We may live in an increasingly digital world, but we are always communicating in that world. We are always telling stories, all of us, different types of stories through different media with different goals.
Well-crafted stories will always matter in the world, and not just with regards to keeping us hooked on a TV show. Stories matter in good journalism, in an effective grant proposal, in quality academic or market research, in every kind of teachers’ lesson plans. And though we all know a good story when we see one, building one from scratch is harder.
I have spent my life writing, reading, watching, and analyzing all the stories I could get my hands on, and then creating more.
I went to communication arts magnet programs in middle and high school, working on the schools’ newspapers (print and online) and TV stations (mostly as a director and producer), and was keen to double major in Creative Writing and Psychology until I made my way to a Seven Sisters college and met Sociology.
It was love at first sociological text for this Washington, DC native; seven-year student of media literacy; and big fan of world-building in all fantasy-writing endeavors. I had always wanted to understand how things worked, but had never shown promise in STEM subjects (much to the chagrin of my engineer father and physicist grandparents), and suddenly it clicked into place: I wanted to understand how people worked, groups of people, societies, governments, families. The world.
I spent most of my four years of college studying (not just Sociology but also Political Science and Latinx Studies), volunteering (to lead the Latinx affinity group and participate in diversity initiatives), and working, and by the spring of my senior year, I had accepted admission into an Ivy League doctoral program in Sociology. I graduated with a MS in Social Policy and a PhD in Sociology in 2016.
During graduate school, I learned how to teach and write about the fundamentals of the discipline, social theory and social scientific research methods, and even the sociology of politics and pop culture. I passed comprehensive exams in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminisms; and Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration. I honed my quantitative analysis skills as a Research Assistant, as well as an independent and collaborative researcher. For my master’s thesis, I investigated the relationship between metropolitan area racial diversity and racial residential segregation over time; and for my dissertation, I explored how key experiences and outcomes of Latinx students at elite American colleges and universities vary across race and class lines, and not always in expected ways.