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Caribbean, Latin American & Latino Studies

Masters of Arts in Humanities in Caribbean and Latin/o American Studies (CLAS)
A Multi-Sited Pre-Professional Program in Advanced Studies and Research


All of our graduates, without exception, are gainfully employed, studying for a doctoral degree or applying to a program. Click HERE to see what they have been up to and see below for what they have to say about having come through our program:


Cassandra Andrusz

Class of 2013
Currently a PhD student in Caribbean and Latina American Studies at SUNY Albany.

“Getting this Masters has shown me what I am capable of academically, socially and physically. Starting with the classes at UB and the travel experiences to Mexico, Cuba and ending in the archives in Spain, I have honed my academic skills and built the confidence to live anywhere, interact with anyone and continue on to a PhD program. The wide variety of classes, talented professors and academic guidance has definitely made a great impact on me as a person, while preparing me for my future career.”

Camille Blum

Class of 2013
Currently a Medical School student at UB.

“I chose the program because I wanted to become fluent in Spanish and to have more cultural exposure. The travelling component of this program allowed me to fulfill these desires in a hands-on, life changing way. For me, this master’s degree was perfect.”

Michelle Ranieri 

Class of 2013
Currently working as the Program Coordinator of Cuba at Road Scholar, a non-profit educational travel organization that has been providing adults with travel opportunities for lifelong learning in all 50 states and over 150 countries.

“This program provided me with an unparalleled opportunity to live, learn, and research outside of a traditional U.S. institution. I was challenged to succeed in a bi-lingual and multi-cultural learning environment. My experiences and resume prove that I am well rounded and able to overcome obstacles both within and outside of academia. The interdisciplinary nature of this program will make you a multi-faceted person!”

Jesus Ruiz

Class of 2012
Currently enrolled as a PhD student and a Research Fellow at The Roger Thayer Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.

“The Master’s program was one of the best decisions I could have ever made. Apart from facilitating academic and research opportunities in Spain and Mexico that are one of a kind, the Master’s at UB truly made me aware of the fundamental role the Caribbean as a geographic and historical space plays in the Americas. The connections I made throughout the program, and especially with the faculty at UB, were instrumental in putting me in the position that I am in now. More specifically, having the opportunity to conduct research at the General Archive of the Indies in Seville, allowed me to find documents regarding my research I believe were crucial in my application for the PhD program at Tulane University. Perhaps most importantly, this Master’s program helped me better develop my worldview and continue the process of decolonizing my mind.” 

Yarelika Matos Nieves

Class of 2012
Currently a Ph.D. student at the Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y el Caribe in San Juan, Puerto Rico and the Director of Students Affairs at the Modern Technological Institute in Bayamon, PR.

“The program provides the student a great opportunity not only to acquire fieldwork, archival and theoretical experience, it also gives her the chance to explore the insights of cities around the world. This is only possible after you become part of the community you are living in. Spain, Central America, the Caribbean and Western New York will transform into an object of study where every aspect of society will be a puzzle part ready to be analyzed and assembled. The program in was a fundamental step for my academic and professional career and a personal experience that I will never forget.”

Ernesto Mercado-Montero

Class of 2011
Currently enrolled in the PhD program in Latin American Studies at the University of Texas, Austin.

“Doing the MA was a great academic and personal experience. First, because I had the invaluable opportunity of conducting fieldwork on my own research topic in Belize, studying the relevance of oral history in the Black Carib/Garifuna cultural heritage and ethnogenesis. Secondly, because the semester I spent in the General Archive of Indies in Seville, Spain, allowed me to envision my academic research interests—especially the Black Carib deportation to Central America and first negotiations with the Spanish monarchy—as part of the broader inter-imperial rivalries between Spain, Great Britain and France during the Age of Revolutions in the Atlantic. I also discerned that I was facing the beginning of a long-term research that I would like to continue in a PhD program, as currently I am pursuing at the University of Texas at Austin. This unique program not only gives you an incomparable scholarly training but also a great preparation for life. Traveling to Mexico, Spain and Belize, and being in contact with these cultures changed my worldview.”

Ana Cervera Molina

Class of 2011
Currently enrolled as a Ph.D. student in the Colegio de Michoacán, Mexico.

“A modo personal, estoy muy agradecida a la UB y al Dr. José Buscaglia por la oportunidad de conocer, aprender y madurar a lo largo de los dos años en los que participé activamente. Mi paso por el programa de maestría significó la definición de mi tema de investigación tanto como la posibilidad de continuar en un doctorado en humanidades a mi vuelta a México. La estancia en el Archivo General de Indias hecha durante el tercer semestre en Sevilla, España, me permitió recaudar suficiente información para plantear y llevar a cabo mi actual proyecto de investigación doctoral. Gracias al Colegio de Michoacán, A. C. y a CONACyT en breve regresaré a Sevilla par continuar con dicha investigación. Nada de esto hubiera sido posible sin mi participación en el programa.”

Reinier Pérez-Hernández

Class of 2007
Editor y ensayista. La Habana/Frankfurt

Publicó en 2011 el libro de ensayo Indisciplinas críticas (Santiago de Cuba: Editorial Oriente), basado en la tesis de maestría, y en 2012 la multimedia De la piel y la memoria (Museo de la poscrítica) (La Habana: Ediciones Cubarte), que relaciona el tema tratado en su libro.

«Esos años de Maestría fueron para mí una aventura. Significaron mucho en mi formación profesional y personal. Repitó lo que una vez expresé: En medio de circunstancias adversas, en mares infestados de piratas belicosos, este viaje maestro me hizo perfectos.. perfecto contrabandista de ideas. Un valor claro destacó en esa vuelta al mundo Caribe que le di, junto con los otros colegas: experimentar una vivencia oblicua y frontal a la vez, conocer que la línea, por fuerza, se rompe en curva, “[conseguir] por este medio no solo mercadear en cosas en que [hallamos] ganancia [intelectual y afectiva] y en que […] prometía para lo venidero bastante logro, sino [también] el ver diversas ciudades y puertos de” esta comunidad de islas, de esta filigrana de lenguas, historias y culturas diversas. La cita es del infortunado Alonso Ramírez. Lamento no ser más explícito».

Prof. Yaser Robles

Class of 2006
Currently working as a lecturer in the Department of Africana and Latino Studies at SUNY Oneonta. Yaser completed his PhD at SUNY Albany in Latin American, Caribbean and U.S. Latino Studies in December of 2013 and is currently in the market for a tenure-track position.

“I decided to get this Master’s degree in part because there is no other program that combines a rigorous academic component with a study abroad experience where you will put into practice all the theories discussed in class and experience other cultures first hand. Besides providing a solid base to continue your academic work, it also makes you an attractive candidate for any other graduate program, (e.g. Ph.D. programs in the social sciences). Immediately after this MA program I enrolled in a PhD. I felt prepared for the challenges that came with it, especially the fieldwork component of my dissertation.  This program is amongst the best things that have every happened to me. It is a privilege for me to be an alumnus.”

Clorinda Andrade

Class of 2005
Currently working as the Workforce Programs Coordinator for the Office of Academic Affairs at CUNY’s Central Office, as a part-time Adjunct Instructor at Boricua College, and a part-time fitness instructor.

“My entire life shifted through my participation in the Caribbean Studies Program. It was amazing to experience new cultures and develop lifelong relationships with my peers and professors. My experiences abroad confirmed my passion for international development work and empowering underserved communities. The program is designed to prepare global leaders!”

Marielle Sexton

Class of 2005
Currently employed as an Associate, Global Institutional Sales at Campbell & Company. She is responsible for raising assets from global institutional investors for a $3.2B hedge fund in Baltimore, Maryland.

“One of the key differentiators of the MAsters was that it allowed me to charter my own course of study. This program provided me the flexibility to study two languages simultaneously within a socio-political context. The time I spent in Havana with UB was the most culturally challenging and rewarding experience of my life to date.”

Miguel Torres- Castro

Class of 2005
Currently employed as the Director of Support Programs for a non-profit agency (Mercy Home) in Brooklyn, NY providing individuals, families, and communities with enrichment and support services for adults and children with intellectual & developmental disabilities.

“To get this Master’s degree was a ‘no-brainer’ for me. As a person born in Puerto Rico and raised in NYC, you can say I was deprived of the Caribbean geography by only visiting occasionally, watching television and reading about it in travel magazines. This program offered me a priceless experience that no other program could offer: the ability to travel, to be well-rounded, culturally mature, creative and to have the experience of a lifetime while studying a broad range of subjects. Upon graduation I knew that I wanted to put my degree to meaningful use and that it wasn’t about making a huge salary but finding something that would make a difference in my community. With this degree and experience I have become a bi-lingual educator, music therapist, social worker, non-profit leader, children’s author and my most favorite role, father to my 2 year old son Julian.”

Prof. Jacob Dyer Spiegel

Class of 2004
Currently employed as professor and Director of the CIEE study center in Salvador, Brazil. He teaches, creates courses, manages, and oversees all aspects of CIEE Bahia’s study abroad programs for US-based university students in Salvador, Brazil

“The program allows students to develop research skills through courses and, on-site, in the  most important archives with Dr. Buscaglia (an incredible scholar who teaches students how to read through official maritime registers, colonial narratives, and construct innovative theories across disciplines). These skills, coupled with full-immersion language and culture study in a broadly defined Caribbean/Atlantic region that includes regions of shared cultural patterns, prepares students for doctoral-level studies and also careers as ambassadors, educators, entrepreneurs, activists, environmentalists, and more. Participants have the unique opportunity to shape a project and follow it through multiple geographies — Andalusia, Yucatán, New York — all the while developing critical language skills. The program allows students to live in what they study and, through educational travel, to put their hands-on experience in the field at the center of a final thesis project.”