Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Finding Community and Collaboration

Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Finding Community and Collaboration

Article excerpt

rior to attending a national conference of the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE), I was only sure of my research intentions and the work I wanted to do for my community. My professional goals were an unknown, and I had no idea what to expect the next term, let alone the next five to ten years. As a second-year Ph.D. student in social psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, I knew I had to keep going but couldn't quite grasp that it was a marathon, not a race to the Ph.D. It felt like a race because from my vantage point, very few psychology researchers around me were doing social justice work for the Latinx community, and that number dwindled to nonexistence when it came to research advocating for the migrant and seasonal farm-working community I come from. Attending AAHHE as a graduate student fellow provided me with clarity in the form of inspiration, a welcoming family, resources and a wake-up call that couldn't have come at a better time.

My introduction to AAHHE was through my academic hero, Dr. Rebecca Covarrubias, an AAHHE faculty fellow alumni whom I am fortunate to call my graduate advisor. With her encouragement and support, I applied and was honored to be selected as a fellow in 2018. Aiming to address structural inequities for working-class Latinx first-generation college students through research, I attended AAHHE with the goal of meeting potential mentors who sought similar forms of institutional change.

To my appreciation, I was introduced to incredible scholars, both graduate students and faculty, who use research to highlight our community's voice in such beautiful ways that are not included in my graduate curriculum. …

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