Yolanda Catano graduated from California State University, San Marcos with her M.A. in Sociological Practice and a B.A. in Women’s Studies. She worked on a research project for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) at Palomar College, addressing the issues of Latin@ parent participation in their children’s education in North County, San Diego. She was invited to present the project’s findings with her colleague, Bettina Serna, at a national conference for GEAR UP in San Francisco, California, in Summer 2015.
Yolanda was born in Mexicali, Baja California, growing up in the border between Mexicali and Calexico. She is an educated Latin@ and as part of the 3% of the Latin@ population who obtain a master’s degree, she seeks to promote educational attainment for Latin@ communities. She loves spending time with her family and taking time for family functions. She is an outspoken individual who enjoys conversations that challenge the status quo. She truly is a sociologist.
I am a Southern California Native to the heart and bone. Escondido is the city where I have been raised since ‘93, and I take extreme pride in San Diego. I am very open-minded, brutally honest, would never harm a fly, go-with-the-flow, down-to-earth, and an incredible thinker. In high school, I was the nerdy, shy Mexican prankster dude among my prankster homies who would laugh at everything that was even remotely funny. I can tell you nonstop funny middle school/high school stories as I enjoyed those times immensely.
I love lowriders. I love ’70s/’80s old school music, early ’90s gangster rap, and oldies from the ’50s and ’60s, and of course the crazy ’60s classic rock. I love my family dearly and appreciate them for the life they have provided me even though, Yes, I take it for granted at times. But I am learning. As far as why I came into Sociology, culture and helping our fellow people has always fascinated me as the U.S. encompasses a plethora of different, extraordinary individuals. I am an excellent guide, so please do not hesitate to ask me the “How and Why.”
Here are some interesting random things about me:
- I love to have philosophical/sociological conversations on potentially groundbreaking stuff
- I love laughing
- I love everything about Mexican food
- I love random adventures like traveling to a new place and exploring
- I love Chicano comedy and Youtube surfin’
- I am a scholar, brother, son, leader, and role model for my entire family
- I love to cook
- My personality is endless…
Sneha Subramanian Kanta
There are elements that constitute a person, their personality and life is but an entourage. The vernacular has a strong rootedness in the subhuman definition it is often outlaid with: This constitutes my major area of interest. I personally reckon the art form of poetry as being a form of dissent.
It was in my undergraduate years in college I was first introduced to the word “anthropomorphism” and I daresay the essence of it has trickled into most of my word weaving. All language is political, in which it underlines the silences, absences, gaps of descriptions and narrations. There is much one contextualizes about a given culture in the emphasis that forms in what is being told (another matter altogether) but also in narratives of absentia.
The hinges leading me to the practice of humanism precede meaning, making stopovers at tendencies of kindness, empathy and other attributes in the combined jargon of feeling. I am particularly interested in postcolonial literatures and the iconoclastic climes in its subterranean pathways. The larger paradigm of equality – in our grief and joy must transcend other peripheries, which form the discursive routes of identity and location.
The only child of two lovely parents, I derive a marked and special affinity toward my maternal grandmother. She voyaged from Karachi, Pakistan to India and stayed in a camp at Ulhasnagar, India, during the partition of India. I see a reflection of her characteristics and innate traits within the self.
On a classic day, you can find me by the nearest seashore, in a park, the library or walking long green stretches full of tall tree groves; when not in a quiet corner in my lodging, exfoliating in the luxury of words. Scents and hues: sunsets, flowers in bloom, water bodies, wild winds, falling leaves, foliages, misty alleys, old libraries, and old places of worship are dwelling areas of my gypsy soul, among more.
Now that this reads like a character straight out of Hardy’s introduction scene in Tess of D’Ubervilles, time for some contemporary era information. Professionally, I am pursuing my second postgraduate degree (encore) in literature and culture in the United Kingdom at the University of Plymouth after being a recipient of the prestigious GREAT scholarship. I have worked in the media industry and held teaching positions in the academia previously.
I would be gladdened to receive letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lillian Nahar was born in Brooklyn, New York, identifying herself as an authentic native New Yorker. She attended New York University, Bernard Baruch College, and the University of Ghana during the 1970s. After establishing her corporate career in New York, she moved to the Washington, D.C. suburbs where she married and had two sons, Taj and Tonweya. She has lived in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East where she established herself as a corporate manager of a global Fortune 500 company and as an alternative dispute resolution consultant. Lillian is a global consultant and facilitator specializing in difficult dialogue while achieving life-changing results in the lives of her clients. She currently owns Nahar Mediation, works as the managing director of Youth Peace Promoter, and is a full-time graduate student of sociology. Lillian loves to learn, travel, and experience world cultures. She truly is a global citizen.
I am a Southern California native, born in Orange County. I have moved around a lot, so much in fact I went to four high schools during my freshman year before I settled into Oceanside when I was 14. I was raised by my mom (who is awesome), and while I have a biological father whom I have no contact with, my real dad is my stepfather. I married at 20 and for the last 17 years, I have been a mother to three girls. At 41 years old, I became a college student at MiraCosta College for the first time in 20 years. I graduated with two Associate’s degrees, and I discovered a passion for teaching. I went on to California State University San Marcos (CSUSM), majoring in Sociology with dreams of being a marriage and family therapist, particularly for victims of domestic abuse and child abuse living in low socioeconomic areas. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 2014, and subsequently entered into the Master’s in Sociological Practice program at CSUSM.
Along the way, I realized my true passion found me; and that was to advocate for change in a system where “the game” is played but not everyone is told the rules and yet we’re all expected to play correctly.
Hobbies: Being in graduate school, reading has become a forced hobby of mine at this time. I also like spoken word poetry, photography, and hiking.
Interesting facts: I am very shy, usually being the one in the corner, hoping you will talk to me. But once you get to know me, you will disagree with that fact as I don’t shut up most of the time.
“If I was a blind man and didn’t know you, I would think you are a huge person.”
A friend of mine said this about me, and I think it captures the essence of my personality. I have a huge personality in a petite body (hint: under 5 feet). Anyone who knows me is knocked out by my strong personality, my straight talk, and sense of humor. And although I am a force to be reckon with, I am a lover not a fighter in pursuit of the elusive concept of social justice.
It is my passion to create a more equitable world, in which sexism, racism, classism, heteronormativity, speciesism and so much more are obliterated. This passion has pushed me to attain a B.A. in Criminology with a minor in Women’s Studies. Currently, I am pursuing my M.A. in Sociological Practice.
In addition to attending school, I work as a Librarian. I am proud to say that I am not your stereotypical Librarian, well, other than the glasses. It has provided me with the channels and avenues to give back to the community in the forms of early literacy, outreach services, and children, teen, and adult programming. I am a specialist in building community relations between various groups and the library.
I am also a proud mom of two, having been married for over 10 years, and I am Mexican American. I say Mexican American because I was born in Mexico and raised in the United States, so I am as much Mexican as I am American. I love collecting vintage items, love shabby chic décor, will garden any day of the week, and enjoy doing outdoor activities like hiking. I am a crafter and have a bad case of shopaholism when it comes to shoes and clothing. I hate rollercoasters but love anything Alice in Wonderland, Wizard of Oz, Frida Kahlo, and comics and anime (all kinds). I also fervently believe that Winnie the Pooh and Alice in Wonderland have the best quotes to live by.
And finally, I am a fierce feminist who lives by the mantras:
“Better to die on your feet than live on your knees” – Emiliano Zapata
“Peace means respect for the rights of others” – Benito Juarez
My everyday world has influenced my experience as a student, researcher, and future educator. As a single mother and a woman of color who comes from a low-income background, some people may label me as disadvantaged but I consider myself to be an inspiration. My transformation from a high-school drop-out to a graduate student has required not only dedication, but resilience and determination. These are characteristics that I continue to display throughout my personal life and my academic career.
One of the most inspirational courses I have taken was Sociology of Education. This was an inspirational course because it forced me to evaluate myself as a student and a social advocate. More importantly, I learned why I want to pursue a career in education. A career working in education will not only provide me with the opportunity to produce knowledge, it will allow me to create change and make meaningful connections with an array of people whom I may not necessarily have contact with otherwise. My aim is to assist students in acknowledging that learning is more than memorization. Learning entails being able to incorporate your own meaning and employing that knowledge. Once students are able to do this, that is a reward within its self.
Many students come from backgrounds similar to mine. They are striving to reach their educational goals so that they can provide a better future for themselves and their families. I want to convey to them that this is not their burden alone. I am deeply committed to becoming an educator and I believe that nothing can stop me from meeting my goal while ensuring that my future students meet theirs as well.
Makhi Williams-Kent is a 13-year-old 8th grader born in Oceanside, California. He is an avid football player who enjoys spending time with his friends and hopes to one day attend San Diego State University with a major in kinesiology.
After attending a poetry slam at MiraCosta Community College with his mother, Makhi began to view the art of poetry with a different lens. Listening to the various performers really had a positive impact on him and soon after attending the event, he began writing his first poem Black Night, inspired by Gary Paulsen’s novel Nightjohn.