Tania Trejo-Mendez


Lakeland, FL


B.A. in History, Emory University


Multicultural education, Latinx studies, Latinidad in the United States, youth empowerment, social movements


Tania's passion for Latin American studies stems from her experiences as a first-generation Chicana growing up in central Florida. As the daughter of immigrants, she witnessed firsthand many of the social inequities that affect Latinx communities in the United States, particularly within the public education system. Once she went to college, she ultimately led her to take an academic interest in these issues, hoping to better understand them and be able to help other young students going through the same things she did.

As an undergraduate at Emory University, Tania studied history with a focus Latin America and Latinx people in the United States. In addition to her coursework, she also devoted much of her time to community activism centered on expanding academic and social resources for historically marginalized students. She served on the board of the REAL conference, an annual student-organized conference dedicated to Recognizing, Empowering, and Affirming Latinas, and was the philanthropy chair for Emory's Latinx Student Organization. Tania was also part of a student movement to bring Latinx studies to Emory. In the years following her and her classmates' efforts, Emory would go on to hire many more Latinx professors and faculty focused on Latin-American and Latinx subjects across various departments. Tania was also active in a group of students who worked to compile a history of Latinx students at Emory and created avenues for the work to continue with future generations of students after she graduated.

Tania hopes to add to existing research focused on building a case for the development and expansion of Latinx studies curricula within the US public education system. She seeks to investigate the linkage between ethnic studies courses and student academic achievement.