Johanna López Velador

Johanna López Velador, Ph.D. student, History

Examines Chicanx history

• Hometown: El Paso, Texas
• Faculty mentor/advisor: Colin Gordon, Professor, History
• What is your degree program and expected graduate date? Ph.D. in History, Spring 2022
• Please describe your research: My research focuses on twentieth-century Chicanx Midwest history. I hope to show the connections between Chicanx community development, and the importance that emotions play in the sense of belonging in a Midwestern space. Through these connections, my research highlights the impacts of gender and activism in strengthening and supporting a sense of belonging in the community.
• In simple terms, why does this research matter? I am using an innovative historical approach to address a community that is often overlooked. I am doing so by positioning at the forefront, a gendered approach to community formation over time and the activism performed around belonging. It is also relevant to this contemporary time period to expand on Chicanx Midwestern history.
• How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research? I was able to start my research once I began the second year of my graduate program in Fall 2019.
• How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa? I have been able to create a home away from home here in the Midwest by finding my own community through my research and interests here at the university with faculty, staff, and students who are supportive and encouraging.
• What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation? I want to become a professor and mentor Chicanx youth who are interested in higher education.

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