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.