USLS Ambassadors

The USLS Program is thrilled to introduce the 2019-20 Ambassadors!

Austin Vittetoe

Aerospace Engineering & Languages and Cultures for Professions (LCP)


“I know that, as an engineer, my work will affect the lives of people of many different nationalities and cultural backgrounds. As such, I believe that I have a responsibility to understand and appreciate other cultures, especially those of Latinx communities in the US.

I was first introduced to Latinx cultural studies through Spanish coursework, and this led me to become more curious about the history, current conditions, future, and cultures of the rich diversity of Latinx communities in the United States. I believe that studying such things can make anyone a better friend, neighbor, and ally to everyone else in their community.

Outside of academic life, I enjoy playing and watching sports, and I am an avid guitarist and music-lover. I’m extremely excited to meet and work with students this semester! Now is a very exciting time for ISU’s USLS program, and I am grateful to be a part of it.”


María  (“Lupe”) Durán 

Global Resource Systems & US Latino/a Studies


“I was born in Mexico and at the age of eight years old my family decided to move to the United States for a better future full of opportunities. I have always been interested in the latinx culture. Growing up in a Mexican household, I realized from a very young age that many things in the United States doesn’t only affect my family and I but also the Latinx Community. That is why I decided to look for a major/minor that will help me understand more of the Latinx culture and people. I’m a first generation student and coming to Iowa State was the best decision I have made because I found the perfect major for me. I’m currently a Global resource system major with a minor in US Latino studies and Sustainability. My region of study for my major is Latin America with a focus on sustainability and education. The reason I choose to minor in US latino/a studies is because I wanted to educate myself, not only on the culture but also on the different struggles Latinos face when they move to the United States. My end goal is to understand the Latinx culture and struggles in the United States, to be able to help as many people as I can.”