HA Fellows


Chris standing in a streetChris Colón is a visual artist, and scholar-activist from Brooklyn, NY. He is a Ph.D. candidate in the Urban Education program at the Graduate Center. He uses auto-ethnographic, arts-based research to help us rethink what education is and how to make sense of the world around us. 

Sharanya Dutta (she/her) is a PhD student in the English program at The Graduate Center, CUNY. Her research focuses on contemporary Anglophone South Asian novels—specifically nostalgia and dissent, states of emergency and exception, and the relationship between theory, language and the novel form. Her work exists at the intersection of postcolonial studies, transnational and world literatures, theories of the global south, and affect theory. She also teaches First-Year Writing and Great Books at Baruch College. Sharanya is excited to be joining Guttman Community College as a Humanities Alliance Fellow in Fall 2022.

Cary wearing glasses and a green cap


Cary Fitzgerald is a PhD student in English at the Graduate Center. They teach American Literature at Hunter College. As a Humanities Alliance fellow, Cary will be joining Borough of Manhattan Community College. 



Luis E Frias is PhD Candidate at LAILaC doctoral program at the Graduate Center. He holds a master’s degree in Modern Languages from Universidad Iberoamericana Mexico City and two bachelors in Hispanic Literature and Mexican History, from UNAM and UAEH, Mexico, respectively. Adjunct of Portuguese and Spanish languages at Brooklyn College and College of Staten Island. He has been Digital Research Fellow at Mexican Studies Institute of CUNY. He is currently fellow at both CUNY Publics LAB and CUNY Humanities Alliance. For the latter he is performing at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. His academic interests revolve around Latin American Literature, Resistance Movements, Violence, Neoliberalism and Masculinities. He’s currently working on both his predissertation proposal and a book of tales.

Diana Higuera Cortes is a PhD student in the Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures (LAILaC) program at the Graduate Center-CUNY. She received her B.A. in Language Teaching from Universidad Pedagógica Nacional in Bogotá and her MA in Spanish and Latin American and Caribbean Studies from St. John’s University. Her current work focuses on Latina Domestic Workers in the Metropolitan Area of New York City as they commodify their language practices in the frame of the Care Economy. She’s interested in Language Ideologies, LatinX Studies, Migration, Spanish as a Heritage Language and critical approaches to language learning and teaching. She is currently an Adjunct Faculty at Lehman College and Hunter College, CUNY, and she is also a fellow at the Workers Justice Project in partnership with the LatinX Project from NYU.

Sasha Isaac is a third-year doctoral student in the sociology program. Their research has largely focused on gender and reproductive justice, with a more recent interest in radical political movements in the South Asian context. This reflects a broader commitment to the decolonization of research and of education, which is what ultimately drew them to the Humanities Alliance program. As a Humanities Alliance Fellow, Sasha aims to support the development of teaching methods and resources that break from traditional educational practices, particularly with an emphasis on student-centered learning and alternative modes of knowledge acquisition/understanding.

Sukie Kim headshot


Sukie Kim (she/they) is a Korean American born in Illinois and raised in Bundang, South Korea. Currently they live in Queens, New York, where they are a PhD candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center’s English program. Their PhD thinks through speculative fiction’s capacity to analyze and critique imaginations of the future framed by heteronormativity, neoliberalism, racial capitalism, and US imperialism in Asia. Recently, they translated Cho Yeop Kim’s short story “Laura.”


Mellisa wearing a black shirt and glasses standing at GC hallway


Melisa Martinez Ascanio is a fourth-year Graduate student in the LAILaC doctoral program. She has worked as a Spanish instructor in Philadelphia, Bronx, and Queens. Her academic interests include Evil and its representation in Latin American literature and cinema, as well as the Philosophy of Literature and Animal Studies. She is currently working on her dissertation proposal and learning how to cook.


Francisco A. Medina is a community college graduate and is currently a PhD candidate in the Urban Education program at The Graduate Center, CUNY. His research cuts across human development, the social sciences, and the humanities to interrupt biocentric constructions of “human nature/the human” in educational theories, research, and practices. In his dissertation work, Francisco hopes to explore how community college students otherworld, (un)theorized, and reimagine human development otherwise in the psychology classroom. He has also previously served as a CUNY Pipeline mentor, a Carnegie Technology fellow, and a researcher at CUNY. As a Humanities Alliance Fellow, Francisco will be joining the ePortfolio project at LaGuardia Community College where he will collaborate with faculty to carry out the project’s missions. 

Janelle Poe (she/her/hers) is a multidisciplinary artist, educator and PhD fellow in English, Humanities Alliance Fellow with BMCC at The Graduate Center, CUNY and an OER Fellow at The City College of New York. She has taught courses in Black Studies, composition and creative writing at City College and Lehman College. Research focuses center Black representation, liberation, love, and futures across diasporas in literary, visual and sonic culture. Conference chair and visionary for the Breakin’ BLACK Reachin’ Back virtual conference on Black Rhetoric, DJ and Hip Hop Scholarship (’22), she led an inter-institutional team to host the annual ESA conference in conjunction with UNC-CH, featuring over 50 artists and academics in a convergence activating public and digital humanities. A WildSeeds and Kimbilio Fellow, “Eyes of The Tiger” in Aster(ix) was nominated for short fiction in Best of The Net (’16). Publications include Bushwick Review, Chant de la Sirene, Black & White Studies with marblist Sheryl Oppenheim, a Manifold Open Educational Resources guide for English instructors, and contributions to Black Diasporic Visions: (De) Constructing Modes of Power.

Jenna (Jennifer) Queenan (she/her) is a White, queer educator and organizer who has been living, teaching, and learning in New York City since 2011. She began working at Sunset Park High School in Brooklyn as an ENL teacher in 2013, where she co-taught in all subject areas. She was also the ENL Department Chair and facilitated the school’s Dream Team, a club for undocumented students and their allies. In the fall of 2020, Jenna left the DOE to begin the PhD program in Urban Education at the CUNY Graduate Center. Jenna organizes with the New York Collective of Radical Educators and advocates for immigrant rights in NYC schools with the Teach Dream educator team at the New York State Youth Leadership Council (NYSYLC), the first undocumented, youth led organization in New York. Her research interests are educator organizing, supporting immigrant/undocumented youth in schools, disrupting white supremacy, school abolition, and teacher education. 

Michelle smiling wearing a greenish sweater

Michelle Rendón Ochoa (she, her, ella), a first-generation Colombian-American educator, is pursuing a PhD in Urban Education at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Over the span of a decade, she taught English and Spanish, working with BIPOC youth in Medellín, Colombia and Freeport, Long Island. Her research interests encompass community-based research, school abolition and the co-creation of digital archives in the classroom that center historically marginalized communities. She is specifically interested in preserving and retelling the stories of the Latinx community in suburban Long Island and incorporating them in curricula. As a Humanities Alliance fellow, she will be working with LaGuardia Community College.

Theatre maker and playwright Joned Suryatmoko now is pursuing his Ph.D at Theatre and Performance Program, The Graduate Center CUNY. His research interest includes performing citizenship and queer performance in the Global South, leading him to his dissertation topic about citizenship in contemporary Indonesia. He is serving as the Director for Conference on Indonesian Theatre and Performance, while he is also Asian Cultural Council (ACC) Graduate Fellow.

His works have been presented in various platforms, among them are Asia Playwright Meeting in Tokyo (2009) and Melbourne (2011), Virgin LabFest Manila (2010), PEN World Voices New York City (2015), and Sight/Unseen Drama Conference London (2018). He is excited to be working with Guttman Community College as a Humanities Alliance Fellow and looking forward to joining with the experiential learning team.

Natasha Tiniacos is a political refugee from Venezuela, pursuing the PhD in Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures at the Graduate Center. Her research is focused on queer disabilities, sound studies, and the posthuman subject in the cultural production of Latin America. http://natashatiniacos.com/


Natalia wearing a green dress and glasses

Natalia Villarroel Torres (she/her/ella) is a Ph.D. student in the Latin American, Iberian and Latino Cultures Program at the Graduate Center, CUNY. She received her B.A. in Hispanic Languages and Literatures, and her M.A. in Hispanic Linguistics from Universidad de Chile between 2015 and 2018. In 2019 Natalia completed a certificate in Higher Education and Didactics at Universidad Central de Chile, the same place in which he taught courses related to education, language, and literacy from sociolinguistic approaches.

Natalia is currently teaching Spanish for heritage speakers at Hunter and Lehman College (CUNY), while developing a research line related to her main interests in historical sociolinguistics, archive studies, feminism, and social movements.

Additionally, Natalia is an active member of “Indisciplinadxs” a Feminist Linguistic Circle in which she develops, along with other members, different ways of activism that aim to broaden linguistic studies from feminist perspectives. An example of this is the project “​​Spanish Feminist Linguistics Archive: Language, Gender, and the Voices of Latinx and Latin American Women”, which seeks to build a digital linguistic repository and contribute to Open Access Resources for education. As a Humanities Alliance fellow, Natalia is working with LaGuardia Community College in the borough of Queens.

Nantasha in a navy coat wearing round red glasses and smiling

Nantasha Williams, a devoted community leader, fervent advocate for social justice, and accomplished political organizer, currently holds the prestigious position of New York City Council Member. She represents Council District 27, which encompasses the vibrant communities of Cambria Heights, Hollis, Jamaica, St. Albans, Queens Village, Addisleigh Park, and Springfield Gardens in Southeast Queens.

Nantasha’s resolute dedication is centered on driving concrete transformation within her community. Her primary focuses include the generation of new economic opportunities, the nurturing of youth development, the assurance of accessible housing options, and the protection of the well-being of senior citizens.

Her unwavering mission is to faithfully serve the residents of her beloved hometown of Southeast Queens, New York, with the goal of preserving and propelling its illustrious legacy into a promising future.

Inma Naima Zanoguera (she/her) is pursuing her PhD in English at The Graduate Center at the City University of New York. She completed her B.A. and M.A. at the University of Toledo, Ohio, where she wrote about Black aesthetics, specifically the poetry of the Black Arts Movement. In her current research, she’s looking at Black aesthetics in the broader context of the Hispanophone and Anglophone Black Atlantic. From 16th century liturgical and popular music, to present day Flamenco, she’s exploring archives of sound, music, and embodiment in search of (sonic) traces of the Black social, artistic, and intellectual life that slips through the cracks of continuing colonial oppression.


Former Fellows 

Gisely Colon Lopez 2023

Travis Bartley 2022-2023

Angela Dunne 2021-2023 

Greg Hartmann 2021-2023 

Ariel Leutheusser 2021-2023 

Oriana Mejías Martínez 2021-2023 

Mehrnaz Moghaddam 2021-2023 

Rosalía Reyes Simon 2021-2023

Sokunthary Svay 2021-2023 

Jayson Castillo 2021-2022 

Meagan Hammerbacher 2021-2022 

Jesse Rice-Evans 2021-2022 

Andréa Stella 2021-2022