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COEHD students receive TACHE fellowship

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Karina Castro and Stephanie Vasquez, graduate students in the College of Education and Human Development’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, were recently selected to receive a 2019 Graduate Fellowship Award from the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education (TACHE). They will be honored as fellowship recipients at the association’s annual conference in February.


“I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to receive an award from the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education and feel privileged be a Graduate Fellow, joining a cadre of scholars and professionals passionate about higher education for our Latinx communities,” said Vasquez. “Receiving this award makes me feel proud to be an emerging Latina scholar-practitioner committed to serving underserved populations, and strengthens my desire to be a leader in the next generation working to provide higher education opportunities in our community.”


Castro and Vasquez were two of four graduate students from across the state to receive the award.


“Both Stephanie and Karina continue in our departmental tradition of recruiting and working with students who not only demonstrate academic excellence, but who also practice a social justice and equity-minded leadership,” said Dr. Enrique Alemán, Jr., professor and chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. “We are very proud of their accomplishments and know that they represent the very best of our students.”


As part of the fellowship, Castro and Vasquez will each receive $2,000 to help further their educational goals and research in higher education.


“Receiving the TACHE fellow will enable me to overcome some of the financial obstacles that I experience in my graduate program,” said Castro. “As a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient, I am funding my studies out of my own pocket as I do not qualify for federal aid, loans, or many national awards and fellowships. Resources afforded by this fellowship will help cover tuition and travel expenses, allowing me to invest more time in Latinx college access research and present that work in academic conferences.”


They will also join a network of graduate fellows working to advance research and scholarship in the field of higher education.


“In being a TACHE fellow, I anticipate learning best practices from educators across Texas that can inform my service to my community,” said Castro. “Students’ challenges vary between state regions, and these rich networking opportunities are key to creating future partnerships to promote more holistic and contextual support systems for Latinx students and scholars.”


The 2019 Graduate Fellowship Awards are awarded annually through TACHE. 


“Being named a Graduate Fellow means that I am honoring the legacy – the life stories, struggles, and perseverance – of those who have helped pave the way for me to have the opportunities and privileges that they did not,” said Vasquez. “I have been fortunate to have the support of a network of family, friends, mentors, and teachers throughout my educational and professional journey, and this award means that I am serving as a testament to those who have believed in me and encouraged me every step of the way.”


Learn more about the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.


Learn more about the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education.


Courtesy photos (Vasquez - top right; Castro - bottom left)





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