Meet Our Students

Drew Cox

Drew Cox

“I am a Junior majoring in Biology, Spanish, and Chemistry. I was raised in Joplin, MO but I enjoy exploring Kansas City! As a pre-med student, I am pursing a minor in Latinx and Latin American studies because I would like to increase my knowledge of the Latinx population and be able to attend to the health needs that are unique to this population. Also, I have enjoyed taking LLAS courses offered at UMKC. A fun fact about myself is that I studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina for six weeks last summer.”

Alicia Rodriguez- Montanez

“I am currently pursuing a degree in Secondary Education in Spanish (K-12) and a minor in Latinx and Latin American Studies at UMKC. I am a Senior in the process of applying to the Professional Teaching program to receive my teaching certification. I was born and raised in a small town in Michoacan, Mexico called Tangancicuaro and in 2004, I moved to the United States. I lived in California in a town called Delano and a year later moved to Kansas City. I received an Associate degree in Science from Donnelly College. The reason why I decided to work towards a minor in LLAS is because I want to learn about my culture and be able to pass on that knowledge to my students in my future classrooms. The program also gave the opportunity to conduct research on folkloric beliefs of the Mexican community about pregnancy and postpartum. Such experience has granted me with new skills and knowledge that will be beneficial for my future career as a foreign language instructor. My interests are primarily school and learning new things. Also, I enjoy traveling an getting to meet new people and cultures as a way to learn to embrace diversity, specially as a future teacher who will be interacting with students from all around the world.”

Vianney Salazar

“I am a senior majoring in Urban Studies, I will be graduating this summer. I was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri and have always resided on the Westside, a community that has always served its Latino residents. Being a part of a community who goes above and beyond for their Latino and immigrant residents by providing basic resources and education centers is what helped me decide to minor in Latinx and Latin American Studies. I hope to get a better understanding of Hispanics and their ancestry in the United States so that I can better help Latinos (immigrants and non-immigrants). Some of my interests are spending time with family, playing sports, helping others, volunteering, and traveling.”

Jose Sustaita

“I am a senior working on finishing up my Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts. I am a fulltime student and I also have been working fulltime as a Union Electrician for the past 23 years. I was born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas and have lived on both sides of the state line. Music has been my passion since I was very young and I am in a local band called Trio Aztlán. I decided to minor in LLAS because I want to learn more about my culture, past and present.”