Fall 2016

What’s in your backpack?

Photography by Liz Banfield

“A hat,” says Dayana López-Martínez, who graduated in May with majors in Spanish and Portuguese and global studies, plus a certificate in teaching English as a foreign lan­guage. The U of M Women’s Center sells these baseball hats and stocking caps to raise money for the Dr. Rusty Barceló Scholarship, which supports students of color, new immigrants, and first-generation students. 

López-Martínez says receiving the Barceló Scholarship was a proud mo­ment. She admires its namesake, the U’s former vice president of equity and diversity, and says she wants to “follow in the way she established.” 

Although neither of her parents, who emigrated from Mexico, had the oppor­tunity to finish junior high school, they instilled in her the belief that she could be and do anything. At the U, she was ac­tive in the La Raza Student Cultural Cen­ter, studied abroad in Brazil, worked as a literacy mentor with kindergarteners, helped at-risk youth through Free Arts Minnesota, and was a National History Day mentor for middle schoolers. 

Now working in human resources, López-Martínez hopes she can help others achieve. And she’s proud to wear the “feminist” hat. “Feminism to me means creating an environment where women, especially those of col­or, are able to pursue and be whoever or whatever makes them happy.”