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Alberto Milian Ph.D. '18, History/Latina/o Studies minor receives the Messenger-Chalmers Award

By: Marti Dense, Latina/o Studies Program, 
May 15, 2018

Alberto Milian Ph.D. '18, History, LSP Graduate Minor and a recipient of the Latina/o Studies graduate student research grant, was just named the co-winner of the Messenger-Chalmers Ph.D. Dissertation Award.

This award is given to a graduate student whose dissertation gives evidence of the best research and most fruitful thought in the field of human progress and the evolution of civilization during some period in human history or during human history.

Milian's dissertation, “Under a Perfect Sun: Ethnic Mexicans and the Left in Greater San Diego, 1900-1950, examines race and labor relations in Greater San Diego against the backdrop of events in both the United States and Mexico, from 1900 to 1950.

Milian's faculty advisor, Maria Cristina Garcia, Howard A. Newman Professor of American Studies in the Department of History and the Latina/o Studies Program, says, "Alberto is committed to a scholarship of inclusion that will insert into our national history those who have been left out of the historical narrative because of class, race, or gender.  He is also sensitive to the need to teach U.S. history as part of a broader hemispheric history.  In the classroom, he was one of the best assistants I’ve had the pleasure to work with. He spent hours with his students discussing ways they might reshape an argument or rewrite a paragraph. He was especially understanding of the challenges first-generation students like himself face in the classroom and far from home.  It was an honor to work with him."

When asked what the LSP minor meant and what he will remember best from his Cornell experience, Alberto said, "LSP allowed me to meet and get to know scholars of all levels, from undergraduates to professors. I appreciated the flexibility of the minor, which allowed me to receive a multidisciplinary education. Ultimately, this made me a better scholar. LSP will undoubtedly be central in my memories of Cornell, as the program cannot be lauded enough. I have been involved with the Latina/o Graduate Student Coalition (LGSC) from my first days in Ithaca, thus I know how important LSP is to many students' lives. For many of us, that floor in Rockefeller Hall was in many ways a home away from home. LSP was also pivotal in helping create Latina/o-friendly spaces outside of Rockefeller."

Picture of Alberto Milian Ph.D. '18, History, LSP Graduate Minor and a recipient of the Latina/o Studies graduate student research grant