A win-win situation exists when it comes to our graduate research assistants who are placed in units across the division. One example is Claudia García Medina, who works with Dr. Betty Jeanne Taylor in Diversity Education Initiatives (DEI) and also volunteers with Project MALES, a research project aiming to raise the educational attainment level of Latino males.
Before becoming a doctoral candidate in the Higher Education Administration Program at The University of Texas at Austin, Claudia worked at Linfield College as director of multicultural programs. It was during her master’s program at Seattle University that an advisor introduced her to the work of Dr. Victor Sáenz, assistant professor of education at UT Austin and Project MALES director. Claudia immediately identified Dr. Sáenz as someone she wanted to work with on research pertaining to Latino males.
“I was interested in the work Dr. Sáenz was doing because not only was he talking about what was happening, but he was talking about solutions,” she said. “I noticed the lack of Latino males in general in education through my own experience.”
In her DEI role, Claudia assists Dr. Taylor with providing educational programming at the university and in the community around developing an inclusive workplace, and exploring privilege and social identities, and increasing discourse on diversity issues.
When Claudia is not reading for class, she works out frequently and enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, Frisbee golf, and paddle boarding on Ladybird Lake. Her adventurous spirit even took her on a North American trek in 2004 through a Peace and Dignity Journey, an indigenous run held every four years that unites the southern and northern hemisphere. During her three month participation she ran and walked from California, through Mexico and into Guatemala, and had the fortune of meeting many indigenous people along the way.
Claudia will be traveling to New York during the holiday season, where she will be married to her fiancé David on Dec. 28 with both of their families in attendance. They will honeymoon in Cancun. Congratulations Claudia!