Laura Hamilton is a first-year William T. Grant Scholar. She has mentored graduate students, one post-doctoral student, and several junior faculty new to the field. Her previous mentoring experiences have been mainly with scholars demographically similar to herself. While Hamilton is a first-generation college student, she wants to learn how to support students who are of different racial and ethnic backgrounds. This is especially important at the University of California, Merced, where students are mostly first-generation college students and Latino, Asian, and Black. Hamilton proposes to use this award as an opportunity to learn how to help her mentees identify resources that can speak to issues facing scholars of color and first-generation college students. She also plans to learn how to better structure expectations and use of meeting time in her mentoring relationships and create explicit agreements that foster communication and feel more collaborative. The award will support her mentee, Veronica Lerma, a first-generation Latina fourth year doctoral student in Sociology at the University of California, Merced. Lerma’s research focuses on reducing inequalities experienced by Mexican American youth across social institutions, including the criminal justice system and higher education. Lerma has four goals for this award: 1) to take the lead on a co-authored paper focusing on the work that students of color at two UC campuses must undertake to make the institutional climate comfortable for themselves and their peers; 2) write a sole-authored paper based on her master’s thesis; 3) present at a national conference; and 4) build extended professional networks through joining, with Hamilton, sections of the American Sociological Association known to have active mentoring programs.
Hamilton proposes to use this award as an opportunity to learn how to help her mentees identify resources that can speak to issues facing scholars of color and first-generation college students.