Aracely Wins Pollart Scholarship


By: Ruth Gregory and Evie CaldwellAracely Mendoza holds her scholarship award certificate.

One of the 2019 Pollart Scholarships for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities has been awarded to Digital Technology and Culture senior Aracely Mendoza. “The scholarship is meant to highlight the work of students that are crossing boundaries and doing innovative things that show the way that arts and humanities will move forward,” said Todd Butler, Associate Dean of Faculty for the College of Arts and Sciences. “Aracely was one of the people whose life had obviously been deeply affected by the Humanities,” said Matt Sutton, History Department Chair.

Aracely is from East Wenatchee, but her family comes from Michoacán, Mexico. She is earning a dual degree in Anthropology and DTC with a minor in Fine Arts, and she will be graduating in Spring 2020. Aracely is incredibly involved on campus, and has been since her freshman year. In addition to her job at Student Financial Services in Lighty, Aracely is a part of Mecha, Mujeres Unidas, Multicultural Student Mentor Program (MSMP), and the McNair Scholars program.

Mecha, which stands for Movimiento Estudantil Chicanx de Aztlan, is an advocacy group that fights for spaces on campuses where Latinx people can flourish and tackle issues of discrimination. Aracely has been involved with Mecha since her freshman year and currently serves as the organization’s secretary. “This organization really helped build my knowledge on what the Latinx community is facing locally, nationally, and globally,” said Aracely. She is also serving as a team leader for Mecha’s annual conference Children of Aztlan Sharing Higher Education (CASHE), where she will be supervising a group of high school students as they learn about higher education and the resources available to them.

Aracely has also been part of Mujeres Unidas since her freshman year, serving as the ChiLaStAl (Chicanx/Latinx Student Alliance) representative for her first year and co-chair for the past two years. Mujeres Unidas discusses issues facing the Latinx community. The organization places specific emphasis on women’s issues.

Lastly, Aracely is currently participating in the McNair Scholars Program for her second year. The McNair Scholars Program is intended to prepare undergraduate students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. Aracely’s on-campus activities are directly linked to her research on how the Latinx community in the United States are interacting with their cultural traditions. Being involved in the McNair program has enabled Aracely to attend conferences across the nation to present her research.

Aracely was honored with one other Pollart scholarship recipient at the public launch of the Center for Arts and Humanities on October 24. At the event, Aracely chose to recognize Dr. Raymond Herrera, Dr. Anne Pisor, Dr. Carlos Salazar, and DTC Assistant Director Ruth Gregory for their influence in her studies at WSU. “I am deeply thankful to Ruth Gregory for the nomination and humbled for being awarded it,” said Aracely. “It makes me feel better about what I’m doing in college knowing that there are people who see my struggles and successes.” After graduation, Aracely hopes to go into a PhD program in Sociology. She is working toward a career in social work or social advocacy for underrepresented communities.