Alumni Highlight! Mo Torres
Posted on November 14, 2013
What year did you graduate and what was your major/minor?
Chicana/o Studies & History, 2010
I am a graduate student at the University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Before graduate school, I was a high school Spanish teacher in Detroit, Michigan.
How did Chicana/o Studies change your life?
Chicana/o Studies introduced me to a world of history and ideas that I never knew existed. When you study psychology, history, art, what have you, in traditional disciplines, the Chicana/o experience is either distorted or absent. Chicana/o Studies taught me that my lived experiences as a young Chicano were important and relevant in the learning environment. Chicana/o Studies provided me with mentors and role models that I could not have found in other departments. Without them, I doubt I would have ever considered graduate school.
What are some words of advice for current students?
1. Be a role model to others. Volunteer at middle and high schools. Show your community that you have been successful thus far in your own life. Let them know they can attend college one day too.
2. Create mentors for yourself. Instead of procrastinating on your next paper by liking random food pictures on Instagram, go online and read at least 50 CVs of professors and graduate students at UC Davis. E-mail the ones whose work is interesting to you. Meet them for coffee or visit their office hours. Do not be afraid to create mentors for yourself. They know what it is like to be a student of color. They will always make time for you.
3. Meet people different from you. Hang out at the SRRC, CCC, WRRC and LGBTRC. Take classes in WMS, AAS, ASA, NAS. Join a new organization. Take college as an opportunity to expand your mind as much as possible. Learning how to build relationships across multiple lines of difference is a skill you can’t learn in a classroom — and one that will be invaluable to you in your future career, whatever it may be.
Can people contact you? YES!
Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org