Melissa Ayala

Student Assistant

Melissa Ayala is a First-Generation Brazilian and Salvadoran student from Los Angeles, California. Melissa is double majoring in Political Economy and History with interests in International Relations and Marketing. At CLACS, Melissa hopes to learn more about Central and South America. She is usually seen around the Berkeley campus drinking a cup of coffee and reading a book.

Natalia Brizuela

Class of 1930 Chair, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies; Professor
Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Department of Film and Media Studies

Professor of Spanish & Portuguese and Film & Media. Her work focuses on photography, film and contemporary art, critical theory and aesthetics of both Spanish America and Brazil. She is the author of two books on photography. The first, Fotografia e Império. Paisagens para um Brasil Moderno (Cia das Letras, 2012) is a study of 19th Century photography in Brasil in its relationship to modern state formation, nationalism, modernization and race. The second, Depois da fotografia. Uma literatura fora de si (Rocco, 2014) is a study of contemporary literature in an expanded field,...

Julia Byrd

Vice Chair (she/her/ella)
Julia Byrd is the Vice Chair at the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS). She has decades of experience in philanthropy and educational programs in the U.S. and in Latin America, working with U.S. universities and community-based non-profit organizations. At CLACS, she manages and develops grant and endowment programs; administers student fellowships; and oversees programs, staff and daily operations. She has secured more than $3 million in grants from funders such as the Ford Foundation and the US Department of Education. She created the Nahuatl and Mam programs at...

Jonathan Jeremy Flores

Student Assistant (he/him/they/them)

Jonathan Flores is a Legal Studies major from San Francisco, California. They are passionate about advocating for Latinx & Queer voices, especially Honduran voices. Partly raised in Honduras for two years, Jonathan worked to connect to their heritage and, by working at CLACS, they hope to be able to expand their knowledge about Honduras and Central America as a whole. Jonathan can also be seen working in multiple Queer organizations on campus such as QARC or Amores Valientes (QT Latinx).

Greg Louden

Technology & Visual Design Specialist
Greg Louden is the Design, Web and Information Technology staff person. In this capacity, Greg is responsible for planning, scheduling and coordinating the production of publications and promotional materials.

Janet Waggaman

Program Manager (Ella/She/Ela)
Janet Waggaman plans and develops public programs for the Center, working with the Chair and Vice-Chair to organize and carry out conferences, lectures, and cultural events. She also develops strategies for community building and program publicity. Janet earned a bachelor’s degree in History and a Master’s degree in Latin American History from University Adolfo Ibáñez in Chile. She has extensive experience in contemporary Latin American politics and the impact of globalization in the region.