The recent graduation ceremony of December 2021 was a chance to welcome back to campus graduates from previous years, when ceremonies had been postponed. Dr Julie Torres (PhD 2020) was proudly welcomed and celebrated for an already promising and brilliant career path. She was hooded by her advisor and mentor while at UIUC, Dr Alejandro Lugo, who returned to campus to hood her (photo).
Since graduating, Dr Torres has been appointed as Assistant Professor of of Women’s and Ethnic Studies and the Latina/o/x Studies Certificate Coordinator at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.She previously served as a Scholar-in-Residence at the University of Central Florida’s Puerto Rico Research Hub. She has published in academic venues, such as Anthropology News, CENTRO Journal for the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, and Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism (forthcoming).
In 2021, Dr Torres won the Virginia Sánchez Korrol Dissertation Award for her dissertation titled, “In Times of Crisis: Puerto Rican Activism, Gender and Belonging in Orlando.” According to the announcement of the Award, the Committee was "impressed with the breadth of the research, the creativity of methodology, the timeliness of the topic, and the theoretical innovations that the work contributes to the field of Puerto Rican Studies." The Award from the Puerto Rican Studies Association recognizes "the dissertation that best represents an exceptionally distinguished contribution to the field of Puerto Rican Studies."
Dr Torres is currently working on a book based on her dissertation, which ethnographically examines Puerto Rican women’s activism in Orlando, Florida in light of contemporary crises.