From the Director
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
I am privileged to have served as the Director of the Institute for Latino Studies (ILS) for the last seven years. In that time, I have come to fully appreciate how ILS enriches the intellectual lives of faculty, students, staff, and alumni at Notre Dame.
ILS focuses on better understanding the lives, including successes and challenges, of Latinx-origin communities in the U.S. We examine issues related to immigration, politics, education, ministry, language, literature, poetry, art, leadership, education, and other areas. Research, teaching, and service in these areas help Notre Dame be at the forefront of posing the hard questions about our growing multicultural democracy and how to address the many challenges that building an inclusive multicultural democracy in the U.S. still pose.
We are the initiator of the formal celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month at Notre Dame. We sponsor the Transformative Latina/o/x Lecture Series that brings prominent national speakers to campus. We also sponsor a Latino Studies Seminar where faculty share their current research with an interdisciplinary group of scholars.
Just as important as all of the scholarly initiatives is that we work to build a community and family of scholars at all levels with interests in Latino Studies. We think it is important that intellectual communities be built to support members of our Notre Dame family.
As we celebrate the successes of the past year, we are eagerly anticipating 2024, in which we will hold a major celebration recognizing the 25th anniversary of ILS.
—ILS Director Luis Fraga, the Rev. Donald P. McNeill, C.S.C., Professor of Transformative Latino Leadership and the Joseph and Elizabeth Robbie Professor of Political Science
The Institute for Latino Studies advances understanding of the fastest-growing and youngest population in the United States and the U.S. Catholic Church.
ILS strengthens the University of Notre Dame’s mission to prepare transformative leaders in all sectors, including the professions, arts, business, politics, faith, and family life among Latinos and all members of our society.
ILS fosters a deeper understanding of Latino communities to empower faculty, students, society — all of us —to make better strategic decisions as to what kind of a country we want to leave for our children and grandchildren.
The Institute strives to achieve its mission by providing faculty and student support in the areas of Research, Academics, Leadership, Community Engagement, and Latino Spirituality.
Crossing Waters: Undocumented Migration in Hispanophone Caribbean and Latinx Literature & Art
by Marisel C. Moreno
An innovative study of the artistic representations of undocumented migration within the Hispanophone Caribbean.
2023 winner, Gordon K. and Sybil Lewis Book Award, Caribbean Studies Association
2023 honorable mention, Isis Duarte Book Prize, Haiti/ Dominican Republic section (LASA)
Debates over the undocumented migration of Latin Americans invariably focus on the southern US border, but most migrants never cross that arbitrary line. Instead, many travel, via water, among the Caribbean islands. The first study to examine literary and artistic representations of undocumented migration within the Hispanophone Caribbean, Crossing Waters relates a journey that remains silenced and largely unknown.
Analyzing works by novelists, short-story writers, poets, and visual artists replete with references to drowning and echoes of the Middle Passage, Marisel Moreno shines a spotlight on the plight that these migrants face. In some cases, Puerto Rico takes on a new role as a stepping-stone to the continental United States and the society migrants will join there. Meanwhile the land border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the only terrestrial border in the Hispanophone Caribbean, emerges as a complex space within this cartography of borders. And while the Border Patrol occupies US headlines, the Coast Guard occupies the nightmares of refugees.
An untold story filled with beauty, possibility, and sorrow, Crossing Waters encourages us to rethink the geography and experience of undocumented migration and the role that the Caribbean archipelago plays as a border zone.
Reclaiming the Americas: Latinx Art and the Politics of Territory (Latinx: The Future Is Now)
by Tatiana Reinoza
How Latinx artists around the US adopted the medium of printmaking to reclaim the lands of the Americas
Printmakers have conspired, historically, to illustrate the maps created by European colonizers that were used to chart and claim their expanding territories. Over the last three decades, Latinx artists and print studios have reclaimed this printed art form for their own spatial discourse. This book examines the limited editions produced at four art studios around the US that span everything from sly critiques of Manifest Destiny to printed portraits of Dreamers in Texas.
Reclaiming the Americas is the visual history of Latinx printmaking in the US. Tatiana Reinoza employs a pan-ethnic comparative model for this interdisciplinary study of graphic art, drawing on art history, Latinx studies, and geography in her discussions. The book contests printmaking’s historical complicity in the logics of colonization and restores the art form and the lands it once illustrated to the Indigenous, migrant, mestiza/o, and Afro-descendant people of the Americas.
2022-23 Faculty Fellows
- Emiliano Aguilar, Assistant Professor, History
- Steven Alvarado, Assistant Professor, Sociology
- Thomas Anderson, Professor of Spanish, Romance Languages and Literatures
- Francisco Aragón, Professor of the Practice (Poetry & Literature), Latino Studies
- Kraig Beyerlein, Associate Professor, Sociology
- Tatiana Botero, Teaching Professor of Spanish, Romance Languages and Literatures
- Alex E. Chávez, the Nancy O'Neill Associate Professor of Anthropology
- Yamil J. Colón, Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
- David Cortez, Assistant Professor of Political Science
- Luis Ricardo Fraga, the Rev. Donald P. McNeill, C.S.C., Professor of Transformative Latino Leadership and the Joseph and Elizabeth Robbie Professor of Political Science
- Anne García-Romero, Associate Professor, Film, Television, and Theatre
- Rev. Daniel Groody, C.S.C., Vice President and Associate Provost and Professor, Theology
- Jimmy Gurulé, Professor, Law
- Anna Haskins, the Andrew V. Tackes Associate Professor of Sociology
- Carlos A. Jáuregui, Associate Professor, Romance Languages and Literatures
- Amy Langenkamp, the O'Shaughnessy Associate Professor of Education, Sociology
- David M. Lantigua, Associate Professor, Theology; the William W. and Anna Jean Cushwa Co-Director, Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism
- Katy Walter Lichon, Assistant Professor of the Practice, Alliance for Catholic Education; Director, Catholic School Advantage and Director, English as a New Language; Assistant Teaching Professor, ACE Teaching Fellows
- Elena Mangione-Lora, Teaching Professor of Spanish, Romance Languages and Literatures
- Ricardo Martinez-Schuldt, Assistant Professor, Sociology
- Timothy Matovina, Professor and Chair, Theology
- Orlando Menes, Professor, English
- Nydia Morales-Soto, Assistant Director, Eck Institute for Global Health
- Marisel Moreno, the Rev. John A. O'Brien College Professor, Romance Languages and Literatures
- Edgar Bolivar Nieto, Assistant Professor of Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering, WeRoLab, College of Engineering
- Darcia Narvaez, Professor Emerita, Psychology
- Xavier Navarro Aquino, Assistant Professor, English
- Jenny Padilla, William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families Assistant Professor, Psychology
- Rachel Rivers Parroquín, Teaching Professor of Spanish, Romance Languages and Literatures
- Jaime Pensado, Associate Professor, History
- Juanita Pinzón Caicedo, Assistant Professor, Mathematics
- Ricardo Ramírez, Associate Professor, Political Science
- Tatiana Reinoza, Assistant Professor, Art, Art History, & Design
- Karen Richman, Professor of the Practice, Latino Studies and Anthropology
- Francisco Robles, Assistant Professor, English
- Jason Ruiz, Associate Professor and Chair, American Studies
- Maria Tomasula, the Michael P. Grace Professor, Art, Art History & Design
- Thomas Tweed, the W. Harold and Martha Welch Professor, American Studies
- Leonor Wangensteen, Associate Advising Professor, College of Engineering
The ILS Graduate Student Working Group convenes young scholars from multiple disciplines to share their research, address issues affecting Latino communities, and develop a national professional network in a growing field of experts.
ILS has continued to host the Graduate Student Working Group, which convened for six sessions in the fall and six in the spring. This interdisciplinary group of 12 students come together to share their work and receive feedback from their peers in a relaxed but productive workshop setting. ILS facilitates the meeting spaces and provides lunch and refreshments. Roger Cadena, Ph.D. candidate in sociology, and Jessala Grijalva, Ph.D. candidate in political science, served as co-chairs.
Alejandra Campos was a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science in 2022-23. As an ILS fellow, she regularly attended the ILS Graduate Student Working Group and presented parts of her dissertation. The feedback she received was invaluable in developing her academic job market materials and the advancement of her dissertation. She has now started a tenure-track job as the Diane D. Blair Endowed Assistant Professor in Latino Politics at the University of Arkansas.
Established in 1999, ILS now has 33 affiliated Faculty Fellows, 87 supplemental majors and minors, offers approximately 60 cross-listed classes, and enrolls over 1,300 students each year. Our courses are primarily in the humanities and social sciences, although we are beginning to branch out to other colleges at the University as well.
A sampling of recent courses
Intro to Latino Studies • Urban Politics • Social Inequality & American Education • Immigrant Youth and Families • From Hip Hop to Ballads • Latinos In The Future of America • Banned Latinx Literature • Latinx Representation in Hollywood
Aidee Barajas ’23
- Majors: Sociology and American Studies
- Supplementary Major: Latino Studies
- Now: Case Manager, Catholic Charities of Dallas’ Immigration Legal Services
My time at Notre Dame would not have been complete without the Institute for Latino Studies. Through ILS I met lifelong friends and had the chance to intern at the best places."
Through ILS, Barajas had the chance to intern for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund in Los Angeles. She is now working at Catholic Charities of Dallas’ Immigration Legal Services as a case manager. She plans to attend law school and become an immigration attorney within the next few years.
Nicholas Crookston ’23
- Major: Political Science
- Supplementary Majors: Global Affairs (Concentration in Civil and Human Rights) and Latino Studies
- Now: Staff member, Voto Latino campaigns team
To my ILS family, I am profoundly grateful for the inspiring ways in which you push the ball forward in the fight to uplift and empower our communities, and for the indelible mark you have made in my life.”
Crookston recognizes the ways that the ILS family fights to uplift and empower communities. He now works for Voto Latino’s campaign team in Washington, D.C., and plans to enroll in law school in the coming years and hopes to work in appellate law and public service where he can fight for immigrant justice and voting rights.
Joshua Dippold ’23
- Major: Theology
- Supplemental Major: Arts & Letters Pre-Health
- Minor: Latino Studies
The class Latino Health, taught by Professors Karen Richman and Nydia Morales Soto, provided me with important reading and discussion about social, cultural, and scientific perspectives on health and specifically health in the Latino community.”
During his time at Notre Dame, Dippold helped renovate La Casa de Amistad, tutor at ChikiCole Bilingual Elementary School, and assist as an ND Tertulia coordinator. He plans to attend medical school where he will use his Spanish-speaking knowledge to uplift his patients, making all feel welcome.
Best Paper in Latino Studies
This is the fourth year of the José E. Limón Best Paper Award competition, named after the retired ILS director and professor emeritus of English, who was a pioneer in advancing Latino studies and mentoring Latino Ph.D. students in America. Lunch with faculty advisors along with an award of $250 was provided to one undergraduate, and four awards of $500 each to the graduate students.
- Clayton Glasgow's “Latinx Farmworker Health in a Changing Climate," was selected as the Best Paper in Latino Studies by an undergraduate student at the University of Notre Dame.
- Manuel Rodriguez's “The Importance of Faith: Religion and Latinx Americans' Attitudes Toward Immigration Policy,” was selected as a Best Paper in Latino Studies by a graduate student at the University of Notre Dame.
- Tesi Aguirre Alfaro's “Interrupted Mothering: The Collective Trauma of Family Separation,” was selected as a Best Paper in Latino Studies by a graduate student at the University of Notre Dame.
- Roger Cadena's “Beyond ‘Brownness’: An Analysis of Latinx Racial Identity and Partisanship, 2009-2018,” was selected as a Best Paper in Latino Studies by a graduate student at the University of Notre Dame.
- Aileen Vezeau “Unable to be seen by the naked eye: In Search for Afro Latinx Visibility,” was selected as a Best Paper in Latino Studies by a graduate student at the University of Notre Dame.
Transformative Latino Leadership Lecture
In September, ILS hosted Dorene Dominguez, CEO of Vanir, a real estate and construction management company in San Bernardino, California. Dominguez '85 is also a member of the Notre Dame Board of Trustees. She was named the 2018 Female Entrepreneur of the Year by the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and received the 2019 Latino Spirit Award for Achievement in Business and Philanthropy from the California Legislature's Latino Caucus.
I was one of the first women and only Latina in the College of Business at ND. As CEO of Vanir, I am in construction, business, and sports. Notre Dame taught me so much. I received an incredible education. I learned about myself as a Latina. I was able to share my story, my culture, with Notre Dame. This was a gift to ND just as the experience here was a gift to me."
Latino Studies Scholars Program
One of our signature leadership initiatives is the Latino Studies Scholars Program (LSSP), which started in 2017. Undergraduates in the program receive a $100,000 merit scholarship over four years. Additionally, ILS provides $5,000 per summer toward an enrichment experience, such as research, courses, or internships in a Latino community.
ILS celebrated the graduation of four LSSP scholars in 2023:
- Isabel Ruiz Maiz, a film, television, and theater major from El Paso, Texas
- Nicolas Sanchez, an architecture major from Los Angeles, California
- Giselle Garcia, a biology major from Niles, Illinois
- Nathalie Garcia, a neuroscience and behavior and Latino studies major from Lawrence, Massachusetts
Nadxielli Arredondo ’25
- Major: Film, television, and theatre
- Supplementary major: Latino studies
- Summer experience: Studied film at NYU
- Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Nadxielli has volunteered as photographer for ILS events and served as a teaching assistant in the Ballet Folklorico Dance Course established by ILS in 2022.
I’ve been asked by people if I would still choose Notre Dame, and I think the reason why I would always choose Notre Dame is because of the Institute for Latino Studies and the Latino Studies Scholars Program. I love the sense of community here; it’s so genuine and so real, and it’s just so refreshing.”
Connor Kaufmann ’26
- Major: History
- Summer experience: Internship in Santiago de Chile
- High School: Cathedral High School, El Paso, Texas
When times were difficult during the school year, I relied on my peers in the Latino Studies Scholars Program and the Institute for Latino Studies to keep on pushing through. My peers could and did rely on me, too, which created a beautiful support system between us all.”
Gigi Garcia ’23
- Major: Biological sciences
- Now: Attending medical school at University of Wisconsin Madison
- Clinical and Community Work: Stroke Program Intern at Beacon Hospital System, South Bend, Indiana
I have enjoyed my learning within the Latino Studies curriculum as it introduced me to a variety of topics beyond biology. It was fun to have classmates with similar backgrounds as my own, as it fostered discourse with a unique sense of understanding."
Incoming LSSP Scholars
We are also proud that in March we selected the 7th cohort of Latino Studies Scholars Program students. This scholarship is funded through a growing endowment, to which many of our Advisory Council members have contributed. Students who have proven themselves as leaders working on behalf of Latino communities, regardless of their own ethnoracial background or their family income, receive this merit-based scholarship to continue working and studying how to empower Latino communities as they pursue any major at ND.
- Christina Ayón, global affairs, Long Beach, CA
- Jaylynne Calderon Monterroso, philosophy, Grand Rapids, MI
- Sarah Castillo, political science, New York, NY
- Aliyah Cerda, political science, Weslaco, TX
- Parker Gaines, biological sciences, Beavercreek, OH
- Shivani Gutierrez, global affairs, Logansport, IN
- Joaquin Lopez, management consulting, Granger, IN
- Ivan Turcios, political science, Plymouth, IN
Hispanic Heritage Month
We also use our resources to co-sponsor many initiatives of a diverse set of groups on campus. Since 2017, ILS has curated a suite of 9 events during Hispanic Heritage Month. Begun in 1968 by President Lyndon Johnson as a week-long commemoration, and later expanded to its current format by President Ronald Reagan, Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. Several of the 27 countries that comprise Latin America celebrate their independence during this time of year.
Hispanic Heritage Month is a perfect time to remember all of the accomplishments and progress that Latinas/o/x families have made. Just as important is using the time to reflect on how each of us can work to maintain that progress." — Luis Fraga
Day of the Dead
November 1, 2022
Now in its 20th year, the Institute’s literary initiative carries out its mission both on and off campus with an emphasis on programs that support newer voices, foster a sense of community among writers, and place Latinx writers in community spaces. The initiative was founded by Francisco Aragón, an ILS professor of the practice . Two campus and one livestreamed event were held this year.
Letras Latinas is proud to be a founding member of the Poetry Coalition, a group of organizations working together to promote the values poets bring to our culture and the important contribution poetry makes in the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds.
Afro-Latinx Poetry Now included visits by leading poets Roberto Carlos Garcia, Darrel Alejandro Holnes, Raina J. León, Jasminne Mendez, Yesenia Montilla, and John Murillo. and fostered conversation and community building through lyrical verse-making.
These two days offer an opportunity for our students, our campus, and our local and global communities, to experience the artistry of some of our finest poets.” — Francisco Aragón
Latinx Poetics featured visits from Sheryl Luna, Orlando Ricardo Menes, Adela Najarro, and ire’ne lara silva
“Curated Conversation(s): A Latinx Poetry Show” — Season 2 was a virtual initiative that featured in-depth conversations between a Latinx poet and an interlocutor of their choosing. This initiative was supported by the Poetry Foundation and held in conjunction with The Writer’s Center, The Poetry Foundation, Poet Lore, Un Nuevo Sol, and Duende District Bookstore.
“Sueños Sin Fronteras”: Local teens learn about college application process and campus life from current students
Ballet Folklorico & Mariachi
In 2022, ILS established two courses in Mariachi ensemble and Mexican ballet folklórico for beginners. These courses have strengthened the pipeline to student performance groups and enriched the cultural programming on campus.
Students and members of the Notre Dame community came together for a corridos songwriting workshop hosted by the Institute for Latino Studies. The workshop was led by Juan Dies, co-founder of Sones de México Ensemble, a group based in Chicago.
Cross-Cultural Leadership Program
During the summer of 2023, 27 Notre Dame students completed eight-week, full-time internships across 20 nonprofits in Los Angeles; Chicago; Washington DC; Indiana; New York City; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and now Queretaro, Mexico; and El Paso, Texas. Students in this three-credit, summer course organized by ILS walked away with hands-on service learning experience and critical study. Key partners include the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in D.C.; the Coalition for Spiritual and Public Leadership of Chicago; Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles; and the Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center in El Paso.
Blas Guerrero ’25
Blas, a political science major, was one of five CCLP students who spent the summer in Washington, D.C. He interned at the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility.
I am proud to have joined HACR in its fight for the advancement and inclusion of Latinos in corporate America and in positions of power nationwide.”
A group of students from the Institute for Latino Studies embarked on a trip to Chicago on Easter Monday. Their mission was to meet with the Coalition of Spiritual and Public Leadership (CSPL) and partake in an immersive Chicago experience.
For the Notre Dame students who went on the trip, they described seeing a representation of community through all of its cultural richness and magnificence. Alan Saldivar, a first-year student studying neuroscience and behavior with plans to minor in Latino studies and compassionate care in medicine, has often visited the city in the past, as he is from Romeoville, a southwest suburb of Chicago roughly a half-hour away. But seeing Chicago through the workshop caused him to view it in a completely new light.
For being my first experience with CSPL, I gained significant wisdom about the cultural richness rooted within communities — like Little Village — that they serve,” he said. The trip allowed him to explore “the intersections between faith and service, a key component of my Notre Dame education.”
Since 2019, ILS continues to partner with the Coalition for Spiritual and Public Leadership to offer students community organizing strategies based on Catholic social teaching methods. As an institutional member, a delegation of 12 ND students attended their first “Congreso” of members on June 1-3 in Chicago. Over 100 members from parishes, universities, and faith based groups participated.
The theme of the first annual Congress was “We Drink From Our Own Wells.” The choice of this theme was inspired by the lifelong work of theologian Gustavo Gutierrez, and also reflects the recognition that the life and social fabric of organizations, communities and society can flourish only when the individual, communal, and spiritual wells are filled and nurtured.
None of this work—from research and teaching to community engagement and Latino spirituality—would be possible without our Advisory Council members. We are grateful for their support and guidance.
The University of Notre Dame maintains advisory councils for its principal academic units to advance their development in the broadest context. Council members acquire an understanding of the mission, plans, and priorities of the Institute and of the wider University. As members of the Notre Dame family, they in turn share this understanding with others, serving as ambassadors for the Institute and the University in the cities where they reside and in their respective professional communities.
From Left: Bruce Broillet, ND ’71, Partner, Greene, Broillet, and Wheeler, Los Angeles, California (2018); Joe A. Power, ND ’74, President, Founding Partner and Attorney at Power, Rogers & Smith, Chicago, Illinois (2015); Peter S. Gonzales, ND ’16, JD ’19, Associate, The Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Chicago, Illinois (2020); Lupe Eichelberger, ND ’82, Co-Founder Snoozeenie, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia (2014); Bill Koury, ND ’66, Diagnostic Radiologist at Diagnostic Imaging Centers, P.A., Kansas City, Missouri, (2008); Philip Fuentes, Owner and Operator of McDonald’s, CHBIP Management, Inc., Chair of Advisory Council, Chicago, Illinois; Thomas McNeil, President of Mainelli Mechanical Contractors, Omaha, Nebraska (2013); ILS Director Luis R. Fraga; Phil Eagan, ND ’70, Viking Global Investors, L.P., New York City, New York (2017); Mary Trotter, ND '88, Los Alamitos, California; Leslie Vergara, ND ‘19, Project Engineer, Vanir, Riverside, California.