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Undergraduate Research in Chicano/a-Latino/a Studies

Student Research at Pomona

Summer research is one of the hallmarks of a Pomona education. For up to 10 weeks each summer, about 200 students undertake individual or collaborative research under faculty guidance or working as research assistants to a faculty member. While most of the research is conducted on campus, students also design their own independent projects, which recently included traveling to Kenya to conduct research on tuberculosis and to North Dakota to produce a documentary on the effects of an oil boom on a small town.


Pomona is a community of daring minds. It is a place for students who are venturesome by choice, who have talent, passion, and independence of spirit, and who are prepared to dream big and work hard in order to make a difference in the world.

One way that Pomona College provides opportunities for students to excel is through research opportunities. Conducting research as an undergraduate not only gives students an advantage when applying for fellowships or graduate school; it also gives them a chance to tackle real-world problems and to find out what it’s like to be treated as colleagues by their professors, many of whom are the leading experts in their fields.

Latinos in the Vietnam War and Latinos in the Salinas Valley

Isabel Garcia (2014); Mentor(s): Tomas Summers Sandoval

Abstract: Historically, there exists a debate around the Vietnam War and the initiation of the selective service, and/or the military mandatory draft. These arguments arise from the large enlistment of minority populations into military service during the time of war. This research seeks to demonstrate the significant impact of the Latino population on the war and the impact of the war on the Latino community. More often than not the participation of Latinos is widely invisible and unknown because of the lack of significant statistical data on military participation. This research focuses on the participation of Spanish Surname (SSN) individuals in the Vietnam War. Using the 1970 U.S. Census and the U.S. Military Records of Vietnam Causalities, we calculated and analyzed the Spanish Surname (SSN) Vietnam Casualties. The focus is on the five Southwestern states, which include California, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. We found that Latinos were overrepresented in their share of the deaths from the Vietnam War, when compared to their share of the total populations of those states. The data supports the work of others, but compliments it because it derives these results using official casualty data and a more expansive Spanish Surname list.
Funding Provided by: Henry Crown and Company ¬Crown Family Foundation