Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 2009 Issue »

    The Re-Education of a Pocha-Rican

    How Latina/o Studies Latinized Me

    Arelis Hernandez
    The story of Latinas/os in higher education in the United States is often one of exclusion and erasure. In this essay, Arelis Hernandez argues that, from grade school to college, there is rarely an occasion for Latinas/os to learn their history and to produce scholarship based on their communities. Instead, they are pressured to subscribe to a homogenizing paradigm of history that stresses assimilation and a negation of their particular stories. The author describes the movement initiated at the University of Maryland at College Park in the spring of 2008 for the institutionalization of a U.S. Latina/o studies minor. After the administration refused to recognize the legitimacy of Latina/o studies, students used insights from historical efforts to fight for equity to leverage the creation of a Latina/o studies program. A student leader of this movement, Hernandez examines the collaboration among faculty, staff, and allies to transform their campus. In the process, she explores her own transformation.

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    Arelis Hernandez is a multimedia journalist and recent graduate of the University of Maryland in College Park, where she was one of the first students to receive a minor in the newly inaugurated U.S. Latina/o studies program. She was involved in a long struggle to institutionalize the ethnic studies program, and after a decade of protests, the university delivered on its diversity promises. As a reporter, she has worked for various publications, including the Associated Press, the Orlando Sentinel, washingtonpost.com, the Baltimore Sun, and the Star-News in Wilmington, North Carolina. In 2009, Hernandez was named one of the top 100 student journalists in the nation by U-Wire, a news wire for college newspapers. She is now working as a staff writer for Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, a magazine and Web site devoted to news about minorities in the academy.

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    Winter 2009 Issue


    Sylvia Hurtado
    Editors’ Introduction
    Ángeles, Sacrificios, y Dios
    A Puerto Rican Woman’s Journey Through Higher Education
    Marisa Rivera
    Latina/o Undergraduate Students Mentoring Latina/o Elementary Students
    A Borderlands Analysis of Shifting Identities and First-Year Experiences
    Dolores Delgado Bernal, Enrique Alemán Jr., and Andrea Garavito
    Existentialism at Home, Determinism Abroad
    A Small-Town Mexican American Kid Goes Global
    Joe Robert González
    From the Bricks to the Hall
    Mellie Torres
    The Re-Education of a Pocha-Rican
    How Latina/o Studies Latinized Me
    Arelis Hernandez
    Sin Papeles y Rompiendo Barreras
    Latino Students and the Challenges of Persisting in College
    Frances Contreras
    Dimensions of the Transfer Choice Gap
    Experiences of Latina and Latino Students Who Navigated Transfer Pathways
    Estela Mara Bensimon and Alicia C. Dowd
    Critical Race Theory, Racial Microaggressions, and Campus Racial Climate for Latina/o Undergraduates
    Tara Yosso, William Smith, Miguel Ceja, and Daniel Solórzano
    Mexican American and Educated
    Marlen Vasquez
    Increasing Latino/a Representation in Math and Science
    An Insider’s Look
    Jarrad Aguirre
    Challenging Racist Nativist Framing
    Acknowledging the Community Cultural Wealth of Undocumented Chicana College Students to Reframe the Immigration Debate
    Lindsay Pérez Huber
    Results Not Typical
    One Latino Family’s Experiences in Higher Education
    Margarita Jimenez-Silva, Norma V. Jimenez Hernandez, Ruth Luevanos, Dulcemonica Jimenez, and Abel Jimenez Jr.
    Barriers to Success
    A Narrative of One Latina Student’s Struggles
    Jannell Robles
    The Xicana Sacred Space
    A Communal Circle of Compromiso for Educational Researchers
    Lourdes Diaz Soto, Claudia G. Cervantes-Soon, Elizabeth Villarreal, and Emmet E. Campos

    Book Notes

    Standing on the Outside Looking In
    edited by Mary F. Howard-Hamilton, Carla L. Morelon-Quainoo, Susan D. Johnson, Rachelle Winkle-Wagner, and Lilia Santiague.

    Undocumented Immigrants and Higher Education
    Alejandra Rincón.

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