Gabriela Arias - Class of 2011

DHi Student Fellow, Hamilton College

Gabriela Arias—Gabi for short—was born and raised in New York City; however, she has called Wallkill, NY home since 2001. As a member of the first generation of her family to be born in the United States, she is proud of her roots. She considers the African ancestry of Dominicans from across the diaspora central to her identity as a Dominican-American woman. The history and culture of Afro-Latinos fascinates her and is an academic interest which she has been fortunate enough to explore at Hamilton College. An Africana Studies major, Gabi is especially interested in the intersections between institutions of public history and the process of historical preservation in communities across the African diaspora. Throughout her college career, she researched the complex relationship between personal and family histories, particularly in marginalized communities, and their preservation in the archives. For two summers, Gabi held internships where she was engaged in digital archival work and humanities-based technology research. In 2009, she aided in building an online, interactive digital archive dedicated to the 1976 student protests in Soweto, South Africa. Later, she delved into two exciting research based internships. First, at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Gabi processed and digitized their extensive collections on the LGBT Puerto Rican community in New York City. Second, she interned at El Museo del Barrio and aided in the development of their website and potential mobile application. An aspiring archivist, Gabi intended to begin graduate school in the fall of 2011 in a Library and Information Sciences program with an emphasis in cultural heritage archival preservation.