Student Curated Biographies | Chicana por mi Raza

Student Curated Biographies

CPMR relies on the brilliance and motivation of many dedicated undergraduate students to preserve, identify, and create new content related to our holdings. These biographies reflect over 5 years' work by students whom have participated via classes, independent studies, and research seminars. Students are entirely responsible for the creation of these biographies and each biography is an ever-expanding, previously unavailable record of knowledge. Please contact us at with any concerns or updates to the information displayed here.

Nancy Alicia De Los Santos Reza "My mission is to be a part of elevating the image of Latinas in all media. And to me, that means reflecting a realistic image."

Nancy Alicia De Los Santos Reza was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Her parents were born in Texas and migrated to the big city after World War II. Nancy’s father, Nicolas, served in the Navy. Her mother, Micaela, was a stay-at-home mother and housewife, raising six children. Their own negative experience with speaking Spanish in Texas schools, led to the decision for their children to speak English only.

Ruth Mojica-Hammer “Look for something to do, be involved, find a reason to exist!”

As the Executive Director of Spanish Language Programming at a local Chicago TV station Ruth ‘Rhea’ Mojica-Hammer was also the first Mexican American woman to run for congressional office in the state of Illinois. Although she didn’t win, Rhea, went on to manage a successful campaign for the first Latina elected to public office in Illinois, Cook County Commissioner Irene Hernandez.

Blanca Vargas “When I became a citizen in 1972 it’s like somebody put a little fire under me and said, ‘Blanca, you’re going to help other people become citizens as well.’ ”

Blanca Vargas was born in Durango, Mexico on a rare snowy day; this inspired her name. Blanca spent her childhood in Durango, where she was competitive in sports, danced ballet folkorico and helped her father at his pharmacy. From him she learned the concept of helping others, as he often helped his clients that couldn’t afford badly needed medications.  Blanca also learned British English from a private teacher at Escuela America during her youth.