Inside USD

USD Students to Cover a Spectrum of Issues at Upcoming Ethnic Studies Conference

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Seven undergraduate students from the University of San Diego were chosen to present at 37th Annual National Association for Ethnic Studies Conference this week.

Founded in 1972, the NAES promotes dialogue on the national and international dimensions of ethnicity. This year’s conference takes place in San Diego.

Students who are presenting are part of the advanced ethnic studies courses at USD. As part of their graduation requirements, students work with faculty members to construct senior theses and research proposals. Alberto Pulido, director of USD’s Ethnic Studies Department, believes that this type of exposure is important for undergraduates to mature intellectually.

“These conferences allow students to acquire leadership skills and begin to gain the confidence to professionalize themselves into higher education,” said Pulido, who will also chair a student panel on border boundaries at this years conference. “Many of our students who have gone on to graduate studies attribute their exposure to professional academic conferences as important in their success.”

Students making presentations during the conference include:
• Brandye Combs – “Double Consciousness in Black and White”
• Rachel Freeman – “Is it Kosher to Question: Finding Self-Identity and Love as a Jewish American Female”
• Maria Guzman – “Religious Discourse of Emancipation in Viramontes’ Under the Feet of Jesus”
• Maria Jimenez – “History of Immigration Detention in the United States”
• Angela Lopez – “Body Image and Beauty for Mexican American Women in the United States”
• Kristin Quezada – “Guess What? You’re Indian”
• Angelique Valdivia – “Finding a Strong Self-Identity from Inside the Kitchen”

Pulido and three other faculty members from the Ethnic Studies Department will be presenting their research and chairing committees at the conference. They include:
• Michelle Jacob, assistant professor of ethnic studies, presenting “You Are What You Eat: Colonization & Historical Boundaries of Yakama Culture.”
• Ruben Murillo, adjunct faculty for languages and literature, chairing the “Latina Representations of Social Justice” student panel and presenting his paper, “Illegal Aliens, Inc.”
• Bahar Davary, assistant professor of theology and religious studies, presenting “Where Does the Border Lie? A Muslim-Christian Immigration Ethics.”

The NAES conference will take place between today through Saturday at the Mission Valley Hilton. USD is also hosting part of the conference with today’s lecture by Lewis Gordon,  from Temple University, on “Afro-Jews: A lecture on Race, Ethnicity, and Religion” in University Center Forum B. The lecture is hosted by USD’s President’s Advisory Board on Inclusion and Diversity and the On Our Campus initiative.

— Anthony Shallat

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