Graduate Studies

Participant Testimonials

This Is Why We Do What We Do...

Elizabeth Alaniz

Gave Me the Opportunity To Work One-On-One With a Faculty Person From My Program

As a 1st generation college graduate and the first in my family to attend graduate school, I didn’t know how to navigate graduate school. There were three Latinx women on campus who had a master’s degree that I personally knew, but I didn’t know anyone with a doctorate degree other than my professors who I didn’t have close relationships with because I was very shy. I knew it was important to build relationships with my professors, but I didn’t know how.

The Graduate Equity Fellowship gave me the opportunity to work one-on-one with a faculty person from my program. I had the amazing opportunity to work with Dr. Winzenz from the Psychology department. I had the experience and support of researching first-generation college students. This experience helped me create my own research for my thesis. Having a mentor with his expertise was so helpful and impactful to my graduate experience. It also helped me build relationships with other faculty from my graduate program. I always encourage students to apply when I meet with potential graduate students.

Elizabeth (Elli) Alaniz

Empowered To Do Research

My experience as a Graduate Equity Fellow was life-changing. My mentor treated me as a researcher and sought my input, which boosted my confidence in graduate school.  As a first-generation college student, I was empowered to do my research, present research, and attend a research conference, all with the guidance of a mentor.

Yvette Zúñiga

Alondra Adame

Gave Me the Foundation To Become a Lecturer Who Works To Encourage Curiosity and Excitement

The Graduate Equity Fellowship Program offered me much-needed financial support, mentorship, and time to dedicate solely to my writing. Creating a full-length manuscript of essays required not only time to write but time to research and hone my understanding of the craft. Presenting alongside my cohort of fellows and supporting each other during key opportunities like the Student Research Competition also gave me more confidence when it came to professional development. I truly believe this experience gave me the foundation to become a lecturer who works to encourage curiosity and excitement for student research and writing.

Alondra Adame

Grad Equity Helped Me To Think About My Own Research, Interests, and Goals

One of the biggest things the grad equity prepared me for is the level of research that is involved in every paper I now write, which wasn't quite the same at the MA level. Grad equity also helped me to think about my own research, interests, and goals, and how to develop those, which has allowed me to already have a formed dissertation project, and my comprehensive exam reading list is very specific to that project.

Shelli Homer

Juan Vega

Empowered Me To Present My Work at Multiple Conferences

The Graduate Equity Fellowship program offered crucial financial support that allowed me to spend more time on researching and writing my thesis. It also empowered me to present my work at multiple conferences. Doing so helped me connect with scholars in my field and obtain opportunities to publish my research. Moreover, I benefitted tremendously from the program’s monthly meetings, where other fellows and I discussed, among many things, how to overcome obstacles in our academic and personal lives. I am confident the program coordinators and my peers provided the inspiration and encouragement that enabled me to successfully complete my master’s degree.

Juan Vega

Provided a Glimpse of My Future as a Professor

As a Graduate Equity Fellow, I received support to compose a project that was unique to my own research interests and was separate from my coursework. This was an exceptional opportunity for me because I focus on a region and texts that are not always present in the classroom. During my time as a Fellow, I began a project on Postcolonial Literature and Theory and Iranian Literature written by women. This is a project that I am continuing to focus on in my doctoral studies. The Fellowship at Chico State prepared me for the type of research I am currently expected to do as a PhD student.

The Graduate Equity Fellowship allowed me to work closely with a Professor in a similar field. During my year as a Fellow, I met with Dr. Rob Burton weekly and am grateful for the opportunity to have such an outstanding mentor. I was able to learn a tremendous amount from Dr. Burton’s professionalism and experience in both World Literature and Postcolonial Theory. In addition, the work I did with Dr. Burton provided a glimpse of my future as a Professor. The opportunities that the Graduate Equity Fellowship presents to graduate students at Chico State are truly rare and immensely significant.

Allia Homayoun
English, '09

Gustavo Martir Luna

Prepared Me to Successfully Transition Into a PhD Program

Receiving the Graduate Equity Fellowship not only gave me the opportunity to conduct faculty-mentored research, it also allowed me to develop and hone the skills to prepare, produce, and complete doctoral-level research. Indeed, the GEFP prepared me to successfully transition into a PhD program at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Gustavo Martir Luna

A Life-Changing Experience

The Graduate Equity Fellowship Program was a wonderful, life-changing experience. It put me on the right path and gave me the experience I needed to continue on to my doctoral program. I was very fortunate to have this experience.

Pa Her

Kanvarbir Gill

I Was Inspired to Further My Education and Apply to PhD Programs

The Graduate Equity Fellowship has directly impacted my trajectory as a graduate student. This fellowship allowed me to focus on my research which helped me to excel in my master's program. After presenting at several research conferences supported by my mentors, the Graduate Studies Department, and the Graduate Equity Fellowship Program, I was inspired to further my education and apply to PhD programs. I truly believe that the support I received from the Graduate Equity Fellowship led to my acceptance to a doctoral program. I am extremely fortunate to have been given the opportunity to be a fellow, and I am excited to begin my doctoral studies in Fall 2022!

Kanvarbir Gill

Provided Me With the Knowledge and Practice of Research at the Community and National Levels

I was a Graduate Equity Fellow from Fall 2006-Summer 2007 at California State University, Chico. I worked directly with Dr. Sandra Machida, a professor of psychology, who prepared me for doctoral studies, college teaching, and academia at its best. I am currently an Instructor and doctoral candidate at the University of Missouri, Columbia, in Human Development and Family Studies, teaching Infant-Toddler Development and Programs, and was accepted into the doctorate program in Fall 2009. The Graduate Equity Program prepared me for my current position by providing me with scholarly experience and professional practice—components that made me competitive in the job market and graduate school.

A serious advantage to my career was my involvement with this program which supported underrepresented college students, professional research collection, support for research presentation and dissemination, and one on one experience with research advisors. My research advisor, Dr. Sandra Machida, provided me with the knowledge and practice of research at the community and national levels—supported financially and structurally through the graduate equity program.

The relationships between research mentors and graduate equity fellows were invaluable. Each semester at our large fellowship gatherings, graduate students would give a testimony of their work and appreciation for this program. The guidance and mentorship provided by the fellowship built a structure of professional practice that continues as we remain connected. Other graduate fellows in my cohort inspired and encouraged me, which served as a support network when I conducted my own research. I was successful in presenting at a number of conferences and felt prepared when meeting with potential employers at Level I research institutions.

The Graduate Equity program is important in the CSU system because it provides a higher tier of professional study and work ethic for those aspiring doctoral studies. Furthermore, the financial support was an incentive that allowed me to be a member of professional organizations, attend research conferences, and pay for ongoing costs in college.

I am a successful product of the Graduate Equity Fellowship program. The Graduate Equity Program allowed me to network and meet incredibly intelligent college students on campus, facilitate professional relationships, and build my self-efficacy and personal capital as an aspiring academic. The meetings with other graduate fellows helped me envision the possibilities of myself as a researcher and appreciate the scholarly work of others in graduate school. I was not born into an academic family, and the experiences through my fellowship were vital to my current success.

Jacqueline Bacino