El Perico Latino Leaders Column

Ms. Yuriko Doku, M.S.

Project Coordinator, UNO’s Office of Latino/Latin American Studies (OLLAS)


My name is Yuriko Doku. I am originally from Barranquilla, Colombia. I am also third generation (“sansei”) of Japanese descent. I have been living in Omaha for about 14 years. I am married to German Ortiz and have a 7 year-old son, Santiago. I earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Universidad de la Costa (formerly known as Corporación Universitaria de la Costa) in Colombia and my second undergraduate degree is in International Studies with a minor in International Business and Management from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO).

I currently work as the Project Coordinator at the UNO’s Office of Latino/Latin American Studies (OLLAS). I have been very fortunate to work there for the last 12 years holding different positions. I have worked as student worker, research assistant and graduate assistant. I have also had the opportunity to assist our faculty in research projects by conducting interviews and analyzing data from the US Census.

This academic year, 2017-2018 started a new chapter of OLLAS’ leadership with the hiring of Dr. Cristian Doña-Reveco as its new director. Our center is an interdisciplinary program that offers a major in Latino/Latin American Studies (LLS) and a minor in Chicano/Latino Studies (CLS). We are excited to announce that in the upcoming fall 2018, we will be offering four new academic programs. Two more minors, one in Latino/Latin American Studies and the other in Migration Studies and two Graduate Certificates, one in Latino/Latin American Studies and the other in Migration Studies. Having the OLLAS credential has been crucial for our alumni’s success. We are very proud to see our alumni working in different fields, such as immigration law, nonprofits, federal and state government, education and pursuing Masters and PhDs.

During these years, I have been able to support many young Latino students as they complete their college career, many taking advantage of the scholarships, internships and study abroad opportunities offered by OLLAS. I have been fortunate enough to see them grow and to establish themselves as the professionals they are today. OLLAS has also collaborated with other UNO offices in order to assist prospective Latino students wishing to pursue higher education.

Personally, OLLAS has helped me grow academically and professionally. I had the opportunity to pursue a Master’s degree in Economics while working as a graduate assistant.  Today, I am pursuing an additional Masters in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management. Working at OLLAS, has also allowed me to work with our Latino community through various research projects. Through this work, I have also been able to network and participate as a board member in different Latino nonprofit organizations. Last but not least, I think that OLLAS is a great place to work. Our strength is to work as a team in order to accomplish our goals and make sure to contribute through research to the wellbeing of our community.
Yuriko Doku

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