Past Senior Research Projects


Faculty Advisor: Natalie Lira
Student Title
Carmona, Jessica
"Queer Latinx: Building Community and Creating Spaces in Higher Education"
Castañeda, Jaelyn
"Analyzing Latina/o Studies Programs in Five States"
Hernandez, Jaredth
"Diversity As We See It: Latinos Navigating Predominantly White Institutions"
Mendoza Mota, Amayranet
"Health Effects on Latino/a/x Health As A Result of Inadequate Patient Health Literacy, Medication Nonadherence, and a Providers Lack of Cultural Humility"
Valerio, Michelle
"Lost in Translation: Unraveling Injustice for Incarcerated Latines"



Faculty Advisor: José de la Garza Valenzuela
Student Title
Araiza, Guadalupe
"Observing the Current State and Impact of Latine Studies Through the Latina/Latino Studies Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign"
DeJesus, Victor
"Gaps Between US Born Latinx LGBTQ+ and their Parents from Latin America"
Garcia Loza, Josymar
"Queer & Chicana: Autoethnography"
Juarez, Dalila
"Latinx Students and the Higher Education System"
Román, Priscilla Valentina
"The Beginning of a Mexican-American Artist from Chicago: New Age Cumbia and the Future of Chicano/Mexicanos: A Collection of Inspiration from Mexican Culture, Music, Mexican Inspired Fashion, and a Chicano Manifesto for the Future of Mexican and Mexican Americans in the United States
Rubio, Odeth Guadalupe
"Latinx Through the Television Lens"
Valerio, Fatima
"Political Participation in Belmont Cragin: Identifying Strategies and Issues when Building Political Power in a Latinx Neighborhood of Chicago"
Vasquez, Jacquelyn
"Navigating Academia: A Queer Latinx Student's Experience in Higher Education"



Faculty Advisor: Gilberto Rosas
Student Title
Armenta, Esther
"Reckless Fertility: Latinas and a History of Sterilization, Sexualization and Reproductive Injustice"
Delgado, Jailene
"Activism & Air Pollution in Little Village"
Gonzalez, Ariel
"The Erasure of Folk Medicine within Western Biomedical Frameworks Through Public Health Campaigns"
Herrera, Alan
"Depression within Latino Men in the U.S."
Martinez, Luis Julian
"Labor on Immigrant Latinas: The Transfer of Latine Culture in the United States"



Faculty Advisor: Julie A. Dowling
Student Title
Rodriguez, Jocelyn
"Reproductive Injustices of Latinas in the U.S."
Sanabria, Gabriel
"Pushing the Boundaries of Gender: The Life of Jenni Rivera"
Santiago, Jailine
"Resisting Neoliberal Conceptualizations of Worthiness: Articulations of Care for My (Un)Deserving Parents"
Solorzano, Christian
"Border Patrol: What it Takes to be a Racist"



Faculty Advisor: Julie A. Dowling
Student Title
Alcaide, Jonatan
"La Masculinidad No Viene en una Talla: Analysis of Different Portrayals of Masculinity within Latino Music Artists"
Alejo, Kerime
"Afro-Latinos and the Importance of Identity Through Bachata"
Chavez, James A. 
"Laws Make Discrimination Legal"
Fahey Rodriguez, Elizabeth A. 
"The Body Speaks Back: Transnational Resonance Under Patriarchal Violence"
Gaitan, Denisse
"Afro-Latinxs in Podcasts: Storytelling in New York"
Gonzalez, Nailene
"Housing Policies Gone Awry: The Reality of Latinx Segregation in Chicago"
Jacinto, Vanessa E. 
"The Influence of Latina/o Greek Letter Organizations on Latino Students in Higher Education"
Palafox, Maritza
"Cerrando Las Piernas: The Power Held Over Brown Bodies in the United States" 
Quezada, Yanira
"The Ramifications of the Racialized Criminalization of Cannabis: Who Benefits from the Legalization of Recreational Cannabis?"
Salazar, Rocio
"Mujeres Atrevidas: The Chicana Movement in Pilsen"
Saucedo, Ivan
"City Under Siege"



Faculty Advisor: Sandra Ruiz
Student Title
Anonales Bustos, Jackie
"Disposable Bodies on Fragile Land: National Neglect and Natural Disasters"
Correa, Kathleen
"Mobilizing the Immobile: The Undesirable Body Beyond the Border"
Escutia, Patricia
"Makeshift Legality: Temporary Status and the Exploitation of the Undocumented"
Izquierdo, Alejandra
"El Paseo to Displacement: Asserting Green Space in Pilsen Chicago"
Medina, Iris
"Surviving Through Laughter: The Meme and Its Meaning"
Muñoz, Edith
"Can-Bell's Soup: Labor, Community, and Legacies of Migrant Workers in West Chicago"
Pineda, Guillermo
"Disappearing Acts: The Erasure of Racialized Brujos in Popular Media"
Reyes, Daniel
"Embodying Queer Latinidad: Chavela Vargas"
Rodriguez, Bianca G. 
"Bienvenidos a La Villita: Arching into Healthcare"
Vargas, Valeria
"The Haunting of the American Dream: Bullets, Ballots, or Belonging"



Faculty Advisor: Lisa M. Cacho
Student Title
Burciaga, Magaly
"Put the Nation on Sazón: Afro-Latinas Redefining Authentic Narratives in Popular Culture"
Camacho, Cindy
"The Labor of Killing: The Animal and the Migrant Body"
Garcia, Vanessa
"Semillas de Cual Tierra?: Analyzing the Reproduction of Violence and Erasure Against Indigenous Peoples" 
Giesso, Victoria
"Chicago and the Pink Ribbon of Mortality"
Perez, Aura
"LGBTQ+, Latinx, & Loud: Queer Latinidades in Contemporary Media"
Rubalcava, Carla
"Hood Solidarity: Coalition Building in Anti-Gentrification Activist Movements" 
Ruiz-Gehrt, Sophia
"Ana Mendieta: The Performance of Spirituality"
Torres Mena, Jema 
"Gentrification in Pilsen: Voices of the Displaced"
Valenzuela, Maria D. 
"Race, Space, and 'Neighborhood Stability': Latinos and Chicago's Southwest Side"



Student Title Advisor
Adkins, Arianna
"Creative Catharsis"
Lisa M. Cacho
Arruela, Claudia M. 
"The Impact of Parental Detentions and Deportation on the Mental Health of U.S.-Born Children"
Edna A. Viruell-Fuentes
Diaz, Myra
"From Pinkwashing to Whitewashing: The Creation of a 'White Woman's Disease' and the Marginalization of Latinas Within the Mainstream Breast Cancer Movement"
Jonathan X. Inda
Garay, Gabriela
"Finding Home in Queer Salvi Poets"
Sandra Ruiz
Lucio, Christina
"Searching the Desert Borderlands & Beyond: Families in Search of their Missing Loved Ones"
Jonathan X. Inda
Ramírez, Yadira C. 
"Latina/Xicana Development & Feminisms"
David L. Glisch-Sanchez



Student Title Advisor
Hurtado, Mateo
"Form Follows Future: Epistemologies of the New Brown Vortex in Theatre"
Sandra Ruiz
Martinez, Jocelyn
"Mental Health Effects of Detention and Deportation on U.S. Born Latino Children and Family Structure"
Richard T. Rodriguez



Student Title Advisor
Fernandez, Brian
"Family Detention, Corporate Intention: The Criminalization of Brown Space"
Sandra Ruiz
Garcia, Christian
"Adjusting What We Know about Student Retention in Higher Education"
Jonathan X. Inda
Huerta, Jesus
"Latino Baseball Players and Immigration Narratives"
W. D. Coyoca 
Patron Vargas, Jasmin
"Rewriting History: Examining Mexican Representations Within U.S. History Textbooks"
Ana Soltero Lopez
Ramirez, Xavier R. 
"Social Support and Sexual Practices of Latino Men Who Have Sex with Men"
Julie A. Dowling
Rodriguez, Miguel
"Water Governmentality in Chile and Bolivia"
Jonathan X. Inda
Saucedo, Carlos
"An Exploration of Latina/o Sense of Belonging and University Retention Programs"
Richard T. Rodriguez
Sanchez, Angélica
"Performing Brownness in Pedro Pietri's The Masses Are Asses: Una Manera De Ser within Normative Affect"
Sandra Ruiz



Student Title Advisor
Barron, Andrea
"'I Want to Help But I Don't Know How': Immigrant Parents Navigating Their Child's Transition to College" 
Julie A. Dowling
Olvera, Yesenia
"The History of Latinos and Higher Education: Implementing Programs for Latino Recruitment and Retention in Chicago During the 1970s"
Mirelsie Velázquez
Ortega, Antonio Miguel
"The Conservative Vice Lords Inc. and Young Lords Organization: Agents of Change"
Richard T. Rodriguez



Student Title Advisor
Durán, Myriam
"The Journey for Mexican Youth: Transnationals and Returnees" 
Lisa M. Cacho
Gonzalez, Yesenia Grajeda
"Gentrification and the Tourism Effect: The Case of Humboldt Park"
Richard T. Rodriguez
San Miguel, Cindy V. 
"Latina Teenagers: Caught in the Crossfire of Discourses on Latina Fertility and Teen Pregnancy"
Edna A. Viruell-Fuentes
Talis, Nicole
"Making Bilingual Education Work: A Comparative Approach of Schools in Chicago and Champaign, Illinois"
Richard T. Rodriguez



Student Title Advisor
Alonso, Tatiana
"Cookie Dough: Comparing Latino Chicago and Suburb College Students and the Development of Mexican-American Identity"
Isabel Molina-Guzmán
Calderon, Verally A. 
"Ethnic Identity Formations: A Multidisciplinary Exploration"
Edna A. Viruell-Fuentes
Cordova, Laura
"The Invisibility of Police Brutality"
Lisa M. Cacho
Giron, Erick
"Dime Con Quien Andas Y Te Dire Quien Eres: Masculinity, Gender and Sexualities in Latino Greek Fraternities"
Richard T. Rogriguez
Gonzalez, Eric R. 
"Gentrification: An Analysis of Grassroots Efforts on Chicago's Northwest Side"
Mireya Loza
Martinez, Maria
"The Dark Side of Migration: Sex Slavery in Latin America"
Richard T. Rogriguez
Patrón, Oscar
"From Hispanic to Latino (And Everything in Between): Complexities with Identity and the Power of Labels"
Adrian Burgos, Jr. 
Perez, Janette
Richard T. Rogriguez
Perez, Jeramine J. 
"Are They Doing What I Think They're Doing?: A Textual Analysis of Reggaeton and its Effects on Latino Youth"
Isabel Molina-Guzmán
Perez Cambron, Nancy
"Biologically and Scientifically Left Behind: Failing Latina Women"
Mirelsie Velázquez
Rodríguez, Gabriela T. 
"From Powerlessness to Empowerment: Conversations of Domestic Violence, Within the Culture of Latina Literature"
W. D. Coyoca
Sanchez, Jose I. 
"Surviving the Times: Subsisting Within the Limits and contradictions of Neoliberalism from an Undocumented Perspective"
Lisa M. Cacho



Student Title Advisor
Alvarado, Diana
"Buscando a Mamá: The Unattainable Scripts of Motherhood and Value of Deviancy"
Richard T. Rodriguez
Baeza, Mariza O. 
"Diseased, Dirty, and Dangerous: Immigrant Discourse in Primetime Television" 
Isabel Molina-Guzmán
De La Huerta, Crystal
"Left Behind: No Child Left Behind and the Limitations on Education in Chicago Public Schools"
W. D. Coyoca
Gonzalez, Monica
"Don't Teach Them They're Oppressed: 'Color-Blind' Legal thought and its Exclusionary Practices in Education"
Lisa M. Cacho
Guerrero, Enrique J. 
"Brown Spots on the Silver Screen: Visions of Reality?" 
Richard T. Rodriguez
Lizasuain, Neyshalee
"Who Am I?: Afro-Latin@s and the Quest for Identity and Belonging" 
Adrian Burgos, Jr. 
Medina, Oscar
"Creating a Space within Fraternities: Latinos at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign"
Mireya Loza
Palencia, Joe J. 
"Yo Soy El Army: The Politics of Latina/o Military Recruitment" 
Richard T. Rodriguez
Santillán, Natalia
"Black, Brown and Beautiful: Constructions of Women of Color in the Media"
Isabel Molina-Guzmán