U-M Latinx Research Week to showcase Latino-led research, power of family in academia

Latinx Research Week at the University of Michigan will feature a series of talks and poster presentations by faculty and students highlighting Latino-led research and Latino-centered projects.

Themed "Illuminating Familismo,- Latinx Research Week will spotlight familia, a noteworthy Latino cultural value emphasizing the significance of family support, loyalty and honor.

Organized by Latino graduate student organization Puentes , the event will kick off with an opening ceremony at 5-8 p.m. March 11 at the Michigan Union. Departmental sessions will follow from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. March 12-14.

The closing ceremony, 5:30-9 p.m. March 14, will feature a dinner, DJ and photo booth. Puentes has worked with MDining to create a custom menu for the week that highlights dishes from a variety of Latin American cuisines.

The events are open to the public and also will be livestreamed. For the first time, several presentations will be offered in Spanish to ensure inclusivity. Over the course of the four-day program, there will be 91 presenters. Registration is required.

Attendees can expect an interactive experience as they will see first-hand a variety of projects, ranging from social sciences to STEM, all presented within the context of Latino culture and experiences.

"We wanted a space to highlight and showcase all’of the amazing work that we do across disciplines and departments... creating a space where people feel comfortable and confident,- said Ariana Bueno, co-president of Puentes and a doctoral candidate in applied physics and with a minor in Latinx studies.

The week provides an opportunity to highlight the newest studies conducted by Latino students and faculty and also will feature a session where faculty and staff across disciplines will be honored for their crucial roles in fostering student success and mentorship.

"It’s really inspirational for me to be part of Latinx Research Week and see how Latinos are dominating in all’of these fields,- said Victoria Vezaldenos, co-president of Puentes and doctoral candidate in education and psychology. "You don’t have to be Hispanic or Latino to present your research, but we ask that the research presented relates to Latino communities.-

Vezaldenos points to the event’s potential to "transform the ways we think about academia and networking- and its ability to be a powerful "recruitment tool to get Latinos to engage in higher education or graduate studies.-

It is "a valuable recruitment opportunity to bring in underrepresented groups like Latino students into their programs,- she said.