Board Members

Professor Jerome Branche

Jerome Branche holds a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico and is currently an Associate Professor of Latin American and Cultural Studies in the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh. His work deals principally with the Black Atlantic, critical race theory, pedagogy, and issues of culture and coloniality in Latin America and the Caribbean. His most recent work centers on the poetics and politics of diaspora.

Professor Myriam Chancy

Myriam Chancy is a Haitian-Canadian writer of both novels and literary criticism and is Professor of English at the University of Cincinnati where she teaches courses in African diaspora studies, Caribbean literature, literary theory, and creative writing. Dr. Chancy holds a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. Her research interests include Caribbean women's literature, fiction and memoir, feminist theory, and postcolonial theory.

Professor Lesley Feracho

Lesley Feracho earned her Ph.D. from Duke University and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Romance Languages and the Institute of African-American Studies at the University of Georgia. She specializes in contemporary Latin American narrative, in general, and the narrative and poetry of Caribbean women and Afro-Latin Americans, in particular. Dr. Feracho's recent work has dealt with cross-cultural literary texts of women writers of African descent in the Americas. In 2005, Dr. Feracho published her book, Linking the Americas: Race, Hybrid Discourses and the Reformulation of Feminine Identity. 

Professor Lucius Outlaw, Jr.

Lucius Outlaw, Jr. is a Professor of Philosophy and the Associate Provost of Undergraduate Education at Vanderbilt University. He holds a Ph.D. from Boston College. His teaching and research interests involve social, political, Africana, and American philosophies, including racial matters in socio-political life in the U.S. and in the practices of European and Euro-American philosophy. Professor Outlaw's publications include Race and Philosophy (1996) and Critical Social Theory in the Interests of Black Folks (2005).

Professor Hortense Spillers

Hortense Spillers, a scholar well known for her work in Black feminist theory, is a Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor in Vanderbilt University's English Department. Among her most notable publications are Black, White, and in Color: Essays on American Literature and Culture and Comparative American Identities: Race, Sex, and Nationality in the Modern Text. Dr. Spillers holds a Ph.D. from Brandeis University..

Professor Sonja Stephenson Watson

Dr. Sonja Stephenson Watson is Associate Professor of Spanish and Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at the University of Texas at Arlington. She received her Ph.D. in Hispanic Literature from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Her areas of specialty are Afro-Panamanian Literature, Hispanic Caribbean Literature, and reggae en español. Dr. Watson has published articles in the Afro-Hispanic Review, Cincinnati Romance Review, the College Language Association Journal, the Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies Journal, PALARA, Callaloo, Hispania, and alter/nativas: Latin American Cultural Studies Journal. Her manuscript, The Politics of Race in Panama: Afro-Hispanic and West Indian Literary Discourses of Contention (University Press of Florida, 2014) deals with the forging of Afro-Panamanian Identity.

Professor Claire Gonzalez

Claire González received her B.A. in French and Spanish (1992) and her M.Ed. in Instructional Leadership(1995). A Spanish and French teacher for 16 years, as well as native Nashvillian, Claire has travelled extensively in Mexico and throughout Latin America and  has taught nearly every grade K-12.   At the Center for Latin American Studies, she works with local and regional school systems, colleges and universities to offer teacher workshops and summer institutes,  creates K-16 curriculum development around Latin America, and strengthens business and community ties to the Center.

Catalina Garrido

In addition to teaching preschool, Catalina Garrido is the Secretary of Development & Social Welfare and the Assistant Recording Secretary of the Society of Friends of the West Indian Museum of Panama (SAMAAP).

Melinda W. Green

Before retiring, Melinda W. Green served as the Vice President of Children's Futures, a nonprofit organization focused on improving health and development outcomes for children and their families. She holds a Master's degree in Educational Psychology and Early Childhood Education from the University of Michigan.

Patricia Lewis 

Patricia Lewis is principal of the Instituto Episcopal San Cristóbal, a primary and secondary school in Panama City.

Felicia Morgan

Felicia Morgan is a Professor of English with 15 years' teaching experience at the Universidad del Istmo and over 35 years at the Instituto Episcopal San Cristóbal.

Ethel Record

After earning a degree in Primary Education at the University of Panama, Ethel Record has held teaching and administrative positions at the elementary, middle school, and university levels for over thirty years.

Enrique Sanchez

Enrique Sánchez is the Manager of the Purchasing, Warehousing and Inventory Division of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) and has worked at the canal for thirty-one years. During the last two decades, he has managed several branches and divisions related to construction, supplies and service contracting, in addition to maintenance and improvement of canal infrastructure. He is a civil engineer with a Master of Science degree from Columbia University in the city of New York. He was one of nine citizens designated to the National Electoral Scrutiny Board for the 2004 presidential election. In May of 2007, the President of Panama designated him to be a member of the National Black Council, tasked with designing and implementing a plan for the elimination of racial exclusion affecting Black Panamanians.

Trevor Sewell

Trevor Sewell is Professor Emeritus of Temple University's School Psychology and Psychological Studies in Education. During his tenure at Temple, he also served as Dean of the College of Education He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.