Polly Alfano

Polly Alfano completed an MA in English from the Department of Languages and Literature at the University of Northern Iowa and holds a BA in Spanish/English Translation from her home country of Argentina. Polly contributed in the translation of the interview with Beatriz Gallardo.

Luis Argueta

As a film director and producer, Luis Argueta has been telling transnational immigrant stories since 1977. The Silence of Neto—a coming-of-age story set in 1954 Cold-War Guatemala—was the first Guatemalan film to be internationally recognized and awarded. Argueta’s film trilogy on immigration, AbUSed: The Postville Raid (2010), ABRAZOS(2014) and The U-Turn (2017), brings into sharp focus the human face of immigrants, their resilience and a vision of communities that recognize the contributions immigrants make to American society. The Guardian listed Argueta as one of Guatemala’s "National Living Icons," alongside Nobel Laureate Rigoberta Menchú and singer/songwriter Ricardo Arjona. In August 2015, Argueta was awarded the Order of Quetzal in the degree of Grand Officer, the highest honor given by Guatemala.

Roy R. Behrens

Roy R. Behrens is Professor of Art and Distinguished Scholar at the University of Northern Iowa, where he teaches graphic design and design history. Among his recent books are Camoupedia: A Compendium of Research on Art, Architecture and Camouflage (2009); Ship Shape: A Dazzle Camouflage Sourcebook (2011); and Frank Lloyd Wright and Mason City: Architectural Heart of the Prairie (2016). He actively maintains two blogs, one about camouflage and another on teaching For additional information, see

Jennifer Cooley

Jennifer Cooley is a Professor of Spanish and Head of the Department of Languages and Literatures at the University of Northern Iowa. She is the author/director of the multimedia project Assisting Immigrant Survivors of Workplace Sexual Violence: A Guide for Advocates, Organizers and Leaders to Advance Immigrant Women’s Gender Equality Rights in the Workplace (ASISTA/U.S. Department of Justice Office of Violence Against Women, 2016) and several bilingual interactive performance pieces that explore immigrant’s rights issues. She is co-author and director with Karen Mitchell of the play Carne viva in Postville: Stories of Madres and Monarchs. She has also published a book, Courtiers, Courtesans, Pícaros and Prostitutes (University Press of the South, 2002) and numerous articles on gender, social status and representational practices.

Stephen J. Gaies

Stephen J. Gaies is a professor in the Department of Languages and Literatures at the University of Northern Iowa and director of the UNI Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education. His previous contribution to UNIVERSITAS was a review essay, "The Commandant of Lubizec: Fiction and the Holocaust in the Twilight of the Survivor Era" (Volume 11, 2015-2016).

Beatriz Gallardo

Beatriz Gallardo is a Guatemalan producer with a Masters in Communications from San Carlos University in Guatemala (cum laude). She has also been an independent consultant for BIRF (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) in the area of Human Development and International Cooperation for FONAPAZ (National Fund for Peace) and for the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education on Multicultural Resources Study. She was an advisor to the San Carlos University Outreach Office and Development and an independent producer for University TV USAC. Currently, she works as a freelance producer and independent consultant.

Linda Green

Linda Green is an Associate Professor in the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona. She is a socio-cultural and medical anthropologist. She hold a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley and a MPH from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. In her scholarship she draws on insights garnered from over two decades of field-based research that has centered on multi-dimensional aspects of violence, directed in particular, against indigenous peoples in three geographical regions,1. in the rural highlands of Guatemala with Mayan widows from the counterinsurgency war and its aftermath that includes the long term consequences of state sponsored violence, 2. in the US Mexico borderlands and beyond as large numbers of Mayan people flee their rural communities seeking refugee in the US, itself a legacy of war, in which ethnocide has followed closely on the heels of a genocide; and 3. in rural Alaska working over the past decade among Yup’ik people on social disruptions intrinsic to settler colonial relations. Her work has been published in the US, Europe and Latin America in both English and Spanish.

Elver Herrera

Elver Herrera is an organizer for the United Food and Commercial Workers. In his home country of Guatemala he worked as a teacher and also as a radio broadcaster during the Guatemalan Civil War. He immigrated to the U.S. in the 1990's, and spent several years living and working in Postville, Iowa.

Bruna Melo Howard

Bruna Melo Howard is a gospel singer from Brazil, Bruna is taking continuing education classes at UNI in Digital Media Production and working on her first English CD to be released later this year along with her new music video titled “Renewal." Bruna operated camera on the production of the interview with Luis Argueta.

Thomas Barclay Larsen

Thomas Barclay Larsen is a PhD student in the Department of Geography at Kansas State University. His research interests include the human-environment relationship, place theory, learning progressions, geography education, and geographic thought. In October 2017, he guest presented in the UNI Department of Geography. His colloquium was titled "Developing a Learning Progression for Place: Current and Future Trajectories."

B.J. Love

BJ Love is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He has written and taught poetry for more than 15 years, and in that time, he's led writing workshops in Alaska, taught fiction and poetry writing in Vermont, and, last July, took a group of young writers to Ireland. Recent work can be found in numerous journals and anthologies, including Gulf Coast, The North American Review, and Forklift, OH. BJ is the sixth grade English teacher at The Emery/Weiner School in Houston, Texas.

Noah Lucy

Noah Lucy is majoring in Digital Media Production, Noah continues his passion for filmmaking outside of the classroom, working for Theatre UNI as a videographer for their productions as well as filming local shows performed around the campus. Noah operated camera on the production of the interview with Luis Argueta.

Cheryl Roberts

Dr. Cheryl Roberts is a Professor Emeritus of TESOL/Applied Linguistics. In addition to her scholarly interests of language development, bilingualism, and teaching methodology, she is involved in immigrant and refugee rights and issues.

Doug Shaw

Doug Shaw is a professor of mathematics at the University of Northern Iowa, and is proud of the job he does. And loves it. He also teaches improv to youth and adults, and has an applied improv for teachers workshop that’s really something. He likes action and games of many kinds. He is the type of man who could put his personality in a bottle for the night, and accidentally use his aftershave in its place the next day. When he was seven years old he entered a yellow cab in New York City and asked to be taken to his destiny, and now he's wishing that he was a better tipper. He hopes someone catches the obscure Monkees reference in the above.

Francesca Soans

Francesca Soans is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at UNI and an independent filmmaker, Francesca teaches video, documentary, and fiction film production in the Digital Media program.

Reese Stolte

Reese Stolte is a student majoring in Digital Media Production with a minor in History, Reese worked as the editor of the interview with Luis Argueta.

Juan Jose Zúñiga-Mercado

Juan Jose Zúñiga-Mercado is majoring in Digital Media Production and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages with a minor in Spanish/English Translation, Juan is passionate about video production. He planned and conducted the interview with Luis Argueta.

Editorial Board

Jesse Swan, Editor
Grant Burke, Assistant Editor
Jenni LeGarde, Assistant Editor
Patrick Pease, Interim Dean of the Graduate College
Joel Haack, College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences
Timothy Kidd, College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences
Ken McCormick, College of Business Administration
Michael Waggoner, College of Education

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