Violeta Villagomez's Research Profile
Undergraduate Class: Class of 2016
Major/Minor: Spanish with a Minor in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
Mentor: Dr. Marta Albalá Pelegrín
Winner of CPP Student Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities Conference, CSU Student Research Competition
“It's okay to be scared a little, but embrace it.” – Violeta Villagomez
Violeta Villagomez was first initiated into research through her involvement with D.E.P.I.E, Demanda Estudiantil Para la Igualdad Educacional. It is a student association for undocumented students that strives to provide undocumented students with resources and support. Through D.E.P.I.E., she took the opportunity to work with the former President and another member to pursue research regarding undocumented immigrants and immigration. She turned to Martha Albala to be her faculty mentor who was her professor for several classes in her college career. She has since studied and presented on this research field years later and has served as the Vice President of D.E.P.I.E.
Violeta’s research focused on the vindication of DREAMers, those who are a part of the DREAM act. It is an acronym for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors. She analyzed how music has assisted in spreading the awareness of and the truth about immigration and the experiences individuals have had with it. She narrowed her research from the 1980s to present time using 3 artists. Violeta noticed that music has changed over the generation, as well as how the artists have portrayed immigration and undocumented immigrants. Two of her three resources were Latino-based music. The focus of the research was to view how music has helped the new generation gain better prospect on how undocumented immigrants live in the United States. In particular, showcasing their struggles through the recent decades. She has continued to work on this extensive project for 1 and a half years. Violeta Villagomez was a winner in humanities category of the CPP Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activities and she has presented at the CSU-wide Student Research Competition.
Violeta urges students to “let go of the fear.” She continues, “it’s okay to be scared a little, but embrace it.” Violeta claimed that she overcame her fear of public speaking through her presentations. She was particularly challenged to perform in the CSU-wide Student Research Competition, but she enjoyed the experience nonetheless. Violeta believes that what you gain from the experience will be worth the effort. Violeta noted that “having a great mentor is good.” She has personally gained crucial time management skills by working with her faculty mentor. Overall, she is grateful for her guidance as she enthusiastically proclaims that that Professor Albala “really helped me along the way.”
Violeta believes that one component of research she thoroughly enjoyed was “to see other students doing the same thing as you are.” According to her, it was worthwhile to see other students who share similar interests. She is particularly motivated to do research on immigration research topic in particular because she is an undocumented student. She is a DREAMer and she stated that she has faced the “struggles with many of the issues that the songs advocate.” Violeta has a deep connection and drive because this topic is close to the experiences in her own life. She is considering furthering the knowledge of this topic by continuing the research in her master’s program.
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Interview compiled by Marion Barleta.