Message from the Chair

We are living in a time when the importance of ethnic studies is more salient than ever. It is so very clear that Chicano/Latino Studies is both an area of scholarly study in its own right AND a hub that connects to the many disciplines that need and benefit from a deep understanding of Chicano/Latino populations. In keeping with this vision of Chicano/Latino Studies as a core discipline and a hub discipline, the faculty at UCI’s Department of Chicano/Latino Studies are top scholars in their specific fields and in Chicano/Latino Studies. As a group, we have a shared mission for our research and teaching to bring light to what might otherwise be marginalized. As researchers and teachers, we generate cutting-edge knowledge on topics and processes that affect Chicano/Latino populations and provide our undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to examine and gain a deep understanding of the historical and contemporary experiences of Americans of Latina/o/x origin or ancestry. We approach this work from a variety of scholarly perspectives ‒ history, literature, political science, psychology, public health, sociology ‒ and with a curriculum designed to provide awareness, knowledge, and appreciation of the language, history, culture, literature, and creative accomplishments of Chicano/Latino communities. Our classes prepare our undergraduate students for law school, medical school, Ph.D programs, and for careers in public service. Our students go on to become physicians, politicians, psychologists, lawyers, scientists, nurses, social workers, teachers, digital media experts, and businesspeople who bring the knowledge gained in their time in our department to better serve Chicano/Latinos and all of society with knowledge and sensitivity.

Whether you are a major or a minor, I hope our classes deepen your appreciation of the U.S. Latino experience. You will find that Chicanos/Latinos have been in the United States since its beginning but we are also the future.  At the turn of the 21 st century, Latino babies accounted for a little more than half of all California births. UCI students today are in this cohort and are a big part of the reason that UCI is now federally recognized as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), which means that 25% of our students identify as Latina/o. The Department of Chicano/Latino Studies seeks to unite this future with the best ideals of UC’s special mission as a public university ‒ a place that offers an unparalleled opportunity to expand the horizons of what we know about ourselves, our world and use the knowledge for the greater good.

When I became a faculty member in the Department of Chicano/Latino Studies in 2008, I knew it was the perfect place for me. A place where research and teaching thrive and deepen. A place where knowledge is generated that informs, and is informed by, the Chicano/Latino experience. A place where knowledge is passed on to students who embody the best of UC ideals. It’s an honor to be here as Department Chair. I hope you are also finding that it’s the perfect place for you.

Dr. Belinda Campos
Dr. Belinda Campos
Chair, Chicano/Latino Studies

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