Three Sexuality Studies graduate students — Jillian Salazar, Michelle Parra and Nicholas Newton — developed a student-led initiative consisting of six workshops to assist underrepresented students in higher education in navigating the graduate school application process. Each workshop is designed to cover an area of the graduate application package so that students will have a full draft of their application by the end of the sixth workshop. Topics covered in each workshop include identifying graduate programs, writing the personal statement, drafting the research statement, creating a resume or CV and selecting a strong writing sample.
The workshops kicked off on Oct. 18 with a faculty panel that included Belinda Reyes, associate professor of Latina/Latino Studies and director of the César E. Chávez Institute; Jessica Fields, professor of sociology and Graduate Studies coordinator in Sexuality Studies; and Marla A. Ramírez, assistant professor of sociology. The approximately 15 students in attendance learned from the faculty experts’ own graduate school experiences. The faculty panel also provided advice from their participation in graduate program selection committees and from their experience mentoring their own students navigate through the graduate application process.
The workshops are based on a model where students will share their work and provide feedback to each other with input from graduate students and faculty. The graduate student organizers envision the workshops as a way to share the knowledge they have learned by navigating through higher education as underrepresented students themselves. They are creating a how-to guide, which they hope future graduate students will replicate, to continue assisting historically underrepresented students navigate through the higher education pipeline.
The workshops will continue through the beginning of December. Please contact Nicholas Newton for inquiries about participation.
Pictured above: (Back row) Workshop student organizers Jill Salazar, Michelle Parra and Nick Newton; (front row) faculty panelists Belinda Reyes, Marla Ramírez and Jessica Fields