Diana Ceron hails from Van Nuys, California and is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is majoring in government and Spanish with minors in Latina/o studies and Latin American studies. When asked about her academic path at Cornell, Diana remarked “I never intended to be a Spanish major; I only wanted a minor. When I started taking classes in the department, I realized how much I enjoyed the language, so I decided to double major.”
Throughout her years at Cornell, Diana has pursued several opportunities to grow professionally. She is a student manager at the Carol Tatkon Center, an undergraduate consultant for the International Teaching Assistant Program (ITAP), co-chair of El Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlan (MEChA), and a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow (MMUF.) For many of her on-campus involvements, Diana was motivated by her love for working with people and for understanding her cultural roots. “I always find it kind of funny that it took coming to a PWI [predominantly white institution] to get close to these parts of my identity. Here, you constantly have to defend these parts of yourself. Eventually, you start to appreciate them more than you ever did and see them in a new light.”
Diana’s appreciation for her culture propelled her to pursue undergraduate research through the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship. In a research project titled The Indigenous Spectrality of La Malinche and La Llorona in Postcolonial Mexico, Diana studies the formation of indigeneity and gender relations in Mexico through the examination of literary texts. “I’m passionate about identity formation and where I’m from,” remarks Diana.
When asked about her most fulfilling pursuit, Diana spoke passionately about being a part of MEChA. MEChA gave her the space to learn about her identity by meeting others who shared her culture. Growing up, she only learned about her Mexican heritage through her parents. “I never had the opportunity to learn about my culture outside of my home environment. I learned to appreciate who I was through MEChA and the people I met there made Cornell feel like home.”
Diana’s involvement with MEChA and her studies as a Spanish major worked together to shape her career interests. Participating in undergraduate research inspired her to pursue a career as a professor in Spanish Language and Literature with a focus on Latin America. When recalling how attending Cornell influenced this decision, Diana says, “I was really lucky that I joined MEChA while studying Spanish because I got to learn about my culture in a social and an academic setting.”
Before she applies to graduate school, Diana plans to take a break for a few years. “Cornell can demand a lot out of you, and it is important to take time for yourself,” advises Diana. She wants to utilize this time to regroup and spend time with herself and her family. Afterwards, she hopes to work as a researcher either in Los Angeles or Mexico. Eventually, she will apply to graduate schools in the United States where she will study Latinx Literature or Spanish Literature and Culture.
“I’m excited about what my future holds,” remarked Diana excitedly. “I feel that I have a sense of direction and purpose, and I can’t wait to see what my future holds after graduation.”