Education demystifies what haunts us
College: Arts and Sciences
Degree Program: Creative Writing
Award: McKnight Doctoral Fellowship (2022)
I chose Florida State University because I wanted to be close to the histories and cultures that raised me. My work is interested in cultural myths and prophecies. Pursuing a degree at Florida State allows me to continue my research in my home state with the guidance of excellent professors.
Motivation to pursue a graduate degree
After completing my MFA in creative writing, I decided I wanted to further my education in the creative writing and literature. FSU's Department of English provided me the unique opportunity to pursue both. These educational experiences, as well as hands-on teaching experiences, are invaluable to my creative projects and professional development.
Importance and/or impact of research and work
I see my work as a historical and creative project. As a first-generation college student, many of the experiences I had as a Puerto Rican in the U.S. South were without context, nameless and ambiguous in both my mind and in the textbooks I read in school. I see my research as giving a shape and name to these experiences, and in the process, I believe there is an abundance of beauty to be found in the mystery of these experiences.
I hope to publish the creative projects I’ve been working on for the past several years. I also hope to teach creative writing and literature at the university level.
Advice for anyone considering graduate school
Speaking from personal experiences, graduate school can be a cultural shock to students, especially those who come from marginalized communities. I would advise any prospective student to be clear-eyed about what they want from graduate school and also to be attentive to the difficulties that the culture of academia presents for students from marginalized communities.
Accomplishments during graduate career
I am an Editor-in-Chief for Sonora Review. I am also a 2022 McKnight Doctoral Fellow and an Associate Artist for the Atlantic Center for the Arts. I received the Tennessee Williams Scholar in Nonfiction Award from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference.