Meet Our Students

Drew Cox

“I am a Junior majoring in Biology, Spanish and Chemistry. I was raised in Joplin, Missouri, 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 of 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 a senior pursuing a degree in Secondary Education in Spanish (K-12) and a minor in Latinx and Latin American Studies at UMKC. 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 am minoring in LLAS because I want to learn about my culture and pass that knowledge to my future students. The program has granted me new skills and knowledge that benefit my future career as a foreign language instructor. I enjoy traveling and getting to meet new people and cultures as a way to learn to embrace diversity, especially 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 was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, on the Westside, a community that has always served its Latinx residents. Being a part of a community that goes above and beyond for their Latinx 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 I can better help the Latinx community. Some of my interests are spending time with family, playing sports, volunteering and traveling.”

Jose Sustaita

“I am a senior working toward a 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. 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.”


Jennifer Miller

“I’m a junior working on my bachelor’s in Liberal Arts and minoring in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies as well as Medieval and Early Modern Studies. I plan to pursue a master’s degree in Library Science. I was born and raised in Kansas City. A fun fact about me is that I read a book every two days. Two semesters ago I took an Introduction to Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies class, and loved it so much I immediately began pursusing a minor. Personally, I feel this minor has something for everyone and leads to greater understanding of people in general. All of us will eventually work with others and I think this minor provides a great advantage toward understanding and bridging differences.”

Helene Slinker

“I am a recent political science graduate of UMKC. Deciding to add a minor in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies was the best choice of my undergraduate career. By taking WGSS classes, I sharpened my critical thinking and writing skills. An archival research project that I completed in one of my WGSS classes even led to publication in an undergraduate research journal! The things I learned in my WGSS classes also helped me gain a better understanding of my own major and other two minors (International Studies and German Language and Literature). My favorite memories of my WGSS minor come from studying abroad. I took a course called “Gender, Health and Development in Senegal” in Dakar, Senegal, and another course titled “Race, Gender and Ethnicity in U.S. History, Culture and Literature” in Prague, Czech Republic.”

Amelia Hess

“I graduated from UMKC in 2019 with a double major in Psychology and Criminal Justice as well as a minor in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Before adding WGSS as my minor, I felt like my activism and my education was so disconnected. The WGSS program gave me the ability to further my activism in an educational setting. My WGSS classes offered an inclusive and challenging environment I did not know I needed. Adding WGSS not only improved my collegiate experience, but it also prepared me for my future as I am currently studying to be a mental health therapist with hopes to empower women and the LGBTQIA+ community. I considered myself a feminist prior to college, but now with the knowledge from my minor, I can proudly label myself as an intersectional feminist and activist.”