Visiting Scholars and Fellows

The CUNY Dominican Studies Institute seeks to expand the pool of scholars devoted to Dominican Studies by hosting doctoral fellow, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting scholars carrying out research in Dominican Studies, and by offering undergraduate students the opportunity to explore the field through supervised research. In addition, the Institute hosts foreign students who wish to study at the City College of New York and deepen their knowledge and interest in Dominican Studies. The number of fellowships and visiting opportunities depend on the availability of funding.

These scholars represent diverse academic disciplines and a wide range of scholarly research projects, from the colonial history of the Dominican Republic to housing patterns of people of Dominican ancestry in New York City, among many other examples. The scholars work directly with CUNY DSI Director and Professor of Sociology Dr. Ramona Hernández.

Doctoral and Post-Doctoral Fellows


Pedro José Ortega, Ph.D. is Postdoctoral Fellow at the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute at City College of New York (CUNY DSI) and Professor of Political Economy and Scientific Methodology applied to Social Sciences at Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD) and the Global Institute of Higher Studies in Social Sciences of the Dominican Republic. He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Université Paris VIII, a M.A. in Philosophy from Universidad del País Vasco, a M.A. in Scientific Methodology and Epistemology, and a B.A. in Economics from UASD. He organized and directed the Transdisciplinary Congress of the Caribbean (2012, 2014, 2016, 2018). His published work spans from political philosophy, social sciences to history, including his most recent publication Decolonialidad, emancipación y utopías en América Latina y el Caribe (CLACSO, 2023) y Posdesarrollo y políticas de convivialidad en América Latina y el Caribe (forthcoming).



Lissette Acosta CornielLissette Acosta Corniel, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the Center of Ethnic Studies at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY. She arrived at the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute when she was a graduate student pursuing her Ph.D. at SUNY, Albany. Dr. Acosta Corniel’s dissertation, Towards a Theory about Spanish Women in Sixteenth Century Hispaniola: A Research Guide and Case Study, relied on CUNY DSI’s extensive archival records pertaining to Spain and the New World in the 16th and17th century. Following her graduation from SUNY Albany, Dr. Acosta-Corniel returned to CUNY DSI as a Postdoctoral Fellow. In this role, she worked closely with the Institute’s Assistant Director, Anthony Stevens-Acevedo as a co-principal investigator on the groundbreaking project,  First Blacks in the Americas / Los Primeros Negros en las Américas. During her tenure, Dr. Acosta-Corniel developed and co-instructed the Spanish Paleography seminar, “Deciphering and Reading Old Dominican (and Hispanic American) Historical Documents: A Free 8-Session Summer Workshop.” She also co-curated a path-breaking historical exhibit entitled Sixteenth-Century La Española: Glimpses of the First Blacks in the Early Colonial Americas,which won two grants, one from the CUNY Diversity Projects Development Fund and another from the New York Council for the Humanities. This exhibit captured wide media attention, including The New York Times.


Patricia KruegerPatricia Krueger-Henney, Ph.D. was the first Postdoctoral Education Research Fellow at the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute. She worked closely with the staff of the DSI Library and Archives to develop special initiatives such as Dominican Studies-centered curricular materials to be used across the disciplines by students and faculty members at The City College of New York, and long-term educational programs and internship opportunities for New York City students and teachers. Dr. Krueger-Henney earned a Ph.D. in Urban Education from The Graduate Center at The City University of New York. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Urban Education, Leadership and Policy Studies Department at the University of Massachusetts at Boston.

GriseldaGriselda Rodríguez, Ph.D. As a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute, Dr. Griselda Rodríguez developed and implemented content for First Blacks in the Americas—a major research endeavor undertaken by the Institute to illuminate the Dominican Republic’s historic role in the emergence of Blackness in the Western Hemisphere. Dr. Rodríguez conducted research on relevant historical themes, revised and updated existing documents, and collaborated with CUNY DSI Director Dr. Ramona Hernández and historian Anthony Stevens-Acevedo, directors of “First Blacks in the Americas.” Dr. Rodríguez earned the Ph.D. and an M.A. in Sociology from Syracuse University.


GrigorisGrigoris Argeros, Ph.D. was a doctoral candidate in Sociology at Fordham University specializing in quantitative analysis when he arrived at CUNY DSI  for the academic year 2009-10. Dr. Argeros worked with Dr. Ramona Hernández in analyzing U.S. Census data for the “Socioeconomic Profile of Dominicans in the United States” a study that CUNY DSI publishes periodically since 2003.  Mr. Argeros helped Dr. Hernández update the latest edition of this publication. The update is larger in scope, providing for the first time comprehensive information on the lives of Dominican immigrants and the second generation in six states: New York, New Jersey, Florida, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. Dr. Grigoris Argeros earned his Ph.D. in the Department of Sociology at Fordham University. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology at Eastern Michigan University.

KiannyKianny Antigua was a Ph.D. candidate in Spanish literature at the CUNY Graduate Center and adjunct instructor in foreign language and literature while at CUNY DSI. Under the guidance of Anthony Stevens-Acevedo, she conducted paleographical reading of sixteenth-century archival documents in Spanish relating to the colonial history of the Dominican Republic to establish the types of data they contain, the nature of their overall contents and other information that she included in a descriptive catalog of these documents. Ms. Antigua is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Dartmouth University. 

MiguelinaMiguelina Rodriguez, Ph.D. was a Ph.D. candidate in the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University while at CUNY DSI. Her research project was an in-depth study of the housing patterns of Dominicans in New York City. She earned her Ph.D. in 2019 and is currently an Adjunct Professor at CUNY.

UtkuUtku Sezgin, Ph.D. was a Ph.D. candidate in political science at the CUNY Graduate Center and adjunct instructor in politics and sociology at CUNY. He conducted research on issues pertaining to the cultural, political, and social identity of second-generation Dominicans living in New York City, particularly Northern Manhattan and the Bronx. In addition, he designed the methodology for a subsequent study with second-generation Dominicans living in select European cities, among them Berlin. Dr. Sezgin contributed to some research studies published by CUNY DSI. 

Fulbright Scholar

Dr. Margo Groenewoud

Margo Groenewoud, Ph.D. is 2022-2023 Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at The City College of New York and the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute. Based in the Dutch Caribbean since 2008, she obtained her PhD degree in Caribbean history at Leiden University and the University of Curaçao, where she is a senior lecturer. Recurrent themes in her scholarship are social exclusion, citizenship, migration, and radicalism in the transnational Caribbean. Groenewoud recently published in Clio. Women Gender History, Small Axe, and the Journal of Caribbean History. She is a consultant for the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) and member of the editorial boards of CSA’s Caribbean Conjunctures and of the Brill Caribbean Studies series.  

As a CUNY DSI Research Fellow, Groenewoud expands upon her investigations of connection and kinship within the Dutch Caribbean and broader Caribbean to include the Dominican Republic. Through a combination of archival research conducted at CUNY DSI and in the Dominican Republic and oral history research performed in Dutch-Dominican communities, she sheds new light on the 500+ year-old relationship between Dominicans and Dutch Caribbean.

Diógenes Cespedes, Ph.D. Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD), Emeritus. Visiting Fulbright Scholar, 1996-1997.

Lilian Bobea Immigrant Women in New York's Changing Labor Market. Visiting Fulbright Scholar, 1996-1997.

Distinguished Scholars

Current Distinguished Scholar
Dr. Paul Austerlitz

Paul Austerlitz, Ph.D. is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute. An ethnomusicologist and musician, he has written the book Merengue: Dominican Music and Dominican Identity (Temple University Press, 1997) and the monograph The Urban Maroons of Afro-Dominican Music (CUNY DSI, 2022), among other publications. As a musician, he has recorded several albums, including "Dr. Merengue" (Round Whirled, 2019), which features original, jazz-tinged interpretations of Dominican music. A member of the Academy of Sciences of the Dominican Republic, Dr. Austerlitz has taught at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD) and the National Conservatory of the Dominican Republic as a Fulbright Scholar.


Previous Distinguished Scholars

Jorge Duany, Ph.D. (Florida International University)

Frank Moya Pons, Ph.D. (Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra, Emeritus)

Ford Scholar: Dr. Yolanda Martinez San-Miguel (1999-2000)

Visiting Scholars


Paul AusterlitzPaul Austerlitz, Ph.D
. is a Professor of Music and Africana Studies at Gettysburg College. His first book, Merengue: Dominican Music and Dominican Identity (1997), opened an avenue of academic research in the genre in the U.S. and remains a landmark text in the study of Dominican/Latin music. Dr. Austerlitz is also a seasoned musician and composer, with over thirty years of experience in the field of Afro-Caribbean and jazz music, especially in the Dominican Republic and in the U.S. Dominican community. For more information...


Edward PaulinoEdward Paulino, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at John Jay College, CUNY. He teaches a wide-ranging number of intensive interdisciplinary courses. His research interests include: race, genocide, borders, nation-building, Latin America and the Caribbean, the African Diaspora, and New York State history. His research was supported by the Fulbright Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the  PSC-CUNY Research Foundation, and the New York State Archives.

Carolina GonzalezCarolina Gonzalez is a journalist and scholar focusing on Caribbean literature and arts and Latino literature and arts. She  teaches at the Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies Department at Rutgers University and at the CUNY Graduate School of  Journalism. Her research focuses on race and nationalism, transnational intellectual and artistic communities, as well as  countercultural movements. During her tenure at CUNY DSI, she developed a project on the activities of cultural agents in  the emerging Dominican community in New York in the 1960s and 70s. She also served as managing editor of a special issue  of the journal Camino Real devoted to the Dominican experience in the United States.


Mirtha CrisostomoMirtha Crisóstomo, Ed.D. is Associate Professor of Management at Emmanuel College and a noted expert on educational and social issues facing immigrant college students. During her residency at CUNY DSI, she researched on the predictive value of socio-demographic, language acquisition, college experience and placement test variables in the academic success of immigrant students.

Irmary Reyes-SantosIrmary (Alaí) Reyes-Santos, Ph.D. teaches courses in Latin American Studies, African Diaspora Studies, globalization, and Caribbean literature at the University of Oregon. She focuses her research and publications on race and gender issues in the Spanish Caribbean, with a particular expertise in Dominican-Haitian and Dominican-Puerto Rican relations. Her project at CUNY DSI was a study of U.S.-Dominican racial, ethnic, and national identity, drawing on census data, current literature, and a survey of Dominicans residing in Washington Heights and the Bronx. She examined how variables such as level of political participation in the city of New York, relationship to the Dominican Republic, educational experiences, and economic status, inform processes of identity formation in Dominican communities.

International Exchange Student


Rianna DavisRianna Davis was a sophomore at the University of Cambridge (UK) during her stay at CCNY as a study-abroad student in Fall 2019. At CUNY DSI, she joined an ongoing housing research project that tasked students and interns with capturing and describing the physical transformation of Washington Heights and Inwood through ethnographic research, expanding on CUNY DSI’s housing research, which, up to that point, had relied only on statistical data and secondary sources. Interns tracked the transformation through participant observation of the neighborhood, collection of visual sources, and historical analysis. Rianna worked on editing the final paper prepared by the group.


Natalie WagnerNatalie Wagner, an undergraduate exchange student visiting from the Free University of Berlin, spent the 2009-10 academic year at The City College of New York pursuing her interest in Dominican Studies under the auspices of the German National Academic Foundation. In addition to her courses in Latin American Studies at City College, Ms. Wagner completed an independent study project with CUNY DSI Director Dr. Hernández on Dominican migration to the United States from 1892 to 1924, as revealed by Ellis Island archives.

Last Updated: 06/27/2023 13:21