Brief Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts:
As a first-generation, Mexican-American Ph.D. student from an underprivileged socioeconomic background diversity, equity, and inclusion are exceptionally important to me. At present, I primarily focus on working with undergraduates and early-career graduate students, from all backgrounds, by providing guidance and support for working through the process of becoming a professional scientist and academic. To date, I have mentored nine students at the high school and undergraduate levels, seven of them from historically recognized URM groups. Most of my students have gone on to become professional scientists (seven of the nine).
However, this work alone is insufficient. In order to more appropriately support students beyond mentorship and guidance, I have dedicated myself to substantial fundraising efforts for professional societies, particularly the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. To date I have helped fund raise over $350,000, the vast majority of that has been contributed to two funds: the Steven Cohen Award for Student Research and the SVP Futures Award. The Cohen Award provides cash support ($3000) for student research at any academic level. The SVP Futures Award also provides cash support ($5000) specifically for underrepresented minorities at the undergraduate level. Via fundraising efforts we have been able to establish both awards in 2015 and 2019 respectively and fund them to be awarded annually into perpetuity.
In addition to the work above, I previously stood as an officer with the Multicultural Graduate Community at the University of Chicago (2015-2016) and served as an elected Graduate Student Member on the Board of Directors for the Texas Academy of Science (2012-2013).