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Staff spotlight: Professor Jordan Arellanes

head shot of Professor Jordan A. Arellanes

Professor Jordan A. Arellanes

The Latin American and Latino Studies Program (LALS) welcomes Professor Jordan A. Arellanes, Ph.D., to our campus. He is the first joint hire for the program in partnership with the Department of Psychology.

Arellanes grew up in Golden, Colorado, where he loved to play soccer. Arellanes thought that he was going to be a professional soccer player growing up. Eventually he played in college for a year before he missed his friends and family and decided to go back to Colorado and attend Colorado State University.

Arellanes is still an avid soccer fan and enjoys watching Manchester United and playing, when given the chance. “Playing soccer is where I gained my drive and passion that led me to be here today.” In his free time, Arellanes also likes to fish, go hunting, or do other activities that allow him time to think.

Where did you receive your degrees from and in what?
B.S. in human development and family studies from Colorado State University
M.A. in educational psychology from University of Colorado, Denver
Ph.D. in human development and family studies from Iowa State University

Favorite quote?
Heaven isn’t just a place that you go when you die, it is that moment in life when you actually feel alive. From the song The Tide as recorded by The Spill Canvas, an alternative rock band from Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Don’t be scared by the thought of research and instead seize the opportunity to be a part of something groundbreaking. You never know where it will take you.

What inspired you to become affiliated with the Latin American and Latino Studies office? What do you hope to gain or accomplish through this experience?
I wanted to be a part of a campus and university that values the unique developmental and social experiences of Latino students. This program shows dedication to making a difference in the lives of its students. I saw the opportunity to come and work with students who have a passion for improving the lives of Latino families. Together as a program and with students, I intend on developing a mentoring program directed at improving the educational attainment of Latino youth in Illinois.

Have you attended any Latin American and Latino Studies Program events? If yes, what was the event and why was it your favorite? What did you gain from the experience?
I have attended all of the Hispanic Heritage Month events. They have all been a great opportunity to gain a diverse exposure to the research and current events. I have particularly enjoyed that we have had the opportunity to bring revered colleagues to campus as a way to share important research with our students. We have had great discussions about how to support the Latino community and issues that we face in today’s society. Doing so not only provides students with a new way of thinking but builds the exposure of the LALS program at a national level.

What would you tell a student considering declaring the Latin American and Latino Studies minor?
The United States Latino population has grown by nearly 600 percent in the last 30 years. Latinos are a young and flourishing population, which will redefine the scope of U.S. society. This change will usher in a host of new career paths and opportunities to make a difference in your community. Wouldn’t it be great to gain an in-depth understanding of the multiplicity of issues we face as our nation becomes more diverse?

Anything else you’d like to share?
I gained a passion for mentoring through a research program during my undergraduate studies. Before that I would have never thought that I would be a professor or enjoy research. If I were to give any advice to students, I would say take the opportunity to be a part of research during your undergraduate studies. Don’t be scared by the thought of research and instead seize the opportunity to be a part of something groundbreaking. You never know where it will take you.