Gicela graduated from California Lutheran University with a B.A. in Spanish and minors in Ethnic Studies and Global Studies. She is a first year Ph.D. student in the Hispanic Studies program whose research focuses on Afro-Latin literature, specifically poetry. Gicela became interested in Afro-Latin literature as an undergraduate student after noticing a pattern of misrepresentation and lack of representation of Afro-Latin individuals both as characters and authors in the curriculum of Spanish/Latin American Literature courses. Her previous works highlight the importance of including work produced by Afro-Latin writers/poets in the classroom. She previously presented her work at the Twelfth Biennial International and Interdisciplinary Conference of the Afro-Latin/American Research Association (ALARA) and twice at the Southern California Conferences for Undergraduate Research (SCCUR).