Recognizing the 2020 graduating class of the Latin American and Latino Studies Program

The faculty and staff of the Latin American and Latino Studies Program sends its love and best wishes to all our students.

List of Graduating Students

LALS Graduation 2020 Yearbook

Graduate Students

Eliana Buenrostro

M.A. Project: “Destined to Fuck Up”: Los Illegals, Chicano Punk and the Immigration Politics and Art of 1980s Los Angeles

Downtown Boys – Monstro – “She’s Brown/She’s Smart”

Crystal Galván

M.A. Project: Reconstructing Mexicanidad: Blackness, Mis/representation, and the impacts of Social Media and Latinx Studies on Afro-Mexican Visibility

  • Graduate Student of the Week
  • UIC Grad College Service to SROP Award, 2019
Crystal Galvan MA Candidate personal slide with images


Yesenia Tapia Trujillo

M.A. Project: Navigating New Spaces in Mexico: The Reintegration of the 1.5 Generation with Support from Civil Society Organizations

Mami, gracias por enseñarme a soñar sin límites, a luchar con ganas, a ser valiente y a volar. Y mil gracias to all my family, ancestors, mentors, professors, friends, teachers, and colleagues, for your guidance, motivation, and support. I am ready to share all this love with my community!

Denice Frohman – “Borders”

José Angel Navejas

José Ángel Navejas (@joseangeln000) tweeted at 0:03 PM on Fri, May 08, 2020:

When I was almost 20 years old, I came to the US not knowing a word of English and with only a ninth-grade education. Today, I defended my doctoral dissertation.

Was undocumented then. Still have no papers or DACA now. Such a complicated country!

Graduate Concentration in LALS

Undergraduate Students

Emma Soledad Acosta

I am so grateful for my parents and brothers who helped me get here and never limited my vision of what a happy future looks like. I am also grateful for other LALS students and mentors for contributing to that inspiration. This program is unique for the sense of unity that it creates amongst professors and students. I am proud to be one of the many students at UIC who will utilize what they learned to be of service to our community in Chicago.
LALS & POLS Majors, GWS Minor

Jordan Alcántar

Taking courses under LALS during my freshman year sparked my passion for justice and reconnection to my own community and my ancestry. I am fortunate to have decided to double major and grow with my department. I look forward to the near future to continue my work under the LALS department as a graduate student to transform the field and our communities.
LALS & ANTH Majors | DHD Minor

Alejandra Angel

I want to say I’m grateful for all the experiences at UIC and especially to all my professors and TAs in my LALS courses who made my interest in Latin Studies grow throughout my years at UIC. Also, I’m thankful for my professors in my Education courses that made me grow into a teacher who is ready to take on the classroom role. And lastly, I want to give a big thanks to my parents for always believing in my education and doing everything possible for me to achieve that. ¡¡Gracias ma y pa por todo!!
Teaching of Mathematics Major | LALS Minor

Wilson Caraballo

Teaching of History Major | LALS Minor

Jennifer Castillo

LALS Minor

Liliana de los Reyes

LALS Major

Guadalupe Delgado

POLS Major | LALS Minor

Amaris Azalea Durán

The LALS Program has helped me grow as a person throughout college. I have learned so much, both academically and socially. I am so thankful for the community I have met here, and I will never forget about my time here.
LALS & POLS Major | Professional Writing

Eylin Gamboa Soloj

  • Dean’s List
  • Summa Cum Laude
SOC Major | LALS Minor

Laura Marinelarena

LALS Major
Karina Perales


Margarito Perucho

Ever since I could remember, I have been passionate about my Latino roots, and majoring in LALS has shown me the powerful impact our Latino community continues to have. Our culture is very diverse and filled with a richness all around, una riqueza difícil de encontrar.


  • Magna Cum Laude
LALS Major

Lici Rivera

Latin American and Latino Studies literally changed my life. Through this program I found the skills to think critically about the material I am learning, and about the world around me. I found the courage to challenge scholars in my classes, and social conceptions of myself and my people. I found a passion for learning about the injustices we have faced, and the power we have when we come together for change. And most importantly, I found a family in this department that I will carry with me forever. Thank you, LALS for helping me find my way.

  • Magna Cum Laude
  • President of the Union of Puerto Rican Students
  • Awarded the Research Fellowship from Las GANAS
  • President’s Award Program – Honors Scholar
LALS and BIOS Majors | UPRS President

Esmeralda Robledo

Thank you to my family, friends and mentors for all of their love, guidance and support. My time at UIC was an enriching and valuable experience and forming part of the LALS community played a significant role in that. Thank you to all the LALS professors and TAs for their leadership, passion and commitment. They contributed to my personal and professional growth and helped shape me into the educator I will be for my future students. Moving forward, I will use everything I learned and attained as an LALS graduate to best serve my students and my community.

  • Magna Cum Laude -Highest Academic Distinction
LALS Major | Teacing of English Major  |  UIC Honors College

Alejandra Salas

I want to say a huge THANK YOU to my peers, professors, and TA’s in the LALS department who have not only inspired me but have helped me find the courage to continue to pursue my academic goals. I am beyond excited to mentor the next generation of LALS scholars and professionals by following the example of leadership in this department!


  • UIC Dean’s Honor list for two semesters
PSYCH Major | LALS & GWS Minors

Karla Solis

LALS Major

Jazmine Terrazas

LALS Major

Alejandro Villafuerte

LALS Major