Q&A with Diana Ramos: Athlete and Latin American Studies Graduate Student

Oct. 16, 2023
Female athlete showing Wildcat sign with right hand

Mike Christy

A competitive high jumper for the University of Arizona Track and Field team, graduate student Diana Ramos is working toward her master’s degree in Latin American Studies. At the end of 2022, she earned her bachelor’s in Journalism with an emphasis in global journalism. With a deep interest in the history of Latin American sports, Diana hopes to focus her interdisciplinary graduate research on the experiences of Latin American student-athletes through an intersectionality framework of race, gender, and athletics. In the summer of 2022, Diana covered the World Athletics Championship in Oregon, and the World Athletics U20 Championship in Cali, Colombia, in 2020. Recently she shared about her family in Venezuela, her passion for sports, media representation for Latinx athletes, and her biggest supporters.  


Please share a bit about your family and background.

I was born and raised in a small town in Venezuela called Guatire. I come from a hard-working family that values integrity and discipline. I have one older sister who is my role model. She is very intelligent and passionate about her bioanalysis job. My family is very active and loves outdoor activities — this is one of the reasons my parents got me and my sister involved in sports when we were little. My mother always says that whatever I do, I must be humble. That's how I am trying to live my life.

What is your favorite family tradition that you continue today?

We don’t have a specific family tradition, but on Christmas, we make a traditional Venezuelan dish called hallacas. Now that I am far from home, I try to keep the culture alive through food. I like to cook so I am always making Venezuelan dishes. 

What are you the most passionate about? What sparked that interest?

I am passionate about sports and journalism. I have done sports my whole life, so I developed a sense of caring for sports and how they can transform someone’s life. I have always been a talker, too, and I like meeting new people, so I figured a career in journalism would be a good fit for me and a good career path. I enjoy talking to athletes and people involved in sports because they are always very passionate. 

Why did you choose UArizona? 

I did my research. I came to continue my career in sports and pursue my undergraduate degree in journalism. UArizona seemed to be a global school with great opportunities for my professional and athletic development. Also, I liked the weather. Venezuela is a tropical country so warm weather was very important to me. And Tucson looked like the perfect small city with a big Hispanic community. 

Your research interests span sports and history in Latin America. Could you share some specific aspects of Latin American sports history that interest you the most?

Latin America is a very complex region. Its history, cultures and traditions are diverse across the different countries. My research interests are more specific to the experiences of international student-athletes from Latin America in U.S. colleges and how their race/ethnicity, gender and athletics play a role in shaping those experiences. This intrigued me because as an international student-athlete from a Latin American country, I wanted to know if other people like me were having the same experiences within their colleges. 

Given your background in global journalism, how do you think media representation shapes the perception of Latin American athletes in international sports?

I think the way Latin American athletes are labeled by the media sometimes isn’t the most appropriate one. Latin American athletes in international sports are often portrayed as sexy, passionate (in a negative way), reckless, unintelligent, and other similar portrayals. The media continues to promote this narrative that doesn’t allow us to move away from those stereotypes. 

No one achieves greatness alone. Who has had the greatest impact on your life?

I have been lucky to have many great people in my life: my family — especially my sister, Duneida Ramos, who passed to me her passion for school; my coach, Bob Myers, who has treated me like his own daughter; one of my mentors, Caitlin Schmidt, who has helped me through my journalism career; and my boyfriend, Jordan Chin, who is my unconditional support.