BECOMING AN AGENT OF SOCIAL CHANGE

Written by

Joanna Perez, Assistant Professor of Sociology California State University, Dominguez Hills

Joanna Perez.jpg

Growing up in the predominantly low-income Latino immigrant neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, I became aware of the limited opportunities (social, political, economic, etc.) that were available to the members of my community. Thus, I am immensely grateful for the various opportunities that have provided me with the necessary tools to work toward changing the social conditions of marginalized communities. For instance, during March of 2016, I attended my first American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) conference as a graduate fellow. While at this conference, I met and learned from other Latino graduate fellows, professors and professionals from across the nation. By the end of the conference, I felt as though I had joined a community of scholars and administrators who were invested in addressing the needs of Latinos in the U.S and beyond. 

As I was the only first-generation Latina doctoral student in my graduate program, it was crucial to have the necessary support to finish my degree. While pursuing my Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I benefited from the mentorship of several professors. For instance, my advisor, Dr. Jorge Chapa, encouraged me to apply to academic opportunities geared toward helping minority students thrive in graduate school and beyond, including the AAHHE Graduate Student Fellowship Program (GSFP). As a former AAHHE graduate student and faculty fellow, Dr. Chapa particularly wanted me to become part of the AAHHE family because he believed in the mission of the organization and knew that my life would be forever changed if I were granted the opportunity to join the AAHHE family. Given the competitive nature of the AAHHE GSFP, I was honored and humbled when I was notified that I had been selected as participant of the 2015-2016 cohort. In particular, my acceptance was immensely meaningful because it occurred during the time when I was deeply heartbroken by the unforeseen passing of Dr. Chapa.

While at the conference, I was able to grow as a scholar, mentee, mentor and community advocate.  More specifically, after each session I attended with the graduate and faculty fellows, I felt validated, empowered and inspired to keep pushing through my graduate studies and to keep working toward making my dream of becoming a tenured professor a reality. During these sessions, we not only discussed and provided critical feedback on our research, but we also had deep and critical conversations about our process and role in increasing the education pipeline of Latino students. Furthermore, given that prior to coming to the conference I had recently accepted a tenure-track faculty position, I was vastly grateful for the opportunity to learn about the experiences and coping strategies of faculty fellows. Currently, as an assistant professor of sociology at California State University, Dominguez Hills, it is the friendship and consejos of my cohort and faculty fellows that keep me grounded. Also, having served as the 2016 alumni coordinator co-chair, I worked to make sure that we all continued to fight for social justice and to equip the upcoming generation of Latino students with the knowledge and tools to be agents of social change. Indeed, I will forever be grateful for the experience and the familia I gained as an AAHHE graduate fellow.   •

School Library February 2017

For many years, Hispanic Outlook ran book reviews that covered a wide variety of topics related to academia, higher education and the Hispanic community.  This feature was so popular that not only are we bringing it back but also expanding it, so it encompasses more of the education experience.  Like a real library, the new book reviews will be split into sections: one that will continue to be dedicated to higher education and the Hispanic community, and one showcasing books that are ideal for primary and secondary education majors and professors, as well as teachers currently working in grades K-12.  

Higher Education


“ACHIEVE THE COLLEGE DREAM: YOU DON’T NEED TO BE RICH TO ATTEND A TOP SCHOOL”

the hispanic outlook school library

By María Carla Chicuén

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers 

ISBN-13: 978-1475827347

In “Achieve the College Dream,” education equality advocate María Carla Chicuén provides advice on important aspects of the path to college such as pursuing a strong high school curriculum, preparing for standardized exams, complementing learning at school, developing leadership and finding expert help and role models—all through affordable strategies. In addition, she also guides students through the college application and selection processes, as well as the steps to obtain enough financial aid. Beyond making recommendations, Chicuén also shares her own journey to Harvard, demonstrating by example that students with few resources can succeed at the top universities in the U.S.

“SUCCESSFUL STEM MENTORING INITIATIVES FOR UNDERREPRESENTED STUDENTS: A RESEARCH-BASED GUIDE FOR FACULTY AND ADMINISTRATORS”

the hispanic outlook school library february

By Becky Wai-Ling Packard

Publisher: Stylus Publishing

ISBN-13: 978-1620362952

This step-by-step research-based guide is written for higher education faculty and administrators who are charged with designing mentoring programs to recruit and retain students from underrepresented groups including women, students of color, transfer students and first-generation college students. Written by an expert in the field of STEM mentoring, it describes the real and perceived barriers that underrepresented students encounter when considering enrollment, or participating, in science courses; considers the issues they face at the various transitions in their education, from entering college to declaring a major and moving on to a profession; and sets out mentoring options available to program designers.

“THE SCHOLARSHIP & FINANCIAL AID SOLUTION: HOW TO GO TO COLLEGE FOR NEXT TO NOTHING WITH SHORTCUTS, TRICKS, AND TIPS FROM START TO FINISH REVISED 2ND EDITION”

the hispanic outlook on education school library

By Debra Lipphardt

Publisher: Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc.

ISBN-13: 978-1601389503

This revised edition of “The Scholarship & Financial Aid Solution” is an updated, comprehensive and detailed guide to obtaining financial assistance for a college education. It explores the different types of general scholarships available, where to look for these scholarships and college application hints. It also offers assistance on writing a resume, filling out applications and writing essays. In addition, it offers shortcuts and tips to make the application process easier, as well as advice on how to reap the most benefit from letters of recommendation and interviews. This guide also delves into critical information about state grants, FASFA and scams.

“PAYING IT FORWARD - THE PHD PROJECT: CREATING TOMORROW’S LEADERS IN BUSINESS THROUGH ACADEME”

the hispanic outlook on education magazine

By Ned Steele

Publisher: The PhD Project

ISBN-13: 978-0578143453

The PhD Project’s vision of a significantly larger talent pipeline of African-Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans for business leadership positions is becoming reality. This is the story of its origins and growth, as well as the journeys of many of its participants and professors—the mentorships that sustain them, collaborations that propel them and their commitment to pay it forward. When The PhD Project was created in 1994, there were only 294 doctorally qualified African-American, Hispanic American or Native American professors in all U.S. university business schools. When it turned 20, there were 1,237 professors and an additional 332 working toward their doctorates.

K-12


“THE STORYTELLER’S CANDLE/LA VELITA DE LOS CUENTOS”

the hispanic outlook on education school library

By Lucía González

Illustrated by Lulu Delacre

Publisher: Lee & Low Books Inc. 

ISBN-13: 978-0892392377

Grade Level: Preschool - 3

Teachers Guide: https://www.leeandlow.com/books/2804/teachers_guide

The winter of 1929 feels especially cold to cousins Hildamar and Santiago who arrived in New York City from sunny Puerto Rico only months before. Their island home feels very far away indeed especially with Three Kings’ Day rapidly approaching. But then a magical thing happens. A visitor appears in their class, a gifted storyteller, as well as New York City’s first Latina librarian, Pura Belpré. She opens the children’s eyes to the public library and its potential to be the living, breathing heart of the community. The library, after all, belongs to everyone—whether you speak Spanish, English or both.

The University of Alabama School of Library and Informational Studies has provided a book discussion and activity guide for this title, which was created by Jenni Arvin and Sylvia Garcia with Dr. Jamie Campbell Naidoo (https://www.leeandlow.com/uploads/loaded_document/61/Storyteller_Candle_BG.pdf).

“MY DIARY FROM HERE TO THERE/ MI DIARIO DE AQUI HASTA ALLÁ”

hispanic outlook on education magazine school books

By Amada Irma Pérez

Illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez

Publisher: Children’s Book Press

ISBN-13: 978-0892391752

Grade Level: 1 and up

Teacher’s Guide: https://www.leeandlow.com/books/2799/teachers_guide

One night, young Amada overhears her parents whisper of moving from Mexico to the other side of the border—to Los Angeles. As she and her family make their journey north, Amada records her fears, hopes and dreams for their lives in the U.S. in her diary. How can she leave her best friend behind? What if she can’t learn English? What if her family never returns to Mexico? From Juárez to Mexicali to Tijuana to Los Angeles, Amada learns that with her family’s love and her belief in herself, she can make any journey and weather any change—here, there, anywhere.

Achieve the Core, a Student Achievement Partners website designed to help educators understand and implement the Common Core State Standards, has provided a teacher-created lesson plan for this title (https://www.leeandlow.com/uploads/loaded_document/13/My_Diary_from_Here_to_There_lesson_plan_by_Achieve_the_Core.pdf).

“¡OLINGUITO, DE LA A A LA Z! DESCUBRIENDO EL BOSQUE NUBLADO/OLINGUITO, FROM A TO Z! UNVEILING THE CLOUD FOREST”

school library february 2-17 hispanic outlook

By Lulu Delacre

Illustrated by Lulu Delacre

Publisher: Children’s Book Press

ISBN-13: 978-0892393275

Grade Level: Kindergarten - 6

Teacher’s Guide: https://www.leeandlow.com/books/2916/teachers_guide

With lyrical text, readers travel to the magical world of a cloud forest in the Andes of Ecuador and discover the bounty of plants, animals and other organisms that live there. But this isn’t just a sightseeing tour. A zoologist needs help to find the elusive olinguito, the first new mammal species identified in the Americas since 1978. Not the usual ABC book, the alphabet is an organizing feature to introduce children to rich vocabulary. Exquisitely illustrated with colorful, realistic images, the book includes articles about cloud forests and an extensive glossary with the scientific names of the species pictured. 

Lee & Low Books Inc.’s main website provides an activity kit for this title (https://www.leeandlow.com/uploads/loaded_document/264/Olinguito_Activity_Sheet_Laser.pdf).