Celebrating Diversity - Yajaira Lopez-Villa

  • Yajaira graduating from UNL alongside her family.

Celebrating Diversity: Yajaira Lopez-Villa

Yajaira Lopez-Villa sitting on some steps for a photo.

Sept. 15 - Oct. 15

In the College of Engineering, all are welcome. To better share the stories of how our faculty, staff, students and alumni are diverse in their many varying forms, we are celebrating various heritage and other nationally recognized months. This recognition will include stories about those in our greater engineering community, as well as sharing events and other opportunities.

Yajaira Lopez-Villa

Academic Advisor, College of Engineering

Q: Describe a bit about your personal and/or professional background.

A: My name is Yajaira Lopez-Villa (She/Her/Ella) and I grew up in Crete, NE. I have a dog named Yoshi and he's a Chihuahua and Dachshund mix :) . I graduated with a Bachelor's in Spanish and Latin American Studies from UNL.

Recently, I graduated with a Master's in Education - Student Affairs from Iowa State University. My biggest passion and the reason I'm in student affairs is because I love to do Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity work. I believe it is very important to create a welcoming space for all our students and change the culture to a positive one.

Q: What is your role in the College of Engineering – and what do you enjoy (love!) about what you are doing?

A: I'm currently an academic advisor for the College of Engineering and I really enjoy working with our students and helping them through their colligate experience.

Q: Why is your heritage meaningful to you and your family? Is there a specific example/event/tradition of how you showcase or celebrate your heritage in its many forms?

A: I grew up not knowing about Hispanic Heritage Month or celebrating it for that matter. When I founded out about that heritage months were a thing was during my undergrad at UNL. To me and my family everyday was celebrating my heritage and being proud of where my family came from and keeping the traditions going. However, besides practicing traditions and celebrating Hispanics/Latinx folks, Hispanic Heritage Month is also about educating and creating awareness. I hope that during this month and the other heritage months folks take time to learn more about other cultures and attend different events and celebrate with their peers how beautiful diversity is.

Q: What advice can you give students or others considering or pursuing engineering as a career?

A: Don't forget to have fun! As students we can get caught up in schoolwork and forget to take some time for ourselves and make memories with new friends!