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2022 Mellon Fall Institute Schedule

Times are listed in CST 

Fellows: Please bring your laptop or tablet with you along with headphones.

Wednesday, September 21

Job documents due: upload to your Google drive folders. Albert and Deanna will distribute them to your mentors no later than September 23.

Tuesday, September 27

Fellows arrive in Chicago and check into the Crowne Plaza Chicago West Loop (25 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60661). If you arrive early (before check-in), you can leave your luggage with the hotel.​


Wednesday, September 28

1:00 pm: Lunch with fellows and Program Coordinator at 5 Rabanitos (1758 West 18th Street Chicago, IL 60608)

2:30 pm: Visit to the National Museum of Mexican Art with fellows and Program Coordinator 

Thursday, September 29

In-person at the Illini Center (200 S. Wacker Drive, 19th Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60606)

Roxana will join virtually via our Zoom (link shared via email).  

9:00 am: Breakfast and Morning Meeting

10:00  am: Preparing for the Job Interview Workshop

12:00 pm: Lunch 

1:00 pm: Writing Workshop #3​

2:00 pm: Alumni Panel with Dr. Carmela Muzio Dormani (2018–19 cohort),  Dr. Angélica Becerra (2018–19 cohort), and Dr.  Amy Martinez (2021–22 cohort)


Friday, September 30

​In-person at the Illini Center (200 S. Wacker Drive, 19th Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60606)


Mentors will join virtually via Zoom (link sent via email and Google calendar).


Roxana will join virtually via our Zoom (link shared via email).  

9:00 am: Breakfast and Morning Meeting with Fellows and Staff


10:00 am: Virtual Orientation with Mentors and Staff Only


Mentors will meet our Program Director Dr. María de los Angeles Torres, Professionalization Consultant Dr. Albert Laguna, Program Coordinator Dr. Deanna Ledezma, and our RAs to discuss the history of IUPLR and expectations for the fellowship program and mentorship.


11:00 am: Virtual Mentor Panel and Breakout Sessions


This is a panel with all the mentors, fellows, and staff. We ask the mentors to contribute an informal presentation (about five minutes) about their experiences and advice regarding the job market, transitioning from graduate school, and/or navigating your first years on the job. After all the mentors present, we will open it up to questions from the fellows.


12:30 pm: Lunch


Afternoon: Virtual Mock Job Interviews


Each mentor will participate in a mock job interview with their mentee and Albert Laguna. This will give fellows the opportunity to practice and receive constructive and supportive feedback. Mentors will receive their mentees most recently revised job documents no later than September 23. 


1:30 pm:  Luz Acosta and Jennifer Ortiz


2:10 pm: Lisa Jahn and Rosalyn Negrón


2:50 pm: Brenda Lara and Yvette J. Saavedra


3:30 pm: Valentina Jager Lopezllera and Deanna Ledezma


4:10 pm: M. Roxana Loza and Cristina Rhodes 

4:50 pm: Arón Montenegro and Macarena Gomez-Barris

Saturday, October 1

12:00 PM: Check out of hotel room no later than noon. If your flight is later in the day, the hotel can hold your luggage for you. 

Key Information for Our Fellows


  • We have purchased your airfare and hotel accommodations in advance.

  • For those with airline tickets, you received an email confirmation from Jessica Seno or Jasmine Bradford, OSSR Award Specialists, which includes your itinerary.

  • If you bring a check-on bag, you will need to pay for it at the airport and submit a receipt for reimbursement. 


Hotel Accommodations


  • You are staying at the Crowne Plaza Chicago West Loop (25 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60661). You each have your own room under your name. At the time of check-in, have your confirmation number ready.

  • The hotel will ask for a credit or debit card for incidentals that will appear as a PENDING charge on your account (maximum of $300). That card authorization hold will be removed upon checkout. If this presents an issue for you, please contact Deanna Ledezma in advance of checking into the hotel. 

  • Do not charge anything to your hotel rooms. If you buy anything, you must pay for it with your own credit card when you check out. This is very important. Mellon will not cover any of those costs.

  • There are two grocery stores located within walking distance of the Crowne Plaza Chicago West Loop (both are a 2-minute walk or 0.1 mile away): Whole Foods and Mariano's. 

CTA: Public Transportation 

  • Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) pass, available to purchase at the airport and most train stations.

  • If you plan on using public transportation during your stay, we strongly recommend purchasing a CTA pass via a Ventra kiosk or the Ventra app. There are 1-day ($5), 3-day ($15), and 7-day ($20) passes which includes limitless rides on CTA trains and buses. If you plan on going to places outside of our scheduled events, it may be most economical to choose a pass, rather than pay per ride ($2.25 and free transfers within two hours).

  • Ride share receipts must include proof of payment, such as the payment method/abbreviated credit card information. 




  • The UIC staff and UIC-based fellow are not eligible for per diems. UIC-affiliated individuals can save their travel receipts (e.g., for Metra) but those reimbursements may not be approved by the grant auditors. 

  • The reimbursement process for the Fall Institute uses the same process as the Latina/o Studies Conference.

  • Only digital receipts are accepted. If you have a paper receipt, you'll need to scan or photograph it.


Purchases approved for reimbursements:

  • ​​Travel to and from the airport, not including airport parking

  • If you drive your own car to the airport, we will reimburse gasoline by mileage. Submit a printed map of your route with the mileage with your receipts (not gasoline receipts).

  • Baggage fees

  • Meals not covered by Mellon or hotel reimbursed at per diem rate

  • Ground transportation in Chicago: train, bus, Uber,  Lyft

Meals at the per diem rate:

  • Meals are not reimbursed via receipts but with a per diem rate ($5.50 for breakfast and lunch and $17 for dinner).

  • These amounts are very modest, but will hopefully help to offset the cost. 

  • The per diem rate is only eligible for meals NOT provided by the Mellon or the hotel.  See dates below for details:

    • September 27: Per diem for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

    • September 28: Per diem for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

    • September 29 and 30: Breakfast and lunch are covered by the Mellon. Per diem for dinner.

    • October 1: Per diem for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, if travel times are applicable. 

  • You do not save any receipts for food. 

How to claim your reimbursements:

  • ​Fill out your reimbursement spreadsheet.  Each of you will have a tab with your name on it. See the guidelines above and the sample provided on the spreadsheet and reach out with any questions.

  • You must include the dates and times of your departure from your home and return to your home. 

  • To expedite the process,  Deanna Ledezma must approve your spreadsheet before you submit it to the OSSR. Any errors will slow the process. 

  • Share these documents within a week of your return home for the Fall Institute––no later than October 8, 2022.

  • Once approved, you will send a PDF of your spreadsheet and electronic receipts to the OSSR via email: and cc Deanna Ledezma and Algae Guzman.

  • Reimbursements and per diems are usually distributed with six weeks. 


There are no Covid restrictions in place at the Illini Center. However, we strongly recommend wearing masks indoors, especially during the Fall Institute events at the Illini Center, where we will work together in conference rooms all day. Our lunch and dinner reception on September 28 will be outside, and masks will be optional. 


Please feel free to text or call Deanna Ledezma during the Fall Institute with any travel delays, questions, or issues.  RAs Elizabeth Obregon and Algae Guzman will be working with us at the Fall Institute and can assist you then, too.

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