2023 LLS Scholarships and Undergraduate Research Award Winners

Left to right: Adriana Serrano Matsumoto, Abby Carbajal Garcia, Kailey Reyes

The Department of Latina/Latino Studies is happy to announce the recipients of the scholarships and award for 2023.

Adriana Serrano Matsumoto is the winner of the 2023 LLS Undergraduate Research Award. Adriana is a sophomore Political Science and Latina/Latino Studies double major with a minor in Sociology. Their original research paper titled, “The Punishment of Privatization: The Rising Use of Solitary Confinement within Immigrant Detention,” highlights the issue with private detention facilities and showcases that they do in fact lead to higher rates of confinement and abuse for extended periods of time, as well as the lack of medical care and attention so desperately needed. Adriana has worked hands-on with the immigrant community as a legislative intern at the Illinois House of Representatives. During this experience, Adriana aided undocumented Illinois residents in enrolling in healthcare and promoted a recent bill that extended healthcare coverage to individuals regardless of their status. Adriana’s research makes the bold (and necessary) claim that the privatization of detention centers should be outlawed in their research. Informed by these research findings, Adriana seeks out opportunities to intervene for the benefit of the Latina/o community.

Abby Carbajal Garcia, a junior Accounting major with Latina/Latino Studies and Technology & Management minors, is the winner of the 2023 Dr. Jorge Chapa Memorial Scholarship in Latina/o Studies. This award honors Dr. Jorge Chapa’ social justice legacy by recognizing students who plan to use or have used the material they learned in Latina/o Studies to make positive change in the world. Abby involved as a program assistant in technology and management, as well as a university housing RA. Abby is also a mentor for La Casa’s ACE program and the Vice-President and Treasurer for Prospanica. Abby, in their application writes, “there is power in knowledge, and I aim to leverage this power to continue empowering those around me and my communities back home.” We look forward to Abby’s continued success in their home and university communities.

Kailey Reyes is a sophomore majoring in Latina/Latino Studies and is the department’s prizewinner of the 2023-24 LLS Major Scholarship. This scholarship recognizes a Latina/o/x Studies major achieving excellence in the classroom and impacting their community. Kailey has shown compassion, excellent work ethic, and genuine interest when collaborating with peers in the classroom. They are also engaged in student-run organizations, such as I-Cause, which assists undocumented or DACA students to navigate the university successfully. This engagement fostered in Kailey is a commitment to pursuing a law degree, as she seeks a career as an immigration attorney in order to put her interdisciplinary knowledge and skills at the service of her Latina/o/x community and help its members thrive.