"All students need windows and mirrors"
Degree Program: Curriculum and Instruction
Award: McKnight Dissertation Fellowship (2021)
I chose to come back to FSU for my doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction because of the support I received from professors during my time as a master's student.
Motivation to pursue a graduate degree
As a middle and high school science teacher, I saw the knowledge and resources my students brought into the classroom every day. However, too often, my students were seen through a deficit lens, which led to them feeling marginalized, isolated, and neglected. Their experiences motivated me to pursue a doctorate with the goal of improving their academic experiences in STEM.
Importance and impact of research
My research aims to support the development of culturally responsive STEM teachers of color, which is particularly important since the student population is only becoming more diverse (racial, ethnic, linguistic, geographic), but the teacher population remains predominately white.
Advice for prospective graduate students
One piece of advice to anyone entering or considering any graduate program would be to find a support network (friends, family, peers, mental health counselors) that will support you during challenging times and celebrate your successes.
Accomplishments during graduate career
As a first-generation immigrant from Nicaragua, I am proud of all my prior academic achievements and look forward to being the first one in my family to earn a doctorate. I am also proud to be a 2021 recipient of the McKnight Dissertation Fellowship.
After completing my doctoral program, I hope to find a research or teaching position at an institution that values my research, supports student of color, and is working towards building socially just educational spaces.