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SXU Senior Earns Outstanding History Student Award


Saint Xavier University (SXU) history student Elizabeth Aguilar-Molina has received the College of Liberal Arts and Education's Outstanding History Student Award.

"It is an honor to receive this award. It feels great to know that my hard work and dedication in the history field does not go unnoticed, and this award motivates me to continue to work hard," said Aguilar-Molina.

Aguilar-Molina was selected for her dedication to research and lifelong learning. Throughout her time at SXU, she's expanded her knowledge by actively seeking primary and secondary research resources that have helped her conduct a variety of studies.

"In my digital humanities class, I was able to create a project analyzing the meatpacking industry of Chicago through the use of media. I created a series of TikToks, which received hundreds of views. I have also been able to focus my senior seminar project on eugenics, analyzing the sterilization of Mexican women during the 20th century in the United States. I contacted archivists and obtained primary sources of legal court cases from the UCLA library, which are normally offered only in person. I aim to use strong, meaningful evidence and research topics that aren't widely spoken about," said Aguilar-Molina.

Aguilar-Molina, who also has an international studies minor, has a strong track record of high scores in her courses. She chose to major in history because she's always had a fascination with learning about the past and has appreciates gaining a deeper understanding of culture, politics, and influence.

"As a Mexican-American, I feel as if history tends to leave a lot of Latin history out of the picture. As early as I could remember, I always questioned why it is it that the culture I come from is not seen as important when we have made many contributions. I chose to take classes that explored other cultures and countries because it would allow me to become a better historian. I wanted to further my education in history to learn about more culture and perspective, and many of the classes I have taken have helped me achieve those goals,: said Aguilar-Molina.

Aguilar-Molina is appreciative of the high-impact learning opportunities she’s had at SXU, including her senior seminar project, a long-term and intensive focus on critical history.

"The project has allowed me to learn the true meaning of being a historian, which includes analyzing documents, data, and primary sources in order to present a clear argument. This is important because history has many perspectives and voices that are often not heard, so it gives representation and meaning to an event or person. In the case of my research project, it has allowed me to speak more about my culture and give a voice to stories that have been tucked away," said Aguilar-Molina.

The time Aguilar-Molina has spent at SXU has been filled with great memories, including the annual Taste of SXU, Via first-year orientation, where she met lifelong friends, and spending time on Saint Xavier's beautiful campus.

In the future, Aguilar-Molina hopes to further her research on Latino studies and continue to contribute to preexisting history by giving voices representation.