The Impact of Collaboration

November 10, 2022

Cuellar and Emma photo

At the Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute, we welcome collaboration among scholars, fellows, and affiliate faculty. This past spring, Cisneros Scholar Emma Ramos (’24) had the opportunity to work with Cisneros affiliate faculty member, Dr. Manuel Cuellar. Below are their reflections on the experience.

I worked with Professor Cuellar, a Spanish professor who focuses on Mexican literary and cultural studies. I did research on literature relating to Latin America, including data entry for translation of a book in Nahuatl and English, and read other literary works in English and Spanish about immigration. I also had the opportunity to read and finalize edits for his newly released book before final publication. By working together, I was able to improve my speaking, reading, and writing skills in Spanish, and I learned a lot about Latinx history, migration, and culture through different literary works. It was a great experience, getting to see all that goes into being a professor, author, and researcher, and furthered my interest in Latin America which I hope I can continue to specialize in through International Affairs and my Spanish major.

Emma Ramos is a third-year Cisneros Scholar majoring in International Affairs and Spanish. She is from San Antonio, Texas.

Group photo featuring Dr. Manuel Cuellar and Emma Ramos
Cisneros staff, fellows, and scholars, including Emma Ramos (third from left), celebrating Dr. Manuel Cuellar's (center) book launch!

Working with Emma as a research assistant gave me an opportunity to share with her part of the work that inspires my research at GW on Nahuatl language and culture, Latin/x American migration, and Mexican dance. The interaction was certainly one of mentoring but also one of mutual support. I depended on Emma's work to advance my research agenda, and, in so doing, Emma became an integral part of the process of knowledge production. This experience allowed Emma to witness the kind of invisible labor that research requires, but I hope it also inspired her to continue pursuing her own professional and academic goals, further appreciating the kind of collective endeavor any form of research entails.

Dr. Manuel Cuellar is an Assistant Professor of Spanish Literature and Affiliate Faculty of the Cisneros Institute.