We’re pleased to introduce our new student assistants, Ivette Rodriguez and Chad Lobo Munteanu. They join us for our “Exploring Diverse Stories of America through Humanities Publishing” initiative, part of the Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan (SHARP) program funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Our sincere thanks to University of Florida’s African American Studies ProgramCenter for Latin American Studies, and Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere for partnering with us as we build a diverse future for humanities publishing.

We asked our new assistants what they hope to learn at the University Press of Florida, why humanities publishing is important to them, and what topics in Latin American and Caribbean studies or African American studies interest them. Here’s what they said.

Ivette Rodriguez is a doctoral candidate in the English Department at the University of Florida, specializing in Caribbean women’s historical fiction. She is the founder of the Caribbean Reading Group at UF and has worked for two years as a content creator for UF’s Digital Library of the Caribbean. Ivette will join our Marketing Department to work with books included in the NEH SHARP Grant.

“I have always been curious about the publishing world, and through this grant, I am able to learn about it while using my knowledge as a researcher in Caribbean studies. Something I have enjoyed so far has been the teamwork aspect of publishing,” she says. “I have already learned so much about what a university press does. For example, priority is given to the mission of providing a platform for voices that might otherwise not have such access. Through the books that are acquired, academic publishing celebrates human experience in all its variety.”

As a scholar, Ivette says, “Caribbean women’s leadership throughout history is especially interesting to me. I have been working with The Letters of Minerva Mirabal and Manolo Tavárez which gives us an intimate look at the inner life of Minerva Mirabal, who fought against the Dominican dictator, Rafael Trujillo.”

Chad Lobo Munteanu is an English major at the University of Florida. Chad will join our Acquisitions Department, focusing on African American studies titles. “This grant’s commitment and investment in telling diverse stories is the thing I am most excited about,” he says. “Writing can often times be portrayed as a lonely discipline but I think publishing speaks towards a spirit of collaboration and shared vision.”

As a student, Chad says, “I am most interested in African American literature and media studies, specifically the intersections of race, media, music, and sports.”

Please join us in welcoming Ivette and Chad to the Press.

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