The Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies Welcomes New Staff


Victoria Stone-Cadena Departs, Professors John Gutiérrez and Mila Burns Rejoin CLACLS

NEW YORK, June 27, 2022—The Graduate Center of The City University of New York’s Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies (CLACLS) announces staff changes.

Distinguished Professor Laird W. Bergad, CLACLS Executive Director, announced a number of staff changes at the Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies (CLACLS) of the CUNY Graduate Center. Long-time CLACLS Associate Director Victoria Stone-Cadena will be departing the CLACLS to serve as the Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration (RITM) at Yale University. Assistant Professors John A. Gutiérrez (John Jay College of Criminal Justice) and Mila Burns (Lehman College) will return to the CLACLS as Director and Associate Director, respectively.

 “Vikki has served as Associate Director of CLACLS since 2019 and has worked at CLACLS in a variety of capacities prior to receiving her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the Graduate Center and after, for nearly fifteen years,” Bergad said. “In that time Vikki showed true dedication to the CLACLS and a commitment to making our Center a welcoming space for the diverse Latino communities of New York City. She fostered strong relationships with City-wide agencies on issues around language justice and immigrant rights.  In addition, her recent work as a member of the Advisory Committee of the national Crossing Latinidades Initiative highlighted her long commitment to supporting Latino faculty and doctoral students working in Latino humanities studies. We are going to miss her and wish her the best of luck!”

Bergad also announced that John Gutiérrez will become the Center’s new Director. Gutiérrez received his Ph.D. in History from the CUNY Graduate Center (2013) and served as the first CLACLS Administrative Director (2001-2003). He is currently an Assistant Professor in Latin American & Latinx Studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice where he has been on the faculty since 2013. A former executive with the MirRam Group and the Hispanic Federation, John was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the CLACLS more than twenty years ago.

“I’m thrilled to return to the CLACLS as Director,” Gutiérrez said. “Over twenty years ago, Laird and I partnered with former New York City Councilman, Dr. Guillermo Linares, and Luis A. Miranda, Jr. to create a world-class research center with deep connections to New York City’s Latino communities and a commitment to supporting Latino doctoral students. In the intervening years Laird and the team at the CLACLS have stayed true to that mission. I’m happy to return to continue and expand on that work and strengthen our connections to businesses, civic leaders, and nonprofits organizations in Latin America and here in New York.”

Finally, Bergad announced that Mila Burns will become the Center’s new Associate Director. She completed her Ph.D. in History at the Graduate Center in 2017 and is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Latin American and Latino Studies at Lehman College. Mila previously served as Administrative Director of the Center between 2014 and 2016. She is the author of Dona Ivone Lara’s Sorriso Negro (Bloomsbury Academic, 2019; Editora Cobogó, 2021) and Nasci para Sonhar e Cantar: Dona Ivone Lara, a Mulher no Samba (Editora Record, 2009). Her current book manuscript investigates the Brazilian influence on the military coup d’état in Chile, in 1973. Her work has been published in leading journals on Latin America, newspapers, and magazines. Burns is a renowned Brazilian journalist who was editor-in-chief and anchor of Brazilian network TV Globo for the past 14 years.

“As a Latina, an immigrant, and a Graduate Center alumna I feel thrilled to be back at the CLACLS as Associate Director. This position will allow me to work closely with faculty and students in projects that will strengthen the Latino community at CUNY and beyond. The CLACLS supported me when I was a doctoral student and I hope to expand its ties with researchers in multiple disciplines, stimulating innovation, creativity, and learning.”

“I am so happy that John and Mila will be rejoining the CLACLS family,” Bergad said. “While I will continue to serve as Executive Director of the CLACLS, I know that John and Mila will be growing our research portfolio into new areas and working with our partners to expand support for Latino doctoral students. This is an exciting moment for the CLACLS. There is an urgency to connect research and practice in Latin American and Latino Studies and the CLACLS has a two decade-long record of doing just that. I’m excited about these changes and about our future.”
About The Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies
The core mission of CLACLS is to actively support and advance the study of Latin America, the Caribbean, and Latinos in the U.S. in the doctoral programs of The Graduate Center, and to provide opportunities for Latino students at the Ph.D. level. CLACLS’s flagship program is the Latino Data Project, established in 2003 by Laird W. Bergad founding and current CLACLS director. Bergad is a distinguished professor in the Department of Latin American and Latino Studies at Lehman College and with the Ph.D. Program in History at The Graduate Center. The Latino Data Project conducts detailed quantitative research on the Latino population of the United States and New York City metropolitan region, analyzing raw data files produced by the U.S. Census Bureau and other government agencies.

About The Graduate Center, CUNY
The Graduate Center of The City University of New York (CUNY) is a leader in public graduate education devoted to enhancing the public good through pioneering research, serious learning, and reasoned debate. The Graduate Center offers ambitious students more than 40 doctoral and master’s programs of the highest caliber, taught by top faculty from throughout CUNY — the nation’s largest public urban university. Through its nearly 40 centers, institutes, and initiatives, including its Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC), The Graduate Center influences public policy and discourse and shapes innovation. The Graduate Center’s extensive public programs make it a home for culture and conversation.

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