The Department of Latin American, Caribbean, and US Latina/o Studies (LACS) at the University at Albany (UAlbany) has for nearly 40 years prided itself on being an interdisciplinary unit that prioritizes the study, interpretation, and theorization of the cultures and power dynamics of Latin American and Caribbean people and their diasporas living in the United States. The department has a history of generating PhDs in the ethnic and area studies fields of Latin American studies, Latinx studies, and Caribbean studies. As the pandemic has accelerated long-brewing institutional disinvestment in graduate spending, we find that our usual sources of funding – the extended-year funding usually provided to advanced graduate students and the diversity fellowship funding provided to our most vulnerable students – have dried up. To remedy this, SSRC/NEH funding will allow us to offer dissertation writing stipends to three of our advanced PhD candidates. A condition of the stipend will be that graduate students agree to present their research in a public lecture. These three lectures will be part of the department’s annual programming and will be open to UAlbany and non-UAlbany faculty and students, and the general public. These public lectures will also allow us to enhance the national visibility of the department and that of our students.