CAT Teaching Assistants 2016-2017

Mohamed Abumaye

A photo of Mohamed Abumaye


Mohamed Abumaye is a PhD Candidate in the department of Ethnic Studies at UCSD. His work centers on the intersections between military and police violence. He investigates the San Diego police department’s unit of counter-terrorism and U.S. military drone attacks in Somalia as the transnational circuits of violence that shape Somali refugee flight. What distinguishes his project from other works on police is that he focuses on the militarized aspects of policing, and does so with an emphasis on the refugee.

Katherine Agard

A photo of Katherine Agard


Katherine Agard is a writer from Trinidad and Tobago currently based in California. She performs her relationship to color - material, socio-cultural, spiritual - and the language which allows us to perceive it through writing, painting and sometimes performance.  Her writing has been supported by fellowships from the Lambda Literary Foundation, Kimbilio, Callaloo and VONA/Voices. She is currently an MFA candidate in Literature at UCSD, and has a BA in Visual and Environmental Studies with Social Anthropology from Harvard University.

Michael Ano

A photo of Michael Ano


Michael Ano is an artist, curator, and educator. Contemplating the transmission of ideas and its correlative relationship to systems of power- Ano makes alternative platforms for information distribution, to explore how ideas and people connect to ask whether pedagogical methods can more fully democratize the diffusion of learning, and to conduct critical thought experiments in deconstructing how resources associated with social stratification are codified. He has explored a variety of pedagogical practices both formally and informally through different lenses: as a student, instructor, facilitator, and producer.

Alexia Arani

A photo of Alexia Arani


Alexia is a third year PhD student in Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of California, San Diego.  Her doctoral research examines affect, emotion, queer activism, and the politics of self-care in the contemporary United States. Alexia emphasizes decolonial, feminist, and of color critiques in her ethnographic practice, writing, and pedagogy. Her work is interdisciplinary and works to build bridges between anthropological inquiry, feminist ethnography, and queer of color theory. Additional research interests include travel and tourism, the politics of representation, and the relationship between colonialism, humanitarianism, and international development.

Christina Aushana

A photo of Christina Aushana


Christina Aushana is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Communication at UCSD. Prior to joining the Ph.D. program, she received a bachelor's degree in Communication and Visual Arts from UCSD (2010) and worked as an art editor. Her research examines police training facilities and patrol work as sites of performative practices. She combines this performance-ethnography of police work in San Diego with research on prison reform activism in Chicago. At UCSD, she is involved in several collaboratories, including the Studio for Ethnographic Design (SED) and the UC-wide research network the Collaboratory for Ethnographic Design (CoLED) where she has worked as a research fellow. Aushana is also co-founder of the performance collaboratory Feminist Theory Theater, a group dedicated to staging feminist theory as an intervention in situated meaning-making in the academy and beyond.

Nazar Bagci

Ryan Braun

Nikola Bulajic

bulajic, n.


I am originally from the former Yugoslavia, and I completed my BA degree at the University of Michigan in Philosophy and International Security. As a current MA student in Latin American Studies my research interests revolve around questions of Indigeneity, Indigenous Social Movements, Environmental Degradation and Development, Rural Sociology, Utopian Socialism and Sociocratic Communal Models. Specifically, my research focuses on a fairly isolated, self-sufficient community, and the religious headquarters of the Santo Daime church called Ceu do Mapia located deep within the western part of the Brazilian Amazon.

I enjoy the outdoors and physical exercise of all kinds, and particularly long-distance touring by motorcycle -

Sarah Ciston

A photo of Sarah Ciston


Sarah Ciston is an MFA in Writing candidate at UCSD. She also runs Bootleg Books, an editing and design studio for independent authors and publishers. She was recently named one of SF Weekly’s “Best Writers Without a Book.” 

Cat Crowder

Charlene Cuellar

A photo of Charlene Cuellar


I am a Masters student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department here at UCSD majoring in Signal and Image processing. I plan to one day become involved with technology that enhances audio/visual experiences.  
I enjoy giving back to my community as a mentor to budding scientists and engineers. Back home, I participated in METAS which focuses primarily on helping K-12 Latin@ students in achieving their personal, educational, and career goals. I am also involved in the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) which incorporates science, community, and culture in the movement for diversity in STEM.
Another one of my hobbies includes photography. I particularly enjoy landscape photography because it gives me an excuse to travel.

Catherine Erica Czacki

czacki, c.


Czacki received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute (2003), her MFA from Columbia University (2008) and is currently a PhD candidate in the Art History, Theory and Criticism program (Concentration in Art Practice)—at the University of California, San Diego. Czacki’s work has been exhibited at The Prague Bienniale (2009); DREI Raum für Gegenwartskunst in Köln, Germany (2009); Art in General in New York, New York (2011); Favorite Goods in Los Angeles, California (2013/2014); JOAN in Los Angeles, California (2015); and Sculpture Center in Long Island City, New York (2015).

Through my art and writing I investigate the historical, theoretical, and philosophical dimensions of sculptural materiality, posing questions such as: do suspensions of scale, or acts of refusal to produce quickly, promote inquiries into the materiality of sculpture and the social, political, financial, environmental ramifications of making things? Drawing from a range of canons for my research, including Dada, Surrealism, Arte Povera, pre-colonial, and contemporary art—I am interested in how artists use found objects and are influenced by the historical antecedents (acknowledged or subsumed) that haunt contemporary sculptural production.

Maria Jose Delgadillo

Jared Dorman

Jaclyn Fierro



Jaclyn is a graduate student at the school of Global Policy and Strategy studying for her Masters in International Affairs, her career track is Development and Non-profit Management applied to South East Asia. She graduated from UCSB with a B.A. in Political Science in International Relations and Global Studies regionally applied to the Middle East. Jaclyn is a artist and painter creatively combining mediums such as sculpture, acrylic, and mosaic. Specifically her passion lies in refugee issues and environmentally sustainable approaches to alleviating the impacts of mass migration on societies.   

Rebecca Hardesty

A photo of Rebecca Hardesty


Rebecca Hardesty is a 4th year PhD candidate in the Communication Department and Science Studies Program. Her main research centers around an ethnographic study of, and collaboration with, a laboratory of neuroscientists. She focuses on how this group of neurobiologists models degenerative cognition using animal models. Herother work focuses on the experience of self and identity in virtual worlds such as video games. Prior to coming to UCSD, Rebecca received her BA in Theatre and Philosophy at Pitzer College (a member of the Claremont Colleges). She also attended law school at UC Davis for a year and worked for the California Court of Appeals and California Supreme Court before making her career shift.

Zachary Richard Hayes

A photo of Zachary Hayes


I am currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Literature, with a concentration in Literatures in Spanish. Previously, I completed a M.A. in Hispanic Studies at Villanova University. Some of my research interests include artistic rivalries, self-fashioning, and the poetics of knowledge. I also enjoy both working with and analyzing translation, as well as the general concepts of audience and reception in creative works.

I am originally from Whiting, New Jersey, which is situated in the Pine Barrens, though I have lived in the Philadelphia area or abroad for the better part of the last decade. Outside of academic pursuits, I am a fan of tennis, sea otters, yerba mate, and documentaries about natural phenomena.

Rachel Dorlene Emerine Hicks

A photo of Rachel Hicks


Rachel Hicks is a PhD student in Linguistic Anthropology with academic interests related to education, language endangerment, culture change, and the Pacific Islands.  She received her B.A. in Anthropology and Intercultural Studies with a minor in Applied Linguistics from Biola University in 2007 followed by an MA in Anthropology from California State University, Long Beach in 2009.  For her MA thesis at CSULB, she conducted fieldwork in the Solomon Islands studying the causes for endangerment of a small language called Engdewu on the island of Santa Cruz.   Building off her MA research, Rachel plans to study how the educational structure in the Solomon Islands affects students ability to attain jobs or return to their villages after schooling because of the introduction of new worldviews, languages and cultural practices.   

In her free time, if that exists in graduate school, Rachel enjoys running, hiking, reading a good book, and discovering new places and delicious food while traveling.

Travis Holtby

A photo of Travis Holtby


Travis is a second year MIA student in the School for Global Policy and Strategy (GPS), focusing on International Environmental Policy and issues related to sustainability, as well as corporate ethics. His regional focus is China. He is also the co-director of the Environmental Policy and Business Forum (EPBF) and on the board of the GPS chapter of Net Impact. Prior to matriculating at UCSD Travis worked in a variety of fields including on rural public health in India, writing as a newspaper reporter in Utah, working as a natural builder, and bartended in Tibet. Travis received his BA in International Relations and Asian Studies from Beloit College and in his free time loves being outside in the mountains, and spends several weeks a year wilderness backpacking.

Audrey Hope

A photo of Audrey Hope


Audrey Hope is a third year MFA student in Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego. She received her BFA in 2008 from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in association with Tufts University, and was awarded a 2014 Traveling Fellowship by the School. She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2014. As an educator she has held positions at the New Museum, New York, Art School at the Educational Alliance, New York, and The Oxbow School in Napa, CA.

Marco Antonio Huerta Alardin



Marco Antonio Huerta: Mexican translator and poet. Won the Northeast Regional Poetry Award in 2005. Author of the poetry collections: La semana milagrosa (Conarte, 2006), Golden Boy (Letras de Pasto Verde, 2009), Hay un jardín (Tierra Adentro, 2009). Magnitud/e (Gusanos de la nada, 2012) is a poem-in-progress written together with Sara Uribe and translated into English by John Pluecker. His work has been published in several periodicals and anthologies in Mexico, Spain, Uruguay, and the United States. He has performed on experimental writing gatherings such as Not Content, curated by Vanessa Place and Teresa Carmody (Los Angeles, 2010), the & Now Festivals (San Diego, 2011; Paris, 2012), and Los límites del lenguaje (Monterrey, 2012). Currently Huerta is a student at the MFA in Writing program at UC San Diego.

Tae Ok Hwang

Tina Mae Hyland

A photo of Tina Hyland


Tina Hyland is pursuing her MFA in Writing. Her cross-genre work work has appeared or is upcoming in Best American Experimental Writing 2015, BESTIARY: the best of the inaugural demi-decade of A Cappella Zoo, theNewerYork, and other print and online journals. Her current project, a grimoire of internet spells, is a collision space for exploring arrangements of tradition and modernity, passive and performative texts, and using material to access immaterial spaces. Before starting the MFA program, she worked as a teacher for over five years, with experiences ranging from elementary and middle school education in South Korea to literacy education for adults.

Malathi Iyengar

Yvette Janine Jackson

Lea Johnson

A photo of Lea Johnson


Lea Johnson is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Ethnic Studies.  She received a BA in Comparative Literature with an emphasis on Spanish Literature and LGBT Studies from UCLA in 2011.  Johnson's research examines the intersection of race, art, and politics in the U.S. South through a black feminist lens.

Bryan Kim

Troy Kokinis

A photo of Troy Kokinis


I am a doctoral candidate in Latin American History at the University of California San Diego. I am also a 2017 Fulbright Scholar to Uruguay, where I will complete research for my PhD dissertation, titled “Anarchism, Organized Labor, and Armed Struggle in Dirty War-era Argentina and Uruguay, 1955-1985.” I am more broadly interested in mid-century anarchsim, Italian autonomous Marxism, state terror, Chicano art, and micro-­punk scenes.

Morgan Mandalay

Patricia Marcos

A photo of Patricia Marcos


Patrícia Martins Marcos is a historian of science, focusing on the relationship between science, knowledge, and power in the Portuguese Empire. Specifically, Patrícia’s current work focuses on ideas of nature, and how these have been used to legitimize imperial ambitions in Brazil and inform the ruling of space, place, populations, as well as individual bodies.  Patrícia has a B.A. (Licenciatura) in History from the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal), a Masters of Social Science from the University of Roskilde (Denmark), and a Masters of Public Policy, specialized in Science and Technology Policy from Oregon State University. Currently, Patrícia is a Ph.D. student of History and Science Studies at UCSD.

Amanda Maria Yoland Martin Sandino

A photo of Amanda Martin Sandino


Mandy is an experimental poet/artist currently engaging with the San Diego literary scene. She is working on her MFA in Writing at UC San Diego, where projects include a lengthy prosetry noir, an impossible play, and a chapbook composed of materials found at ComiCon. Her poetry is available for viewing at the Clamor Literary Arts Journaland the 3:15 Experiment. 

Bianca Martinez

A photo of Bianca Martinez


I am currently a Latin American Studies MA student focusing on the region of the Caribbean. Topics I am looking at include Afro-Latino culture, women and reproductive justice in Puerto Rico with a focus on female sterilization. I am originally from New York City, completed my undergraduate degree in English literature at Williams College in Massachusetts. After my undergrad I worked at Mass College of Art and Design in Boston focusing on community engagement and various non-profits in MA and San Francisco. 

Michael Kento Matsuno

A photo of Michael Matsuno


I am a flutist, and DMA candidate in contemporary music at UCSD. As a soloist and chamber musician, I play classical repertoire and music of the last century. My creative practice extends the timbral range of the instrument through new techniques, taken both from scored music and from personal collaborations with composers. I have held positions with the YMF Debut Orchestra, the What’s Next? Ensemble, and a fellowship in contemporary music at the Aspen Music Festival and School. I earned an MA in performance from UCSD, and a BM in performance from the USC Thornton School of Music.

At UCSD, I am part of an interdisciplinary performance group called the Family Room, which investigates speaking and moving selves, through improvisation, game-playing, writing, and observation. I am also a sucker for modern fiction, and knitting.

Amanda Meza

Ly Nguyen

A photo of Ly Nguyen


Ly Thúy Nguyen is an almost college drop out from Vietnam. Barely got out of the University of Social Sciences and Humanity in Vietnam, she somehow ended up getting an MA in Sociology at San Diego State University. Currently a PhD Candidate in Ethnic Studies at University of California San Diego, her research focuses on the very reason why she was almost dropping out and her journey in the U.S.: the interconnection between nation-state(s), global power, and education system(s). Rethinking education as an enabler of different modes of migration throughout history and particularly in the context of neoliberal globalization, she seeks to address the complex changing formations of social and political identities through transborder educational mobility. She looks at the internationalization of higher education in Asia through a critical lens to interrogate the wave of youth migrating to Western countries, the current trend of (mostly white) expats going to Asia to become English teachers, and the growing vast network of private international schools in Asia.

She also tries to put her decade of being a Kpop fangirl into scholarship: her current side project looks at the role of Hallyu (Korean Wave) as a transnational racial project in the making of modern Korea. Ask her about her newest trip to Korea this summer.

She's currently building and translating a feminist theories book list for Tao Dan publisher in Vietnam, the first one being Ghostly Matters by Avery Gordon.

In her nonacademic time, she likes doing queer things like writing for Vanguard, the first bilingual zine found by and for Vietnamese/American queer artists, or help moderating Queer Vietnamese Film Festival organized by the same folks.

Christine Pereira

A photo of Christine Pereira


Christine is a graduate student at the School of Global Policy and Strategy and is pursuing a master's degree in International Affairs, with a focus in International Environmental Policy and Latin America. This past summer she worked as an intern at Qualcomm's Corporate Social Responsibility initiative called Wireless Reach which brings advanced wireless technologies to under served communities globally. She enjoys water sports, discovering new music and traveling.

Anton Prokopyev

A photo of Anton Prokopyev


Anton has worked in public relations and communications roles in both internationally acclaimed startups and Fortune 500 technology companies. He speaks fluent English, Spanish, and Russian, plus is conversational in Chuvash. He is a Vice President of the Latin America Student Organization and a Graduate Researcher at UC San Diego’s Machine Learning for Social Sciences Lab. Anton’s career goal is to transform data-driven econometric research into actionable business and public policy insights.

Leslie Quintanilla

Amy Reid

A photo of Amy Reid


Amy is a filmmaker and artist who questions representations of labor, time, and identity through experimentations in film, video, and media installations. She received her BFA from The Cooper Union and is currently a Master in Fine Arts candidate at the University of California, San Diego. Solo exhibitions include The Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art in New York; The Queens Council on the Arts, The Experimental Media Lab  at UCSD, La Jolla CA. She has participated in selected screenings at the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai, China; the Copenhagen Documentary Film Festival and the Norwood Art Club in New York. Amy has also organized a number of film programs including Las Chicas Presents, a seasonal film series in New York in its fifth year, presenting works of new and emerging filmmakers and media artists.  In addition to this series she has organized and created a screening series at UCSD called Kino Club, bringing in contemporary filmmakers working on film. She has attended the Snug Harbor Artist in Residency Program in New York; Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide in Queens; and Hunter College’s Artist in Residence in New York. Currently, Amy is working on a feature-length documentary about the lives of female long haul truck drivers.

Fernando Sanchez

Frank Kensaku Saragosa

A photo of Ken Saragosa


I am beginning my third year in the MFA Program in Writing at UC San Diego. I am working on my MFA Thesis, an experimental “autobiographical” or “auto-ethnographic” narrative about the writer in prison. I am interested in experimenting with forms that claim to be autobiography, auto-ethnography, and memoir, because I want to interrogate the idea of the confession, the impulse to tell the story, and the substance of the story being told. I am also interested in what these forms suggest about how subjectivity is discursively formed. My writing in general focuses on addiction, incarceration, homelessness and mental illness.

Prior to UCSD, I taught American Literature, Comparative Ethnic Studies, and Queer Theory/ Gender studies at Swarthmore College (Swarthmore, PA) and Soka University of America (Aliso Viejo, CA). I also worked in social services for several years, first with homeless mentally ill adults, then with HIV+ people just coming out of jail, and then as a case manager at UCSD Medical Center.

Kimberly Anne Schreiber

Gina Srmabekian

Suzanne Thorpe

Ann Thresher

A photo of Ann Thresher


I am a second year PhD student in the philosophy department at UCSD. Having completed undergraduate degrees in philosophy and physics at the University of Sydney, I now work on space-time, with particular focus on the theoretical physics behind retro-causal systems (the fancy name for time-travel), and temporal dimensionality. My other academic interests include gauge symmetries, temporal perception, artificial intelligence, and the philosophy of quantum mechanics.

Chad Justin Valasek

A photo of Chad Valasek


I am a Ph.D. student in Sociology and Science Studies. I received my B.A. in Psychology & Social Behavior at the University of California, Irvine. While I was an undergraduate, I assisted in conducting numerous psychological experiments on morals, politics, financial decision making, and memory. In addition, during my undergraduate years, I co-founded a performance art collective and played instruments in several bands. 

As a graduate student, I am currently involved in several research projects. One project involves examining the labor involved in managing bodily functions (such as sweating, menstruating, etc.), while another project involves the role of anti-socialist politics in shaping 19th and early 20th century economic theory. My most recent research looks at environmental health activism, showing how ordinary citizens get involved not only in policy advocacy, but in collecting, analyzing, and presenting scientific data in an attempt to prove local environmental risks. These "citizen scientists" are thus changing the role of activists (from passive consumers of science to active producers of science) and traditional definitions of science.

Jael Vizcarra

A photo of Jael Vizcarra


Jael is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Ethnic Studies Graduate Program at UC San Diego. Her dissertation research explores the political origins of displacement and humanitarianism in Argentina and its relation to U.S. imperialist projects in Southeast Asia. Jael analyzes the 1979 resettlement of Laotian refugees to various Argentine provinces to understand how labor plays a crucial role in shaping refugee resettlement to South America. Her research interests lie at the intersection of global population movements and racial formation theory, international labor recruitment programs, and hemispheric Asian-American Studies.

Jael has published essays in Amerasia Journal and the popular historiography blog Tropics of Meta. She holds a Masters in Social Sciences from the Humboldt Universitat zu Berlin and the Middle East Technical University in Ankara ('09) and a B.S. degree in Anthropology from UC Riverside ('06).

She grew up in Tijuana, plays in a band, and collects pens.

Kefei Kevin Zhang

A photo of Kevin Zhang


I am a composer and 5th-year PhD candidate in the Department of Music. I write concert music and make sound installations for/with instruments, voices, computers, objects, and combinations thereof. Broadly, my research interests fall into and around the peripheries of music's relationships to language and to cognition. Prior to coming to UCSD, I attended UC Irvine's Claire Trevor School of the Arts, where I received my MFA in Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology in 2012.

Academic Programs

Pepper Canyon Hall
2nd Floor

Office Hours
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
1:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Or ask your question in the
Virtual Advising Center
FB instagram Twitter YouTube FlikrGoogle Plus