Vasken Markarian is a first-year PhD student studying Latin American history at The University of Texas at Austin. He cultivated an interest in Latin American history during his undergraduate career as both a Spanish and History major, and his history classes on the topic of genocide specifically influenced him to study the armed conflict period in Guatemala. He solidified his interest in Guatemala further when he volunteered over the summer of 2014 to work with a Pokomchí cultural heritage museum in San Cristobal Verapaz, Guatemala. There he immersed himself in Guatemalan culture, gained a first-hand experience of the legacies of the armed conflict, and engaged in preliminary research. Vasken’s research interests focuses on the forced recruitment of indigenous peoples during the armed conflict period in Guatemala. More generally, he studies the histories of social and guerilla movements and the relationship between states and local actors in Latin America. As a native of Queens, New York, Vasken moved to Austin to begin his PhD program in the fall of 2015 after graduating Summa Cum Laude from CUNY Queens College, receiving the Seymour Resnick Prize, Molly Weinstein Memorial Award, and high honors in Spanish and History. Currently, he is an affiliate with the Rapaport Center for Human Rights. He hopes his future scholarly work will help promote social and political justice in Guatemala, where the legacies of genocide are very relevant. In the future, he plans to incorporate extensive field work and oral testimony into his research. During his leisure time, he enjoys singing, playing the guitar, and practicing martial arts.