Write a Senior Thesis in Latino Studies

Author: Institute for Latino Studies

This past year a group of students completed their Senior Thesis Projects in Latino Studies, capping a rich and rewarding research engagement during their time at Notre Dame.

More than 30 affiliated faculty at the ILS, in a variety of fields, are willing to assist you in your research endeavors. Students in either the supplementary major or minor programs may opt to do the Senior Thesis in Latino Studies.

For more information, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies Karen Richman at krichman@nd.edu.

2021 Latino Studies Senior Thesis Projects

Odalis Senior Thesis

Odalis Gonzalez 

  • Major: Psychology
  • Supplementary Major: Latino Studies
  • Minor: Education, Schooling, and Society (ESS)
  • AnBryce Scholar
  • Advisor: Maria McKenna

'Bien Unidos ... School and Community Are One’: The Educational Experience of Latinx Students in Rural U.S. Public Schools 

My thesis explores the schooling experience of Latinx students in rural public education, particularly in regards to the concepts of educación and familia

There is a gap in the literature on rural public education, especially as it deals with Latinx communities. The challenges faced — and how they are overcome — are unique and deserve to be understood. This project is also based on personal experience. 

Traveled to American Falls, Idaho 

Ocran Senior Thesis

Ocran Holloway

  • Major: Spanish
  • Supplementary Major: Arts and Letters Pre-Health
  • Minor: Latino Studies
  • Advisor: Karen Richman

The Social Determinants of Health Disparities in Texan Latinx Communities as Measured by Amenable Mortality

My project is an investigation of health disparities measured by amenable mortality in the Latinx populations in three Texan cities — Austin, El Paso, and San Antonio. The three cities were chosen by the proportion of the Latinx population (high, intermediate, and low) and contextualized by the social factors of economic agency, political empowerment, and the culture of physicians. A comparison was made to other racioethnic populations in the cities: White, Black, and Asian.

As an aspiring physician, I already had an interest in the field of heath care. However, I wanted to pursue the topic of health from the social landscape I have seen in my own lived experience and undergraduate studies. I believe that an awareness of the factors I am studying in my paper will only support my future in providing more holistic treatment.

Alexandra Martinez Senior Thesis

Alexandra Martínez 

  • Major: Sociology
  • Supplementary Major: Arts and Letters Pre-Health
  • Minor: Latino Studies
  • Advisor: Ricardo Martínez-Schuldt

Latino or Latinx? How These Students Construct Their Identities at Notre Dame 

I interviewed Notre Dame students who identify as Latino/Hispanic to better understand how they construct their racial and ethnic identity and how Notre Dame has influenced that. I also asked them their views on the label “Latinx.” 

Coming to Notre Dame as a Latina made me think critically about my ethnic identity and shaped how I identify myself racially. I wanted to see if other students of similar backgrounds had the same experience.