When I reflect on my time at Chapman I cannot help but think about where I started, how far I have come, and who helped me get here. As a working-class Latina and first-generation college student, I came to Chapman looking to be the first in my family to earn a degree, make a career that would foment socially just changes, and help my family financially.
Early on I was connected to the Promising Futures Program led, at the time, by Dr. Jeanne Gunner and Dr. Molly Morin. They helped me with basic needs like food, access to school supplies, and provided me with support and encouragement. I was nourished intellectually by classes such as C.K. Magliola’s Introduction to Women’s Studies, Dr. Angeliki Kanavou’s Peace Studies courses, and Dr. Laura Glynn’s caring mentorship, research advising, and Social Psychology course.
I have noticed that most of those who have helped me at Chapman are women who are radical thinkers and deeply committed to seeing underrepresented students succeed in higher ed. They inspired me to become who I am today.
This Fall I will start as an assistant professor at Cal State Monterey Bay in the psychology department teaching courses that cross-list with ethnic studies. My Ph.D. training at UCSC taught me that the university is one of the primary sites of decolonial struggle. That is, my goal is to help decolonize the university and challenge what counts as “knowledge,” whose knowledges are centered, how that knowledge is used and deployed, and who has access to it. I am incredibly excited to reimagine and build a more socially just and decolonial future with students.