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Alumni Spotlight

 

Thy P., Class of 2015

Photo of Thy P.

 

1. How has obtaining this degree and/or credential positively affected your employment experiences and life overall?

The master degree, combined with my lived experience, made me relatable. It gave me both the theoretical framework and the pragmatic ways to approach teaching in a humanizing way. There is ALWAYS a place to genuinely show concerns and practice genuine love for one another as we grow as human beings. We need to actively occupy the space we want to change.

2. Where are you currently working and what is your title/position? 

Lindbergh STEM Academy (LBUSD)/ Humanities Core Teacher (6th Grade). I teach… correction. I facilitate learning. Valuing each and every child’s unique experience and narrative, we learn how to better communicate and connect with one-another as human beings. I teach and help facilitate various communication skills (Reading, Writing, Research, and Speaking and Listening) in an effective manner that substantiate and validates their lived experience. I attempt to build confidence and solidify their place in the community.

3. What advice do you have for a prospective student to your program?

Be open. Be vulnerable and Be humble. Occupy the space you want to change. It requires courage and a tremendous amount of faith… but continue to be vigilant and hopeful.

4. What was your favorite/most memorable part of being a graduate student at CSULB?

The opportunity to connect with genuine people through genuine dialogue.

Ramon S., Class of 2016

1. How has obtaining this degree and/or credential positively affected your employment experiences and life overall?

This degree pretty much changed the trajectory of my career in a very positive way.  Prior to this program, I simply wanted to do some type of social justice work within education.  My experience in SCAE refined both my professional and career goals, helping me to understand both exactly what I wanted to do and how to achieve my goals.  To this day, the continued support and expertise from faculty and students continue to shape and support my personal and professional path.  

2. Where are you currently working and what is your title/position?

Since graduating from SCAE I became a PhD student and S.E.E.D. Fellow in the department of Education at the University of California, San Diego.  My research focuses on recruitment, retention, resilience and student voice for marginalized populations in educational spaces. I have created, developed and supported student-driven, culturally-relevant curriculum and programs for various Universities, High Schools districts, Schools and nonprofits across California, Washington and Washington D.C. Currently, my doctoral research supports UC San Diego and San Diego Unified in the development and implementation of a district wide ethnic studies curriculum. Additionally, I started a non-profit (@theconsciouskid on instagram) with my wife discussing the role of race within children's literature and educational experiences, our social media profile currently has boasted over 100,000 followers. This non-profit also conducts research and provides professional development for teachers, parents, and students. One example being a paper we published about the racism within Dr. Seuss' children's books, this paper received over 30,000 downloads in three weeks and was covered by various media sources including, NPR, Time Magazine, and CNN.  I have presented my research from both my doctoral program and my non-profit at conferences including Stanford's Race Inequality Language (RILE) conference and the American Educational Research Association (AERA) conference.

3. What advice do you have for a prospective student to your program?

My advice would be to have an open mind and not to take for granted the support systems available in SCAE. SCAE is a unique space unlike any other, and very few times will you have everyone within a program on the same page about what social justice looks like in education in supporting student experiences.  Additionally, the access to courses discussing concepts such as CRT is actually not very common in many masters program within education.  It was this foundation that I continue to draw on, that help to set the stage for my both non-profit and my Ph.D work.    

4. What was your favorite/most memorable part of being a graduate student at CSULB?

My favorite part was being able to learn from incredible women and scholar of color on a daily basis - i.e Dr. Perez-Huber.  I had never seen or experienced such racial diversity within the leadership of a masters program and in higher education.  The experiences these teachers were able to bring in to classroom, resonated within the deepest parts of myself and could not be taught in any training or teacher education program.  It was watching them that inspired me to not only want to be a teacher and researcher in higher education but to also know that it possible for someone with a brown face to be able to make it to such a position.  I am eternally in their debt and will forever be grateful.

Lorena C.G., Class of 2017

Lorena C.G. Class of 2017

 

1. How has obtaining this degree and/or credential positively affected your employment experiences and life overall?

Obtaining my master’s degree in Education from CSULB was key in transitioning to my next step of becoming faculty, doctoral study. In SCAE, I was involved in research projects and I was a CSU Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar. These activities allowed me to explore doctoral programs and further prepare for doctoral study. Recently I was selected as a CSU Chancellor Doctoral Incentive Program Scholar. In this program I will continue to receive mentorship from my CSU advisor, Dr. Lindsay Perez Huber to prepare me to become a competent candidate for a faculty position at a CSU campus in the near future. 

2. Where are you currently working and what is your title/position?

Currently I'm a second year Ph.D. student in the Social Sciences and Comparative Education program with a Race and Ethnic Studies specialization in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. I also serve as a research associate for the Center for Critical Race Studies in Education (CCRSE) and the Center for the Transformation of Schools (CTS) at UCLA. In CCRSE, I serve as a co-editor for the research briefs that are published by the center. In the CTS team, I am part of two state programs that are investigating ways to reduce school suspensions and support youth experiencing homelessness across California.

3. What advice do you have for a prospective student to your program?

My advice for prospective SCAE students is to listen to your body and prioritize how you want to spend your time/energy. The work will never end, so it’s okay to take breaks and have fun. You may find that taking a fresh breath of air can go a long ways in your personal and professional work!

4. What was your favorite/most memorable part of being a graduate student at CSULB?

My favorite part of being a graduate student in SCAE was meeting a new community of social justice-oriented scholars. I absolutely loved my program, the faculty and my peers. It’s special to share the PhD journey with some of my SCAE cohort peers and although we are at different institutions now, we continue to support each other.