LSGS Certificate Students
Erick Daniel Aguilar was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras where he lived until moving to Mount Olive, North Carolina at the age of six. His Program II major focused on Migration Geographies of Undocumented Labor. He is interested in the intersection of immigration, globalization, and labor rights. He hopes to pursue a J.D./Ph.D. in human geography.
In addition to the LSGS certificate, I’m graduating with a degree in Civil Engineering (structural focus) and a certificate in Architectural Engineering. Throughout my experience, I have connected these fields of study through analyzing the relationships between humans and the built environment: how and why buildings are designed and constructed, how architecture influences human behavior and vice versa, and the largely Latinx workforce who build these structures. Since last summer, I’ve been working with Skanska USA Building as a project engineering intern on two of Duke’s active construction sites: the new engineering building and the Hollows dorm. As one of the only Spanish-speaking members of my team, I’ve taken on the responsibility of providing interpretation assistance and support to our Spanish-speaking tradespeople.
After graduation, I’m continuing with Skanska in the preconstruction department, working with architects and tradespeople to optimize construction plans and methods for future projects. The LSGS certificate curriculum has helped me to further understand and engage in social and political issues surrounding Latinx communities, and the experience has helped me refine my skills in critical thinking, research, and communication. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to explore the field of Latinx studies and its implications in my future career.
I was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and have been interested in cultural studies from an early stage as an undergraduate at Duke. Over the past four years, I have mostly worked with postcolonial and political-economic theory. My involvement in the LSGS Certificate program exposed me to the works of many thinkers from multiple fields, all of whom attempt to grapple with what it means to be Latin@ and with this concept’s political history. It is thanks to such an exposure that I decided to write an Honor’s Thesis on the history of ‘modernity’ in Puerto Rico, which I interrogate through the discourse of economic and social mobility.
After graduating and getting involved with summer projects, I expect to be working for some time at a publishing house. After this, I hope to attend graduate school and thus pursue my interest in political theory. I feel quite grateful for the attention and the wonderful opportunities the LSGS Certificate program has offered during my time at Duke, and hope to continue watching the program grow, as more and more students interest themselves in the valuable questions that LSGS students and faculty undertake.