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Established Scholar

Awarded to a junior or senior DTC student who consistently produces exemplary work in the classroom and beyond.

Photo of Aracely Mendoza

Aracely Mendoza, 2020 award recipient

My name is Aracely Mendoza. I have earned a dual degree in Anthropology and Digital Technology and Culture with a minor in Fine Arts, Magna Cum Laude, and I am a first-generation student.

The purpose of my research with Dr. Anne Pisor and Dr. Aaron Ansell was aimed to understand the different ways that “traditions” are changing through various generational levels in the Latinx community of the United States. The term “tradition” in the study was left to interpretation for the participants to express what they viewed as a tradition from the country they identify with and why it was important to them. To evaluate traditional knowledge and practices, 5 participants from the East and West coast of the U.S. were asked a series of questions about their upbringing, stereotypes, and country of origin. Our second phase of the interviews for the remaining 15 participants brought a further understanding of how prevalent generation level was to shape a Latinx person related to their tradition as well as how the maintenance of tradition played a role in their identification.

Within my involvement in the Latinx community, I helped 29 incoming freshmen through the Multicultural Student Mentoring Program. I was also involved with Mecha, as a team leader for their CASHE conference which brings high school students from all over Washington State to learn more about higher education. I also served as their secretary and co-chair, overlooking their weekly general member meetings and cabinet meetings. With Mujeres Unidas, I served as their Chicanx/Latinx Student Alliance representative, Coalition of Women Students Representative, and co-chair, creating and strengthening collaborations with other organizations under the Chilastal and CWS umbrellas.

From the Nominations


“Aracely is a WSU dual degree candidate in Anthropology and Digital Technology and Culture. She is also pursuing a minor in Fine Arts. She is a part of the McNair Program at WSU and has goals to pursue a PhD in Sociology after graduation. Aracely is currently a Research Assistance for Dr. Aaron Ansell at Virginia Technical Institute and Dr. Anne Pisor in the Anthropology Department at WSU. For her mentors, Aracely is working on conducting interviews with people who identify with the Latinx community to see how generations in the United States partake in their traditions She has presented her work at several conferences including MAOP Summer Research Internship Symposium, Virginia Tech’s Office of Undergraduate Research Summer Symposium, Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA), and UMD McNair Conference.


“Aracely is also incredibly active on the WSU campus. During her time at WSU Aracely has been a Multicultural Student Services Mentor, MeChA Secretary, Mujeres Unidas member, involved in the Emerging Leader program, and Chicanx/Latinx Student Alliance Treasurer. She is currently leading a group of her peers through the process of updating the photo and video archive for United Way Pullman as a part of her work in DTC 497: Senior Seminar.

“She is a highly accomplished scholar and engaged community member at WSU.”