What is your area of research at UCSD? My research examines the Southern California Indian boarding school experience. Specifically, for my future dissertation, I intend to examine Southern California Indian traditional methods of education, and the ways in which former boarding school students and their descendants have sustained, adapted, and revitalized traditional methods of education despite over a century of (often forced) exposure to colonial schooling.
How do you connect with the community as a grad student? I’ve tried to ensure that this grad school experience is different from my undergraduate and previous graduate student experiences, by being as actively involved as possible. I am currently co-chair for the American Indian Graduate Student Association (AIGSA) and a member of the American Indian Science & Engineering Society (AISES). In addition, I attend as many ITRC events – as a student and staff – so that I can decompress from life as a doctoral student.
What do you like to do in your free time? I am firm believer in self-care, so I try to make the most of my free time. I spend time with my two cats, Alecs and Gaia Sky, and am currently training them to “speak” through use of recordable answer buzzers. I also enjoy gardening and have created a small garden on my patio with white sage, herbs, and flowers. Finally, when I am feeling artistic, I paint, make pine needle baskets and jewelry, and dabble a little in bead work. My favorite use of free time is to hang out with my family.