Nallely Lozoya is a senior majoring in History in the College of Liberal Arts. She is an awardee of the 2022 OUR Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. Mentored by Dr. Maria Raquel Casas, Associate Professor of History, Lozoya's research focuses on the contribution of Mexican women towards an intelligentsia movement during the Mexican Revolution.
What are your current research interests and future career goals?
My interests right now are Mexican American and Latin American History. As a Latina, I am interested in learning more about the histories of Latinos in the United States. Also as a Latina, I would like to tell the stories of the contributions of Latinas to their communities within the U.S. Essentially, I hope to not only learn about these stories, but I would like to contribute my findings to the study of American History. History is very important because it provides a sense of identity for all of us. To me, history also represents wisdom, empathy and understanding. At a time when immigration of Latin Americans has become politicized and has been a source for hate. I have learned the importance of teaching others about their extensive history, and presence, within the U.S. For that reason, I hope to specialize in history and ultimately gain a PhD in this field.
- How did you first get involved in research?
In primary school I discovered that I loved reading nonfiction history books, and the more I read the more I became curious about historical events. That curiosity guided my readings and questions. At that time, I became an “expert” in WWII so you can say I began doing research then. Ultimately, it was not until I took the history course “Latinos in the American West,” at UNLV, that I found a topic that truly resonated with me. It was actually the professor of that course who suggested that I look into the history of Mexican women involved in a political movement known as the PLM or “Magonistas.” Currently, I have been centering my research on that topic. I took that course my junior year of college, so I began my research then.
- Please describe the impact of research involvement on your personal and professional development.
One thing we all have to be aware of is that learning requires communication and discussion. One can pick up a book or open one’s computer to research a certain topic, but sharing one’s findings with others can be truly impactful. For me, my involvement in research has taught me the importance of communication within academia. As an introvert, I find social interaction to be nerve racking at times but I now feel more comfortable discussing with others. In my involvement with research, I have become more comfortable discussing my ideas with others. I have learned how to engage in intellectual conversations with professors at UNLV. Overall, I have learned that it is necessary and useful to reach out to other researchers, professors or scholars while you conduct research.
- What advice would you give to future researchers?
I know the thought of research might seem intimidating, but I do believe it can be accomplished. If there is something that has grabbed your attention and has generated a million questions that you are dying to answer. Then find the answers! Initiating research can be that simple. Who knows, your research may lead to amazing new discoveries!
- Please describe how the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship supports your research.
The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship has allowed me to build and maintain a strong relationship with my mentor. It’s important to reiterate that research is a collaborative effort. Through this program I have been able to expand my ideas through discussion. This program has also created a space in which I can use the skills I have learned in my history courses and apply them to a research project. In this way, I have been able to refine the research skills I will apply to future research projects. Additionally, the financial support from the Office of Undergraduate Research at UNLV has allowed me to acquire all the materials I need to conduct my research. I am grateful for all the support!
- Please describe the role of the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) at UNLV. What are we doing best and what do you think we can do to help you better?
The Office of Undergraduate Research has created an environment in which conducting research is simple and possible, no matter one’s level of expertise. For an undergraduate student that has only focused on their courses, the fellowship program has allowed me to refine my researching skills outside the classroom. As a result, I feel more prepared for graduate school and future research projects. Overall, I feel that the OUR has given me the tools I need to grow as a researcher. I appreciate all the help and support the OUR has given me!