Pedro Regalado Alumni Spotlight
At Loyola, I had the pleasure to develop relationships with students and faculty that have significantly shaped my professional life. I transferred from a community college in Philadelphia and wasn’t sure if I’d fit in; I’m happy to say that I was wrong! Professor Michelle Nickerson trained me to think and research like a historian while Professor Elizabeth Shermer taught me the value of a good sentence. As a LUC history major and a McNair Scholar, I was thus well prepared for graduate school at Yale University’s American Studies Program, which I graduated from in May 2019.
Since then, I’ve been a junior fellow of Harvard University’s Society of Fellows. I'm currently working on a book manuscript tentatively titled, Latinx Gotham: Work and the Origins of the Modern City, which tells the history of New York City during the twentieth century through the lens of its Latinx migrants and their diverse forms of work. New York's Latinx population—a mix of Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Mexicans, Colombians, and others—grew from roughly 110,000 in 1930 to over 2.5 million today. My project is the first extended history of this transformation. It tracks the city's shift towards a postindustrial service-based economy during the second half of the twentieth century, and makes two major claims. First, the project argues that Latinx New Yorkers used work in several of the city's prominent economic sectors (including manufacturing, small business ownership, banking, service, and the illicit drug trades) not only to subsist financially, but to carve a place for their communities as the city's demography and political economy shifted. Second, it argues that Latinx work became a vital driving force in the physical reorganization of New York City, from Downtown Brooklyn to East Harlem, the South Bronx to Washington Heights, and beyond.
Loyola Chicago is where I refined my passion for history. But most importantly, it’s also the place where I met my loving wife. We live in Somerville, Massachusetts and return to Chicago as often as we can.