Hispanic Heritage Month and Beyond

Spotlighting Latino culture and contributions as UCI celebrates five years as a Hispanic Serving Institution

HSI at 5

UCI celebrates its achievements as a federally designated Latino-serving campus

As an undergraduate at UCI majoring in biological sciences and working towards a preliminary teaching credential, Valeria Zavala’s career goal was simple: to become a science teacher. But the journey to get there – which involved certification fees amounting up to $1,000 and working more than 500 student-teaching hours without pay – was anything but easy.

Zavala had immigrated to the U.S. in middle school and worked hard to become the first in her family to attend college. Adversity was not new to her, but the hour-and-a-half long bike rides to the elementary school she observed multiple times a week, on top of working part-time to support herself and her family, began to take a toll on her academics. … 

Estrella Estrada, who earned a B.A. in psychology and social behavior at UCI in 2017. Steve Zylius/UCI

UCI Podcast: adelí durón on the Latinx Resource Center

The center offers resources and programs for Chicano and Latino students to build community

painting of a butterfly on a wall
This mural adorns the Latinx Resource Center, which is located in the Student Center.

UCI Podcast: The success of PRIME-LC

The medical training program for the Latino healthcare has been influential for UCI’s Hispanic-Serving Institution status

“I think that UCI being a Hispanic-Serving Institution is a remarkable achievement. And it’s great for us, because we really do believe our own model here has led many programs in terms of youth mentorship and and coaching in communities like Santa Ana and central Orange County,” says PRIME-LC director Dr. Charles Vega. Daniel A. Anderson / UCI

Unlocking potential

Cal-Bridge offers funding and mentors to promising undergrads seeking Ph.Ds in science

Francisco Javier Mercado
Francisco Javier Mercado, whose research includes the distribution of heavy metals and dark matter in galaxies, says Cal-Bridge helped him excel as an undergraduate and prepare for Ph.D. work at UCI. Steve Zylius / UCI

Latinx leaders

Made in California

The arts and education helped new dean Tiffany Ana López reimagine her own life

UCI’s Michael Méndez is named a 2022 Andrew Carnegie Fellow

Assistant professor of urban planning and public policy is one of 28 recipients across US

New education dean seeks to serve all stakeholders

The first Chicana/Latina to hold this position in the UC system, Frances Contreras sees inclusivity as key to excellence

Hispanic / Latinx studies at UCI

In both Spanish and English, explore the multitude of ways scholars, students and alumni from the UCI School of Humanities engage with this diverse, burgeoning field.

Campus Highlights

Students walking and biking on the UCI campus.
UCI is among 43 federally designated Hispanic-Serving Institutions to be named 2022 Fulbright HSI Leaders. Steve Zylius / UCI

UCI named Fulbright HSI Leader by State Department for second consecutive year

Designation denotes Hispanic-Serving Institutions’ engagement with exchange program

Newly announced UCI-OC Alliance to enhance experience of UCI’s Latino students

Trustee initiative aligns existing programs with community partnerships

In their own words: Destinee Manzo

Student athlete Destinee Manzo shares her story

Scholarship recipient plans to pay it forward through building a stronger public health infrastructure

First-generation public health policy student Gabriel Loza aspires to earn post-grad degree and working for the WHO

Anteaters Gabriela (left) and Cecilia Perez hope to bridge the pharmaceutical industry’s communications gap.

A pharmacy-nursing sister act aims to improve the communications landscape of healthcare

From an early age, sisters Gabriela and Cecilia Perez grasped the importance of good communication with healthcare professionals to ensure information did not get lost in translation. A 2019 graduate of UCI with a degree in chemistry, Gabriela is now pursuing her doctorate from UCI’s School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences. Her younger sister Cecilia is a student at the UCI Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing and aspires to be a pediatric nurse.

Hometown judge

Social ecology alumnus Maurice Sanchez makes history as associate justice on state’s Court of Appeal

Student Spotlight: Yadhira Garcia

UCI School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences recognizes first-generation student Yadhira Garcia

Perspectives on Hispanic Heritage Month

Award-winning author Hector Tobar shares insights on Hispanic Heritage Month

Archiving something new under the sun

Ana Elizabeth Rosas, UCI associate professor of Chicano/Latino studies and history, is leading a research team dedicated to telling El Sol Academy’s rich history

In their own words: Sebastian Bautista

Student athlete Sebastian Bautista shares his story

Jose Cisneros

Senior Spotlight: Jose Cisneros Builds Impressive Resume with Trio of Internships

ICS senior talks about his motivation, competing as an NCAA Division I student athlete and shares advice for prospective students

Spotlight: Assistant Dean Chuck Villanueva

Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing’s Chuck Villanueva talks about his heritage, accomplishments and the people who have contributed to his success