Testimony from a UCSC PhD candidate

hello. im a phd candidate at uc santa cruz. im the 1st person in my family to graduate from college
and the 1st to attend graduate school.

I very much hope to be the first to complete graduate school as well.

this goal has been frequently jeopardized by the lack of support at UCSC.

despite my financial hardships coming in to the UC grad system the only support i received was in the form of a very demanding TAship my very first quarter here

i have since worked as a teaching assistant, graduate student instructor, reader, and researcher assistant or some combination of the above positions every single quarter I have been on campus.

i am currently working as a graduate student instructor, this means i am the sole person responsible for every aspect of an upper division course of 38 students.

I receive outstanding teaching evaluations every quarter and am often told by students that it is us, graduate student instructors and teaching assistants, who invest time and energy into getting to know the students.

this time and energy comes at a cost. i am usually up late giving much needed writing feedback on papers, responding to emails, writing letters of recommendation- providing the attention that makes UC undergrads feel like they are more than just a name on a roster, which is often their experience with faculty.

in order to make my rent which is 1300 a month for a very small one bedroom apartment, i also work as a caterer, a translator, and a tutor on the side as a 1750$ per month TAship doesn’t leave enough  for campus parking, books, internet for responding to those daily student emails, etc.

my research and teaching commitment is to understanding women’s experiences with poverty. due to lack of funding, i have had to put all of my research trips and supplies on credit cards, and find myself a subject of my own study.

I’ll leave you with the words of some students in evaluations of my teaching

"She is an absolutely brilliant instructor who created the

most thriving learning environment that I have ever

experienced in my four years at UCSC. Her poise and

skill as a communicator combined with her creative and

alternative ways of engaging our class made this course the

type of learning experience that every student deserves to be

a part of.”

"Her dissertation work is so inspiring, and no doubt helped to influenced her credibility to teach this course. She is highly professional and supportive in her instruction. She needs to continue teaching, give this woman her PhD!"

  1. towardsmediocrity posted this