Madelina Nuñez

Madelina Nuñez graduated from the UMKC LLAS program in 2016. Since graduation, she earned her M.A. in Latin American and Latino Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is currently a Doctoral Fellow at Purdue University.

“The UMKC LLAS program always felt like a home away from home.  It’s where I began to truly develop my voice. I want to give back to a program and to the people that have given me so much. I can’t wait to see how the program continues to grow, and what folks continue to accomplish. To students: reach out, and know that you always have a home here.”

If anyone would like to reach out to ask any questions about what one can do after LLAS at UMKC, or would like general guidance during their time in the program, please feel free to email Madelina at

Juliana I. Ayala

Juliana I. Ayala is currently a Master of Education student in the Higher Education Management program at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Through the program, she serves as a graduate assistant for the Summer Studies Program at Carnegie Mellon University.

“The Latinx and Latin American studies minor changed my outlook on higher education and my future. Before taking LLAS classes, I had never had teachers who were Latinx or from Latin American decent, I never had syllabi that included Latinx scholars and authors. Representation matters. I learned so much about my people and I am forever grateful. Without the history and knowledge I learned about Latinx folks through this program, I would not have the outlook on life that I do now.”

“Current LLAS students, hang in there, open your minds, absorb as much as you can, educate your communities. We are all in it together.”

If you ever have any questions, or just want to say hello, please feel free to email Juliana at