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Indiana University Bloomington
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Undergraduate Minor

Ph.D. Minor

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César E. Chávez Undergraduate Research Symposium



Nicholas Rolf

Senior, IU Department of History

Nicholas Rolf
" After studying the history of Mexican Americans, my eyes were opened not only to the long and complex relationship that Mexico has with the United States, but also to the rich culture that Mexicans and Mexican Americans contribute to the U.S. I believe that understanding different communities and their cultures is critical to solving social issues in our contemporary pluralistic society. As we debate the issue of immigration, for example, I am now able to draw on an informed understanding of the history of immigration between our two countries that is key to fully appreciating our current debate.

I learned about the historical struggles that Mexican immigrants have endured in the U.S., and I also gained a first-hand understanding of Bloomington's Latino community through a Service Learning project. I worked with a family toward literacy in English and Spanish, and learned of their inspiring story of migration and efforts to earn U.S. citizenship

By the end of the semester I had developed a much clearer picture of what it means to be Latino in America, both today and in the past.  It is difficult to find a more timely or relevant subject within our political debate over immigration, and the lessons I learned in this course are critical for all American citizens who wish to understand how to form realistic immigration policies that include an appreciation of the great history of Mexican-Americans in the United States."

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