Dr. Jorge Chapa Memorial Scholarship in Latina/o Studies

This award is named in honor of Dr. Jorge Chapa, a beloved member of our department who passed away in the fall of 2015. Dr. Chapa received a PhD in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1985. He was a pioneer in the field of Latino/a demography/public policy and a prolific scholar. He was the author, editor, co-author or co-editor of 12 books, and he published 33 refereed journal articles and book chapters. His research was concerned with such critical issues as diversity in higher education, Latina/os in the Midwest, racial disparities in health, demographic change and voting rights, and the policy implications more generally of demographic change. His seminal book Apple Pie and Enchiladas (2004) is the standard treatment of Latina/o immigration to the rural Midwest.

Importantly, Dr. Chapa’s research and policy work was driven by a desire to make positive change in the world. For example, he was involved in many voting rights court cases, working to improve access for minority votes. Furthermore, he sought to raise awareness of educational inequality in Illinois in order to improve conditions for marginalized students. Given such commitment, this award recognizes students who embody the legacy of Dr. Chapa and plan to use or have used the material they learned in Latina/o studies to make positive change in the world. The recipient of the scholarship will receive a one-year $1,500 award to be credited to their University Financial Account for 2021-2022.

The Dr. Jorge Chapa Memorial Scholarship in Latina/o Studies is made possible by the generous financial support of Dr. Belinda de La Rosa (Dr. Chapa’s wife) and the Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs.


Scholarship recipients must be students with a demonstrated interest in Latina/o studies and majoring or minoring in LLS. Preference shall be given to students with financial need and those who are junior or senior standing at the time the scholarship is awarded. Students must be making adequate progress towards their degree. The recipient must also embody the legacy of Dr. Chapa and seek to use Latina/o studies to make positive change in the world.

To Apply

  1. Fill out an application form.
  2. In the application form you will be asked to respond to the following questions:
    • Why did you choose to major or minor in Latina/Latino Studies?
    • How will you use or have you used the material you are learning in Latina/Latino Studies to make a difference in the world?
  3. Provide copy of academic transcripts (official or unofficial).
  4. Provide one confidential letter of reference by faculty or staff. The second page of the application form is the reference form that should be filled out by your reference writer and sent directly to Marisol Hughes (marisolh@illinois.edu).

Applications should be submitted to Marisol Hughes (marisolh@illinois.edu) by Friday, April 14, 2023, 5pm.

For further information about the scholarship, contact Marisol at marisolh@illinois.edu or (217)265-0370.


Past award recipients

Abby Carbajal Garcia, 2023

Zion Trinidad, 2022

Isabella "Issy" Marquez, 2021

Ivan Saucedo, 2020