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Carreras, Professor Charles Latin American Studies Scholarship

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Dr. Charles Carreras was a founding member of the Ramapo College faculty in 1971, two years after the College’s establishment. Over the next 37 years, he taught courses and presented papers on Latin American history, culture, human rights and the region’s relationship with the United States. In addition to Latin America, Dr. Carreras’ research interests centered around Mexico and the local history of Mahwah, N.J.

“I came to Ramapo to pursue Latin American studies and devoted almost 40 years to educating students about Central and South America,” says Dr. Carreras. After his retirement in 2008, Dr. Carreras created a gift annuity that will endow this scholarship fund. The Carreras Scholarship benefits students with a minor in Latin American Studies and is selected by the Carreras family and members of the Ramapo College International Studies faculty.

“With this gift, I can continue to support Latin American Studies at Ramapo, even in retirement,” Dr. Carreras says.


  • For students minoring in Latin American Studies
  • 2.5 GPA or higher
  • Service and academic achievement will be considered
  • Applicants must submit an essay describing their interest in Latin American Studies and how it meshes with their career goals.

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2020 Recipient

Karen Lara

Karen Lara of Passaic, N.J. is a Chemistry Major with a minor in Latin American Studies and is a scholar of the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program. “After I graduate, I plan to obtain my Ph.D. and become a formulation chemist,” says Karen.

For the past three years, she has been an active member of the Association of Latinos Moving Ahead (ALMA) and currently serves as Vice-President. Karen is also a member of Omega Phi Beta Sorority Inc., serves as an EOF Peer Mentor, and is a Student Proctor at the Testing Center. She also worked as an Office Assistant for the EOF Office.

2019 Recipient

Karen Lara

Karen Lara of Passaic, N.J. is a Chemistry Major and Latin American Studies Minor. She has a 3.0 GPA and is a student of the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program.  She is also active in the Association of Latinos Moving Ahead (ALMA), where she serves as President, and she is also a member of Omega Phi Beta Sorority Inc.

Karen is a Spanish Tutor at the Language Lab and a Student Aide at the Testing Center. Additionally, this past summer she was a counselor and tutor for the Math Science Upward Bound program.

After graduation, Karen plans on getting her Ph.D. and becoming a formulation chemist. “At some point, I might even want to create my own company where products are made using different ingredients and chemicals that will not only benefit the earth but ourselves.”

2018 Recipient

Angely Montilla

Angely Montilla of Fair Lawn, N.J. is a Political Science and International Studies major with a minor in Human Rights and Genocide. She has received the Outstanding Student Leadership Award and has consistently been on the Dean’s List during her time at Ramapo.

At Ramapo, Angely has served as President of Golden Key Honour Society, worked as a Peer Facilitator for the LLC program, and worked on research with one of her professors. “These leadership positions have been crucial for my growth and helped me develop into a well-rounded student.”

Angely has held two judicial internships at the Essex County Superior Court-Family Division and participated in community service trips in Spanish-speaking nations. “I hope these experiences will help me as I pursue a career in International Human Rights Law.”

She has a 3.89 GPA.

2017 Recipient

Kimberly Perez-Lucero

Kimberly Perez-Lucero of Paterson, NJ is a Psychology major and Latin American Studies minor. She has a 3.87 GPA. She has been inducted into the Golden Key Honor Society, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, and the Chi Alpha Epsilon Honor Society.

At Ramapo, Kimberly has been active in the Association of Latinos Moving Ahead, where she serves as Vice President. She has also been involved with Ramapo College Alternate Spring Break (Costa Rica).

Off-campus, Kimberly is an intern for LearningRx, a facility that offers brain training for weak cognitive skills such as reading, memory, and attention. She has also been an Art Activity Presenter at the Father English Youth Center.

She plans to attend graduate school and become more involved with nongovernmental organizations advocating for human rights primarily concerning children. “Ramapo has given me so many new perspectives and outlets that I cannot wait to fight human rights issues firsthand,” she said.

2016 Recipient

Sasha Lopez

Sasha Lopez of Weehawken, NJ is an International Studies major and Human Rights and Genocide minor.  She has a 3.4 grade point average.

At Ramapo, Sasha has been active in several organizations and activities, including Organization of Latino Unity, where she serves as treasurer, and Leaders in Service. She also serves as the Secretary and Historian for Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority.

Sasha is an events intern with Amnesty International USA where she was exposed to human rights violations. She has also been involved with the International Rescue Committee, Ramapo College Alternative Spring Break (Arkansas), Ramapo College Alternative Winter Break (Costa Rica), Community Food Bank, Peer Leadership, and Oasis: Haven for Women and Children.

“Ramapo and its amazing faculty have helped make me more of a problem solver and critical thinker.  I have enjoyed the support faculty has given me in supporting my dreams to have a career in International Development.”

2015 Recipient

Monica Cuello Natera

Monica Cuello of Englewood, NJ carries a double major: Spanish and Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing. She has been inducted into the Chi Alpha Epsilon Honor Society. She is a member of the Health Awareness Team, the Spanish Club and the Commuter Club. Monica also volunteers at a hospital. She plans to attend law school and to establish her own law firm. “Receiving this scholarship allowed me to focus more on my school work and not worry intensely about having to work more hours. It helped me achieve a work/school balance that would not be possible otherwise,” she said. Monica has a 3.47 grade point average.

2014 Recipient

Andrea Arias

Andrea Arias of Newark, NJ is an Integrated Science Studies Major and a Spanish Literature Studies minor. She purposely incorporated her Latin heritage into her academic studies. The content of the courses resonated personally with Andrea. Born in Ecuador, Andrea says that Latin American Studies has taught her “all Latin American countries have struggled and the people who decided to emigrate did so with a heavy heart.” Andrea volunteers at an adult day care center and for a horseback riding therapeutic program. She was inducted into The National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Chi Phi Epsilon Honor Society and serves as president of Sigma Delta Phi Spanish Honor Society. She also is a peer facilitator and a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority. She plans to each public health in Latin American countries. Andrea has a 2.95 grade point average.

I was able to purchase my books this semester. Thank you.

2012 Recipient

Keysi Castillo

Keysi Castillo of Garfield, NJ is a Spanish Language Studies major and has two minors: Latin American Studies and Italian. Keysi has a wonderful problem: she is interested in so many things that she doesn’t know what she wants to do in life. She particularly enjoys the literature readings in her major and learning about the political connotations in the authors’ works. Keysi participated in a Study Abroad program to Guatemala. She is chair of the Conversation Hour hosted by the Italian Club, the Sigma Delta Pi Hispanic Honor Society, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and Association of Latinos Moving Ahead. Keysi, who has a 3.93 grade point average, still isn’t sure what she will do in life. But she knows it will involve Latin American issues.

2011 Recipient

Catherine Agacinski

Catherine Agacinski is a junior majoring in International Studies. She is pursuing a double minor in Latin-American Studies and Spanish Language Studies. Catherine has studied abroad in Argentina and has done volunteer work in Peru. After graduating from Ramapo her goal is to attend law school. Catherine plans to work for human rights organizations defending the rights of women and children. She has earned a 4.00 grade point average.

2010 Recipient

Ashley Wood

Ashley Wood is a double major in International Studies and History, focusing on East Asia and the post WWII era. On campus, she is involved in Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed community service fraternity, and Global Roadrunners, a study abroad club aimed at increasing study abroad enrollment and global awareness. Ashley is a member of several honor societies including Alpha Lambda Delta, Phi Beta Delta, Sigma Iota Rho, and Phi Alpha Theta. Her current grade point average is 3.92 and she will be graduating in May, 2013. After graduation she plans to teach English in Korea for one year, followed by graduate school in International Education or Asian History. Ashley is from Washington Township, NJ.

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