LASER PhD student Katlin Marisol Sweeney honored

LASER PhD student Katlin Marisol Sweeney honored

Katlin Marisol Sweeney, co-executive director of LASER (Latinx Space for Enrichment and Research) and a PhD in English candidate, was recently honored with two awards by the Department of English: the Sacks Paper Prize and the Award for Excellence in Teaching by a First-Year Graduate Teaching Assistant.

The Sheldon Sacks Award has been given by the Department of English since 1997 when Professor of English James Phelan established it to honor the teacher who introduced him to narrative theory. The Award for Excellence in Teaching by a First-Year Graduate Teaching Assistant is presented to a first-year graduate teaching assistant who demonstrates excellence in teaching First-Year Writing, based upon student evaluations and observations of teaching.

In addition to serving as LASER's co-executive director, Katlin is also a mentor for LASER students. “My identity and experiences as a second-generation Salvadoran-American and as a biracial woman have taught me to embrace and celebrate the rich diversity of Latinidad that exists in our communities. I am excited to bring my training as a writing instructor, student journalist, and LGBTQA+ resource center coordinator to LASER to help make space for young folks to claim their own agency,” she said.

Katlin's research involves understanding how fictional narratives of Latinx women's pain and suffering in media either successfully or fail to generate space for these characters to work through their pain towards healing, which can culminate with the creation of pathways towards a sustainable futurity. Her other research interests include the historical erasure of Salvadorans and Salvadoran-Americans in the United States, the inclusion of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) characters in TV/film ensemble casts, Afrofuturism and Chicanafuturism, media representations of the U.S. prison industrial complex and cat sidekicks in comics.