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Julianna Loera-Wiggins

Age: 28

Hails From: Paradise, CA

Job that Pays the Bills: PhD Candidate at the University of Michigan in the Department of American Culture and Program of Latina/o/x Studies

Rugby Life:

  • Player, University of New Mexico Women’s Rugby Club (2014-2017)

  • USA Rugby Academic All-American (2015)

  • Volunteer, Albuquerque Youth Rugby Clinic (2016)

  • Player, Chicago Women's Rugby Club  (2022)

  • Player and Co-Captain, Chicago North Shore Rugby, Freetail 7’s Tour (2022)

  • Player, Ypsilanti Starlings Rugby (2022-present)

Leading Like a Boss:

  • Leads the Coaching Collective for the Ypsilanti Starlings Rugby Club, a new DIII Midwest team started in 2022; also serves as a board member and field captain

  • Graduate Student Mentor within the Department of American Culture at the University of Michigan, serving as a guide and mentor to graduate students who are teaching courses about race and ethnicity

  • Member of Washtenaw County: Queens with Quips, a monthly femme/them comedy writing collective

  • Production Assistant for Las Locas Comedy Showcase in Chicago, IL, a showcase that highlights and promotes Latina/x voices in stand-up comedy

  • A member of the Paradise Unified School District Social Justice Committee

  • Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Julianna is part of a collective of Paradise High School alumni dedicated to bringing awareness to the lived experiences of People of Color and advocating for educational reform within the district

Why We Love Julianna:

She never stops leading. She is an outstanding leader who not only excels in rugby but contributes significantly to her community through her dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in academia and in rugby.

All photos provided by the award recipient

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