Comments from Visiting Scholars and Visiting Graduate Students


Visiting Scholars

Ana Ruiz y Miguel A. Sorroche, 2012 Visiting Scholars


Nuestra estancia de investigación en CILAS ha sido de lo más gratificante gracias al apoyo del equipo de personas que lo integran, a las posibilidades de investigación que ofrece la UCSD con su magnífica biblioteca y cómo no al marco en el que se sitúa este centro, la soleada ciudad de San Diego.

Carlos del Castillo Rodríguez, 2012 Visiting Scholar


"Mi experiencia en CILAS como profesor invitado, gracias a una Beca Complutense Del Amo fue magnífica tanto desde el punto de vista profesional como humano. Éste centro reúne las condiciones idóneas para poder desarrollar investigaciones científicas de mi ámbito de estudio, además me gustaría señalar el alto grado de eficiencia y profesionalidad de sus miembros involucrados con mi persona incluso antes de mi llegada a UCSD. Por otra parte, me gustaría destacar la ayuda de todo el personal administrativo y bibliotecario de la Biblioteca Geisel, un referente a nivel mundial en museografía histórica."

Carmen Salgado Santamaría, 2013 Visiting Scholar


Mi estancia de investigación en CILAS como Visiting Scholar desde junio a agosto de 2014 ha sido una experiencia muy enriquecedora tanto a nivel académico y profesional como humano.
He podido desarrollar mi proyecto de investigación gracias a los magníficos recursos que ofrece la UCSD,  entre los que destaco la Geisel Library,  y a la acogida del director del Centro, David Mares, de mi director de proyecto, Dan Hallin, de Harold Colson y de Isela Brijández.
He  tenido la oportunidad de participar en diferentes seminarios y conferencias, pero sobre todo he podido conocer a otros Visiting Scholars y profesores con los que espero desarrollar nuevas líneas o proyectos de investigación. Todo ello en un campus espectacular, dentro de un ambiente y condiciones idóneas.
Gracias a la Beca Complutense del Amo he visto crecer un proyecto de investigación y he podido descubrir San Diego, una ciudad tan bonita y soleada como acogedora.

Daniel Zirker, 2012 Visiting Scholar


"My brief stay in CILAS was wonderfully rewarding in the people whom I met and the academic presentations that I attended.  Professor Mares has done a wonderful job in bringing together future academic stars and in sharing his own path-breaking work.  The CILAS staff were very supportive, especially Isela.  My experience at CILAS was truly grand!"

Guohui Dong, 2018 Visiting Scholar


I was a Visiting Scholar in CILAS from March 2017 to March 2018. My experience here was  really wonderful and academically very productive. I am sincerely grateful to David Mares, Carlos Waisman and Isela Brijández for their perfect work. CILAS provided me with an office and  access to almost all the resources in UCSD, the Geisel Library, and seminars concerning various topics of Latin American studies. I highly recommend their Visiting Scholars program.

Jordi Díez, 2011 Visiting Scholar


"My stay at CILAS was memorable and very productive. It is the ideal space to get the all-too-scarce time for inspiration and insight to write, which was my main objective upon arriving. The Center and the University are physically beautiful and the Center's Director and staff were incredibly supportive and helpful. I highly recommend their Visiting Scholars program."

José Arregui, 2012 Visiting Scholar


"Quisiera destacar de CILAS en primer lugar la atención personal del Director, del responsable de los Visiting Scholars y de la secretaria del Centro. En segundo lugar, la atmósfera de trabajo, los medios a disposición para llevar a cabo la investigación, y en tercer lugar el enriquecimiento por el trato con el citado personal y con los demás Visiting Scholars."

Iana Alves, Visiting Scholar


" I was a Visiting Scholar at CILAS from September 2017 to June 2018 and my experience there was very productive. CILAS activities and the UCSD community, especially the Department of Political Science, contributed a lot to the advance of the papers I was working on. Professors David Mares, Carlos Waisman and my sponsor, Scott Desposato, were always available for discussion and assisted me with valuable insights on my research. Also, I am thankful to all the visiting fellows who would always give a fresh view on our research subjects. I cannot thank enough for all the resources and support I received during my stay. I am very grateful for the administrative support and kindness of the staff, especially Isela Brijández. I am sure that I leave San Diego with a large and vibrant professional network but also, and most importantly, with good friends."

John-Andrew McNeish, 2018 Visiting Scholar


I was a Visiting Scholar at CILAS from August 2017 to June 2018. This was the right choice of location to spend my sabbatical year away from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. There is a lot more to San Diego than Sun and Surf. My visit to UCSD has been extremely academically rewarding. During the year I have been able to draw on the University’s fantastic digital resources and library collection. This has enormously assisted the advance of my current book project. I have also gained a lot from the interactions with other Visiting Scholars and staff at CILAS and other departments of the University. They have helped to demonstrate the breadth and inter-disciplinarity of Latin American Studies at UCSD. David Mares and Nancy Postero, my two academic sponsors, also demonstrated great hospitality. Our lunch and corridor conversations stimulated many important thoughts and realizations. During the year I was also connected to the Inter-Faculty Research Group on Indigenous Resource Politics. This was one of the most thrilling research groups I have ever had contact with, and has included a series of brilliant scholars and speakers all of whom I hope to keep in touch into the future. Thank you CILAS and UCSD. 

Koldo Unceta, 2012 Visiting Scholar


CILAS is a great place to do research. I spent almost 12 months doing research there and it is a really friendly environment. I met and exchanged ideas with Professors and other Visiting Scholars, and by the end of my stay my PhD dissertation definitely took a clearer direction. The campus is beautiful and the library has wonderful resources. I recommend the experience to all those studying Latin America!

Lidija Kos-Stanišić, 2011 Visiting Scholar


"I spent three months as a Visiting Scholar at CILAS, UCSD, and I have only high commendations. They are all great persons, staff and scholars as well.  Isela was very friendly and helpful, when I locked myself out of my office Anna unlocked the door a few times, David allowed me to audit his course, and Carlos gave me excellent suggestions for my research. I was able to do research in three months that I could never do in Croatia in three years.  The library is full of books that I needed for my research project, the on-line data bases are to die for, and I had the opportunity to meet and have discussions with famous academic professors. The result of my stay at CILAS gave me the opportunity to publish two articles and provided lots of material for my book. I would really like to have another opportunity to be at CILAS as a short term Visiting Scholar once more."

Nam Kwon Mun, 2015 Visiting Scholar


CILAS provided me with valuable opportunities to improve my research. I attended seminars about different topics of Latin American area studies along with other  CILAS researchers and visiting scholars every week. The office I used in CILAS was a good space to continue conducting my research. I met several nice friends and colleagues that helped me a lot in life and study. I really appreciate CILAS for the time I stayed there.

Rafael López Guzmán, 2017 Visiting Scholar


Mi estancia en el CILAS de la Universidad de San Diego entre junio y julio de 2017 ha sido de absoluta satisfacción, tanto en lo profesional como en lo personal. Pese a estar la institución en periodo de vacaciones, los encuentros con Chistine Hunefeldt y Carlos Waisman han sido positivos y espero que se continúen en el tiempo con iniciativas entre nuestras respectivas universidades. En paralelo, el asesoramiento y hospitalidad de Isela Brijandez ha supuesto la posibilidad de disfrutar de las grandes oportunidades que ofrece la compleja universidad de San Diego. También me ha servido esta estancia para iniciar contactos con espacios museográficos de Los Angeles, Pasadena, San Francisco y, lógicamente, la propia ciudad de San Diego.

Experiencia, por tanto, sobresaliente que me permite animar a cuantos investigadores de la cultura iberoamericana quieran formarse y vivir una experiencia universitaria de primerísima calidad.

Susana Nudelsman, 2017 Visiting Scholar


My Visiting Scholar experience at CILAS has been highly significant. I have had the opportunity to interact with its prestigious directors as well as with other productive Visiting Scholars while its staff has offered successful attention. CILAS provides an interesting interdisciplinary framework in an environment of total academic freedom. I have had also access to classes and talks in the context of other departments of UCSD and consulted all kind of sources at its amazing library. On the whole, it has been a memorable momentum in my academic career.

Yuening Hu (Teresa), 2016 Visiting Scholar


"Being a visiting scholar in CILAS was one of the most rewarding and unique experiences in my academic career. During my 12-month stay, I worked on my project, audited courses, attended seminars and conferences, met with extraordinary professors like David Mares and Carlos Waisman. CILAS’s inspiring atmosphere and large network of scholars has given me a fresh and creative view for my research. Besides, I was able to collect data for my future research, experience the authentic American culture and improve my English greatly. I am very grateful for the support and kindness that I received here. I wish I could visit CILAS again in the near future. "

Visiting Graduate Students

Álvaro Luna, 2012 Visiting Graduate Student


"I was a Visiting Graduate Student in CILAS from January to August of 2012. My experience there has been amazing and academically very productive. CILAS surrounds you with an exiting international  environment that really encourages you to work hard.  The research and academic resources are incredible, I was provided with an office, I had unlimited access to the library and to many interesting seminars where I was able to participate. The staff, the MA students,  and the other visiting scholars conform a wonderful network of professionals from whom I have learned a lot and to whom I feel I will be forever and to whom I feel I will be forever connected."

Ana Torres, 2012 Visiting Graduate Student


"During my stay in CILAS, I conducted my PHD research and I attended several interesting activities such as seminars, film series, and conferences. CILAS provided the visitors with an excellent environment for research. The great library at UCSD, the Geisel Library, and the variety of activities on campus made my stay at CILAS an enriching experience."

Carlos Alvarado Mijangos, 2015 Visiting Graduate Student


Me llamo Carlos Alvarado Mijangos y soy estudiante de Maestría en Relaciones Internacionales, en la Ciudad de México. Durante mi estancia de investigación en CILAS – UCSD, que comprendió el periodo septiembre – noviembre 2015, participé en este centro de estudios como un Visiting Graduate Student.

Durante este tiempo mi experiencia fue muy gratificante, me proporcionaron una oficina, acceso ilimitado a la biblioteca central y bases de datos de la Universidad para enriquecer mi proyecto de tesis. Tuve la gran oportunidad de asistir y participar en diferentes eventos académicos organizados por UCSD, pude conocer a diferentes profesores y alumnos de diferentes partes del mundo con quienes mantengo buena comunicación. El Director de CILAS, mi Faculty Sponsor Peter H. Smith, y el resto del staff de CILAS han sido muy amables y atentos conmigo, desde los trámites requeridos para ser aceptado en UCSD hasta la finalización de mi estancia.

En general me la pase muy bien en CILAS, UCSD y San Diego, todo me gustó mucho. También tuve la grandiosa oportunidad de presentar mi proyecto de tesis con ayuda del staff de CILAS. Me gustaron mucho las instalaciones de USCD, la atención por parte de CILAS, pero por el tipo de preparación que tengo me gustó también el plan de estudios de la School of Global Policy and Strategy, en donde espero realizar un doctorado más adelante.


Cintia Pinheiro Ribeiro de Souza, 2014 Fulbright Visiting Research Student


I was a Fulbright Visiting Research Student in CILAS for nine months, from September 2013 to May 2014. This was a very rewarding experience to me for several reasons. The people in CILAS provide you great and very welcoming environment for your stay and that helps you to adapt quickly to the UCSD academic life and to be productive as much as you can. You have access to a huge infrastructure of study spaces and library materials. The academic activities promoted by CILAS, the research presentations and discussions, were very helpful to improve my work on my dissertation. I would say that this is a particular positive aspect of the academic life in CILAS that should not be taken for granted, because it is not always like that in other programs. Finally, I had the chance to meet people from all over the world to talk about so many issues and that was very exciting. It definitely was very enriching for my professional and personal life.

Jia Tian, 2014 Visiting Graduate Student


“I was a Visiting Graduate Student in CILAS from August 2013 to June 2014. For me, this one academic year was really wonderful and helpful. All the professors are so nice and usually very patient. Especially David and Carlos, they gave me lots of suggestions on my research and future plan. CILAS provided me the access to almost all the resources in the university, which enriched my study and life in San Diego. Also, I have learned a lot from the seminars held by CILAS and the various classes in UCSD. My study in CILAS will be a good memory. I will miss it!

Jorge Resina, 2012 Visiting Graduate Student


"Durante mi estancia en el CILAS, encontré un total apoyo por parte de los profesores y del resto del staff que lo componen. Tuve la oportunidad de participar en diferentes seminarios y encuentros, así como de entablar cotidianas conversaciones informales, que me aportaron nuevas ideas y que me permitieron profundizar en algunas cuestiones relevantes del campo de las ciencias sociales. Además, pude presentar los avances de mi investigación doctoral y discutir aspectos clave con otros profesores e investigadores. También tuve acceso a la biblioteca de la UCSD, que cuenta con una impresionante bibliografía sobre estudios latinoamericanos y ciencia política, aparte de varias inagotables bases de datos.

"El centro siempre fue receptivo y estuvo abierto a mis propuestas, de forma que todas las iniciativas encontraron siempre un incuestionable respaldo de sus miembros. Entre otras actividades y con el apoyo tanto del personal del CILAS como de los profesores e investigadores visitantes, organizamos un ciclo semanal de cine latinoamericano y dos actos especiales sobre España. Con respecto a estos últimos, el primero acto, orientado hacia las elecciones generales del país, consistió en una serie de entrevistas con parlamentarios electos a través de Skype; mientras que en el segundo, en el que se planteó una reflexión sobre la postguerra y la República en el exilio, montamos una exposición fotográfica sobre la Guerra Civil española, con fondos históricos de la biblioteca de la UCSD (que sorprendentemente cuenta con el archivo fotográfico más grande sobre la Guerra Civil que existe fuera de España), además de proyectar una película y de contar con una mesa redonda con especialistas en el tema.

"Aunque, sin duda, el punto más fuerte de mi estancia en el CILAS fue la gran accesibilidad que encontré por parte de sus miembros, lo que me proveyó una continua retroalimentación, gracias a que el diálogo siempre fue fluido y basado en la confianza mutua. Me parece importante destacar también el carácter abierto e interdisciplinar del Centro, lo que favoreció el planteamiento de todo tipo de debates con los únicos límites del rigor y la honestidad intelectual.

"Y, por supuesto, ¡qué decir de San Diego! Un maravilloso lugar donde es posible inventarse una ciudad diferente cada día. Un rincón que cuenta con la frontera más transitada al día del mundo, con una sociedad multicultural y con interesantes y complejos procesos sociales. Durante mi tiempo libre, tuve la oportunidad de descubrir sus distintos espacios y submundos, así como de disfrutar de su encanto natural y de la diversidad de sus gentes. Aunque lo más increíble de todo es que esta ciudad consiguió lo que ya era impensable... y es que volviera a jugar al fútbol dos veces a la semana ¡diez años después de haber colgado las botas!"

Karina Furtado Rodrigues, 2016 Visiting Graduate Student


CILAS is a great place to do research. I spent almost 12 months doing research there and it is a really friendly environment. I met and exchanged ideas with Professors and other Visiting Scholars, and by the end of my stay my PhD dissertation definitely took a clearer direction. The campus is beautiful and the library has wonderful resources. I recommend the experience to all those studying Latin America!


Mark Iñigo M. Tallara, 2015 Visiting Graduate Student


My stay in UCSD was amazing when I was a CILAS Visiting Graduate Student from June 8, 2015 to August 31, 2015. CILAS provided me with an office and gave me access to library resources. They also regularly invited me to attend seminars and other activities. They allowed me to audit some non-credit Latin American Studies courses during my appointment period. The staff, especially Isela was very helpful, she even connected me to former visiting scholars whom I had the opportunity to discuss my research. I was in contact and had discussions with Associate Professor John D. Blanco who gave me excellent suggestions for my research. During my stay at UCSD I was able to conduct research at other libraries around San Diego particularly the San Diego de Alcala Mission Museum and Archives, San Diego Natural History Museum, and San Diego Maritime Museum Library.

Olga Kornilova, 2013 Fulbright Visiting Research Student


My appointment at the Center of Iberian and Latin American Studies (CILAS), UCSD was possible thankfully to the Fulbright Program which gave me a status of Visiting Scholar / Researcher for the period of 2012-2013. I am a historian and political scientist majoring in American Studies. The topic of my dissertation is “The Reaction of US Authorities and the American Public to Preparation and Conduct of Expropriation of American Oil Companies in Mexico (1923-1943).” It includes historical, political, economic and jurisprudential aspects. When I applied to the Fulbright grant, I was searching for the place where I could have an access to the widest range of primary sources and specialists who have plenty of knowledge and experience in my area of study and other related topics. It became obvious to me that CILAS was the best place to continue my research considering the theme of my dissertation and needed research material that is available at UCSD.

My specific goals during the appointment were the following: 1) to gather a wide range of primary sources for my PhD research, 2) to become familiar with all the current literature and identify and select information for my research, and 3) to obtain professional feedback which could be helpful for the road blocks I encountered while conducting my research. I was successful in completing these goals. I had a plan and followed it during my appointment and I felt pretty satisfied with the outcome. The research I conducted at CILAS is crucial for gaining my academic degree due to the fact that in Russia, the topic I chose from the American position hadn’t been researched at all; there is no research material available, literally, to base research on. So my appointment at the Center was vital for my PhD degree. Being back in Russia now, it’s my last year of graduate school which I will dedicate to write the text itself. So in a year I expect to finish it. Moreover, the material I have now will likely be more than enough but I don’t want to limit myself with the dissertation only. I feel comfortable about publishing more of my research and become an objective high-professional specialist majoring in this area of study in my country and to give unbiased opinion on this topic.

The available resources that were crucial were first of all accessible through the library materials and the option to borrow them and take them to the office or home was very helpful. And second was the constructive and useful guidance provided from professors. This guidance was a high priority because it pointed to many unknown relative questions that considered the whole Latin American region. The results I had after almost a year at CILAS appear to be very productive already. For the last two months I have submitted three articles to scientific journals. One is already published. The second is expected to be published in February and the third is expected to be published in spring of 2014. I proudly present the information about the articles: 1. “Good Neighbor Policy in Action: Non-interference of Washington into affairs of American Oil Companies in Mexico in 1936-1937” // Science in the Contemporary World: Theory and Practice. Materials of International Scientific and Practical Conference, Ufa, Russian Federation, Digest, 2013, p. 15-21. 2. “Inter-American Conference in Buenos Aires in 1936 and its significance for the normalization of bilateral relations between the U.S. and Mexico” // Digest “Achievements of Graduate School" (Bulgaria)”, Publishing house “Rusnauka”, expected date: February 2014. 3. “Expropriation of American Oil Companies in Mexico in 1938: Prerequisites and outcomes” // Journal “Latin America” of the Institute of Latin America of Russian Academy of Sciences, expected date March-April 2014.

CILAS provides visiting researchers with the most helpful tools to complete their study successfully; it gives you access to library sources which are great. In my case, my supervisor David R. Mares was always available to meet and discuss my questions. Isela Brijandez, an Administrative Specialist, who welcomes all researches coming to the center makes every person equally feel home there, safe and welcome. Also CILAS provides a quiet atmosphere and comfortable office space that allows one to concentrate on the task at hand. I can’t say anything negative of my appointment at CILAS, since it surpassed all of my expectations. I would definitely return one more time if I had another chance. Thanks to the Fulbright program for this opportunity, CILAS, and David Mares for personally welcoming and having me there.


Vinícius Silva Alves, Visiting Graduate Student


"After my stay at CILAS, from September 2017 to June 2018, I can say how the faculty and staff are really committed to creating a great place for sharing and improving our research projects. I received valuable comments about my research during the workshops. Talking to Professor Carlos Waisman and David Mares was something really important for thinking more deeply and carefully about my research goals and methodology. Scott Desposato, my faculty sponsor there, helped me a lot on my dissertatioby by discussing some ideas that I presented. I learned a lot from him during my stay. Furthermore, the other visiting scholars were always interested in discussing our projects and providing suggestions for my research. I´m very grateful for this opportunity to improve my skills as a researcher but most of all for meeting people that I can call friends, who are always available to help you to thrive on your academic experience."