Latina/Latino Studies Graduating Class of 2023


On April 30, 2023 we celebrated the graduating Latina/Latino Studies majors at the LLS major symposium where student presented their senior papers or thesis and were recognized for their achievements. Here is a listing of the paper titles:


  • "The Gap Between U.S. Born Latinx LGBTQ+ and their Parents from Latin America," by Victor Dejesus (Class of 2024)
  • "Negating the Aesthetics of Latinidad," by Valerie Garcia
  • "Latinx Through the Television Lens," by Odeth Rubio
  • "Existence of Fatphobia: The Intersectional Barriers of Fat Latina Women," by Estela Santillan
  • "Queer & Chicana: Autoethnography," by Josy Garcia Loza
  • "Mental Health Reflections of Latina Youth," by Sammy Garcia
  • "The Making of a Mexican-American Artist from Chicago," by Priscilla Roman
  • "Political Participation in Belmont Cragin: Identifying Strategies and Issues when Building Political Power in a Latinx Chicago Neighborhood," by Fatima Valerio
  • "Observing the Current State and Impact of Latine Studies through the Latina/Latino Studies Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign," by Lupe Araiza
  • "Latinx Students and the Higher Education System," by Dalila Juarez
  • "Navigating Academia: A Queer Latinx Student’s Experience in Higher Education," by Jackie Vazquez (Class of 2024)
LLS major graduates photo collage
The Class of 2023 LLS major graduates are:
  • Guadalupe Araiza (Latina/Latino Studies & Political Science major)
  • Josymar Garcia Loza (Latina/Latino Studies & Psychology major)
  • Samantha Garcia (Latina/Latino Studies & Social Work major)
  • Valerie Garcia (Latina/Latino Studies major)
  • Dalila Juarez (Latina/Latino Studies major)
  • Priscilla Roman (Latina/Latino Studies major)
  • Odeth Rubio (Latina/Latino Studies major)
  • Estela Santillan (Latina/Latino Studies & Sociology major)
  • Fatima Valerio (Latina/Latino Studies & Political Science major)
We also recognized three students who graduated with High Distinction in Latina/Latino Studies for completing an honor’s thesis and receiving a major GPA of 3.7 or higher and cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher
  • Samantha Garcia
  • Valerie Garcia
  • Estella Santillan
Also recognized are the the Latina/Latino Studies Undergraduate Minor Graduates:
  • Gabriela G. Aguilar-Ripley (Economics major)
  • Addy Alvarado (Political Science major)
  • Adan Baez (Communication major)
  • Paola Beltran Gutierrez (Agricultural Communications major)
  • Jesus Bucio (Communication major)
  • Kiara Del Carpio (Latin American Studies major)
  • Dominique Del Valle (Urban Planning major)
  • Blanca R. Estrada (Journalism major)
  • Fiona Garcia Byrne (Urban Studies and Planning major)
  • Elenia Samanta Marroquin (Learning and Education Studies major)
  • Daniela Martinez (Learning and Education Studies major)
  • Priscilla Martinez (Community Health major)
  • Claudia Irene Pensamiento (Political Science major)
  • Sofia Perez (Communication major)
  • Jenny Resendiz (Global Studies major)
  • Samantha Reyes (Political Science major)
  • Itzel Rivera (Political Science major)
  • Sofia Rivera (Anthropology major)
  • Angela Sanchez Soto (English & Political Science major)
  • Julissa Leilani Sanchez Ortega (English & Psychology major)
  • Daniel Soto (Agricultural and Consumer Economics major)
  • Alec Thomas (Urban Studies and Planning major)
  • Giselle Torres (Psychology major)
  • Julissa Velazquez (Political Science major)

Congratulations to all of the LLS graduates!