Class of 2019

Andrea Rosales Sierra LALS 2017.cropped
Andrea Rosales Sierra is a queer immigrant woman who was born in Mexico, and moved to Chicago when she was five years old. In 2011, she graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a B.A. in Latino/a Studies and Sociology. She has experience working with students with disabilities, diverse learners, as well as serving LGBTQ and undocumented youth. Her academic and research interests include women of color feminisms and queer of color critiques, criminalization and gendered migration, theories of race and nationalism, and undocumented youth and access to higher education. 
Anely Martinez LALS 2017

Anely Martinez, a daughter of immigrants, was born in Rogers Park, Chicago, and grew up in Central Stickney.  She graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2016.

Her research interests include the problematic portrayals of Latinas, eating disorder awareness of Latino/as, and preventative mental health for Latinas. Through her work, Anely is exploring how the lack of mass media representation of Latino/as exemplifies and explains the mistreatment of this population, not only regarding discrimination and racism, but also in how they are seen as unworthy of mass media representation overall. She believes this also speaks to the contemporary political and economic arrangements that exemplify the distribution of power and privilege in our society. Following graduation, Anely plans to continue her academic career and apply to PhD programs in Communication.
Cruz Bonlarron LALS 2017 cropped

Cruz Bonlarron Martínez is completing his second year as a Masters' Student in the department of Latin American and Latino Studies. He is a former Foreign Language and Area Studies fellow and has previous experience in social justice and labor organizing. His current research focuses on the intersection of colonialism, climate change, and capital accumulation in Puerto Rico and the contemporary Caribbean.

Desiree Batista LALS 2017 cropped
Desiree Batista was born and raised in Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood and is a second-generation Puerto Rican in the city. She received her BA in History, with a concentration in Spanish History, from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research interests include mass migration patterns, Puerto Rican history, and the intersections among Jewish, Latin American, and Latino history. Alongside her work in academia, Desiree is an advocate for social, economic, and environmental justice and recently completed a year-long internship with the environmental organization Food & Water Watch. She hopes to continue on to a Ph.D. after completing her Masters in Latin American and Latino Studies.
Patricia Morales received a BA in Sociology, with a minor in Gender and Women's Studies, from Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU). She has received a number of awards through her academic career, including a McNair Scholar Award through NEIU, which served to develop a proposal investigating the experiences of "female" and "Latina" identified individuals who participate in relationships based on negotiated transactional exchanges.

Class of 2020

Crystal Galvan LALS 2018
Crystal Galván is from Omak, Washington, a small rural town in North Central Washington. She graduated from Washington State University in May 2017 with a B.A. in Comparative Ethnic Studies and a B.A. in Sociology. Some of her research interests include the African Diaspora in México, Race and Racism in Latin America, and Intersectionality. Crystal presented at the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) 2017 conference in Lima, Perú. In this project, she examined the afro-descendant population in Mexico and popular racialized images in Mexican society. While at UIC, she looks forward to continue learning about Latinx and Latin American communities as well as, being an agent of social change.
Eliana Buenrostro LALS 2018
Eliana Buenrostro is a Southern California native and an alumnus of UCLA. She received her BA in Gender Studies and Chicana/o Studies in 2015. As an undergraduate student, she was heavily involved in student activism and organizing including the fight for University of California union workers to be paid a fair and living wage. In 2015, Eliana conducted field research in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas on gender violence and worked with survivors of domestic violence. She also has experience working in rape crisis in Chicago as a former community educator and medical advocate for survivors of sexual assault.
Matt Lukacz LALS 2018
Matt Lukacz graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Spring of 2017, with majors in Anthropology and Psychology and minors in Philosophy and Religious Studies. Upon graduating, he volunteered at the Field’s Museum Neotropical Herbarium. His Capstone thesis, entitled “Revisiting Ethnographic Models of Human-Environment Interactions in Lowland South America”, shows how historical developments in Amazonian ethnography led to the proposal of the “New Animism”. Matt has also conducted fieldwork among the Mestizo and Shipibo communities in eastern Peru, where he studied ritual music and traditional ecological knowledge. Currently, his research activities center on the distribution of ethnobotanical expertise among the Shipibo and the intersection of cultural anthropology and science and technology studies. Matt will focus his graduate scholarship on several issues: 1) How the knowledge infrastructures in contemporary science (especially in the field of macrosystem ecology) confront the challenges of the Anthropocene, and 2) How the modern, precarious living conditions of both humans and non-humans transform anthropological theory.
Yesenia Tapia-Trujillo LALS 2018
Yesenia Tapia, who is of Mexican descent, graduated from Palatine High School, and then transitioned to Harper College where she received her Associate's Degree. She furthered her studies at Illinois State University obtaining her Bachelor of Science, focused on bilingual education. While a student at Illinois State University, Yesenia worked for District 15 supporting students achieve academic success and at a non-profit supporting students who participated in Community School where she was able to serve the Latinx community through her work and advocacy. Yesenia helped with the development of the program and integrated other ideas carried over from her previous work. She continued in this line of work and transitioned to the Family Involvement Nurturing Development/ Prevention Initiative as a Parent Educator. As part of the LALS masters program, and following graduation, she wants to continue developing her critical consciousness, learning, and advocacy among the Latinx community.