigration Coalition, where she worked with the NYC Department of Education to improve supports for multilingual learners and elevate immigrant community voices in systems-level decision-making throughout the pandemic. Alejandra is originally from New Mexico and is a proud product of Mexican immigrants.
"MARSLAC gave me the opportunity to research an issue so near and dear to my heart, giving me the critical knowledge and context I needed to do the work I do now: advocating for educational equity for adolescent newcomers in K-12 schools. I appreciated the flexibility of the program, allowing me to take courses in migration, education, sociology, and race theory, all which critically shaped my graduate thesis. Finally, Gustavo and Eliza made navigating graduate school at a huge institution an easy and enjoyable experience. I can't recommend MARSLAC enough!"
Daniele Anderson: Daniele is a 2020 graduate of the MARSLAC program. Her thesis Solidariedade Negra: Twenty-First Century Challenges of Black Social Movements in Brazil explored her passion to tell the stories of the Black Diaspora. Before Columbia she served as a Naval Officer for 5 years. Since graduating she has co-founded a nonprofit, Black Veterans Project, and most recently accepted a position at The Black Economic Alliance Foundation, as the Special Assistant to the President for Strategic Initiatives.
“MARSLAC helped me figure out the career path I wanted to take.”
Enrique Lopez Salazar: A native of Guayaquil, Ecuador, and raised in Stamford, Connecticut, Enrique Lopez Salazar arrived at Columbia in September 2014. He completed a MA thesis titled The Special Criminal Court for Guatemala: The Promise of a Hybrid Tribunal in Post-Conflict Guatemala, which explored the genocide trial of former dictator Efrain Rios Montt. Taking his interest in human rights issues further, Enrique enrolled in the JD program at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles in June 2021.
“MARSLAC gave me my first real taste of what a future career as an attorney and public servant will look like. I was able to dive headfirst into research on genocide, crimes against humanity, terrorism and other human rights issues. My Columbia experience changed my perspective on the kind of work that makes me happy: I daresay it changed my life.”
Giovanna Maselli: A graduate of the MARSLAC class of 2016, Giovanna focused her thesis studies on post conflict of Central America. Her thesis was titled A Diagnosis of Post Conflict Setting in El Salvador and Guatemala: From Peace Building to State Building, an area of research very close to her heart, as a Guatemalan. Presently, Giovanna works with the World Food Programme (WFP) in Senegal, as a Private Sector Partnerships Officer. Before that she worked with WFP in Guatemala for three years, conducted a short term mission to Panama also with WFP, and lectured introductory courses to International Relations with the University del Valle de Guatemala. Whilst her professional career took her to a different region, her expertise in conflict and post conflict studies has come in handy. For example, when visiting a peacekeeping operation in Mali, and she had the unforgettable experience of talking to women smallholder farmers whom, not much differently than the women she has met in Guatemala and Latin America, are the catalyzers for food security and nutrition in their communities.
Isaiah Frost Rivera: Isaiah Frost Rivera is an Afro-Puerto Rican scholar, maker, and black digital speculator. A born and raised Staten Islander, he received his bachelor's degree in English with a double minor in LGBTQ Studies and Puerto Rican & Latino Studies at CUNY Brooklyn College. His MARSLAC thesis, Thomas Glave's Grave Vision of The Caribbean's Queer Interior in The Torturer's Wife explores queer Afro-Caribbean identity formation through the lens of Thomas Glave's literature and activism. In 2022, Isaiah earned his English MA from Lehigh University, where he worked as the research assistant for the Gloria Naylor Archive. Currently, Isaiah is a doctoral student in African & African Diaspora Studies at UT Austin.
Juanita Ibanez: Juanita is currently the Consul of Colombia to South Africa and 11 more African countries. She was born in Bucaramanga, Colombia. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in Latin American Studies. Prior to her current position, she was the Deputy Director of Collective Reparation for the Unit of Reparation for Victims of the Internal Conflict in Colombia that was in charge of the material, political and symbolic collective reparation of 700 communities that were highly impacted by the internal conflict. She was also Director of the Office of Integral Reparation of Victims of the Governorate of Santander, Colombia. Prior to graduating from MARSLAC, she served the municipal government of the city of Bucaramanga, Colombia, as both an advisor to different mayors and the governor of Santander in the implementation of the public policy against gender-based violence.
Tara Yanez: During her time with MARSLAC, Tara studied the impact of transitional justice mechanisms on Afro-Colombian communities through her thesis project titled Victim Reparation in Post-Conflict Colombia: The Repercussions of the 2011 Victims Law on Local Level Reconciliation Efforts as seen in the District of Aguablanca. Her internship with the International Center for Transitional Justice expanded her understanding of international legal developments. After her MARSLAC experience, she chose to pursue a PhD in Latin American Studies at Tulane University where she is currently developing a dissertation project to examine the intersection of race, gender, and violence in the periphery of Cali, Colombia. She enjoys teaching Latin American Studies courses at Tulane and expanding her skillset in decolonized research practices as a fellow with the Mellon Graduate Program in Community-Engaged Scholarship.
“My MARSLAC experience gave me the time, space, and support to explore topics I was passionate about while also setting me up with a solid foundation for my doctoral studies. I made good friends and professional contacts that I still keep in touch with!”
Wilda Escarfuller: For three years, Wilda was the Adjunct Professor of Latin American and the Caribbean at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. Prior to her adjunct role, Wilda served as a Policy Associate at the Americas Society/Council of the Americas (AS/COA), an organization dedicated to advancing the policy dialogue throughout the Western Hemisphere. Her research was centered on natural resources extraction in Colombia, Chile, Guatemala, and Peru that allowed her to conduct in-country research and examine the marginalization of the local indigenous population, tax levy distribution, land rights, the role of the International Labor Organization’s previous consultation mandate and the environmental impacts of mineral extraction. Her other research portfolios included deportees in Central America and Afro-Latino political representation. As an Editorial Associate for the Americas Quarterly policy journal her work was concentrated on following the latest policy developments from the Americas and contributing to the yearly Social Inclusion Index report that ranked countries based on LGBTQ rights, access to education, reproductive rights, rule of law among other variables. She attained a Bachelor of Business Administration from Brooklyn College and a Master of Arts from Columbia University. She currently serves as Analyst for the Department of Defense.
“MARSLAC is a top-tier and prestigious program offering a multidisciplinary approach to modern and contemporary Latin America and the Caribbean studies”.