Doctoral Student Spotlights

Christian Bracho

International Education (HMSS)

I chose this Doctoral Program Because:
I knew that the NYU International Education program would support me through the long and rigorous process of becoming a capable academic and researcher. The faculty's expertise in the field also compelled me: I knew I would be working with people producing new knowledge about the field of international education. I also wanted to be at a university that would provide access to the incredible resources New York City has to offer. And I wanted to be somewhere that made me feel like I would be an asset to the program- which I have felt since my first day here.
In 5 or 10 years I hope to:
keep teaching, traveling, and writing- my three passions in life.
One of the things I enjoy doing in New York City when I'm not being a doctoral student:
Walking! I'm from LA so I don't get to do that very much there. I especially love walking my friend's gorgeous King Charles Cavalier in the Union Square market.
A hobby I have is:
I love seeing plays at the Repertorio Espanol, a Spanish-language repertory here in Manhattan. Their productions are amazing and the intimacy of the theatre makes you feel as if you are part of the production family.
My favorite place to get coffee or eat around NYU:
For coffee, Oren's on Waverly; for tea, Think on Mercer; for food, Dojo is always a good choice.
Focus of my research of scholarship:
teachers and social change movements
I'm interested in this topic because:
I was a high school teacher for nine years, and experienced firsthand the tremendous capacity teachers have to create change and inspire people.
Academic or other experience that most influenced my choice of doctoral study:
I went to Tokyo and Okinawa through the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund in 2006, and it inspired my interest in comparative and international education.
Research or scholar I most admire:
Cynthia Miller-Idriss, my advisor, does amazing work on schooling as a mechanism for "re-imagining the nation." It's new, fresh and empirically rich work.
Professor who has influenced me the most:
Phil Hosay, the director of the Intl Ed program, has been an amazing and supportive mentor, and everything I know about international education I've learned from him.
Research project I've most enjoyed working on:
I'm currently working on an Oxford online database on the sociology of nationalism with my advisor, Cynthia Miller-Idriss. I've learned just about everything one can know about the field!
Scholarly presentation of my work I'm most proud of:
I presented for the first time at the Comparative and International Education Society's conference last March. I felt like I was talking to the right audience and that I had a place in that academic community.
Favorite course as a doctoral student:
My program offers a research seminar for students to share and workshop our current research. By far, it has been the most meaningful course I have taken at Steinhardt.
What I like most about being part of a community of doctoral students:
Knowing that I am not the only one who is getting grey hair from all the stress!

Background Information

Where you grew up:
I grew up in the San Gabriel Valley, east of Los Angeles.
Career Goals:
I'd like to pursue a tenure-track teaching position that will allow me to work with teachers, write books, and travel.
Honors, Awards, and Achievements:
Teacher of the Year 2005, Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Scholar 2006, Steinhardt Founders' Doctoral Fellowship 2008-2011, Dean's Grant for Student Research 2010, Shearwater Grant for Doctoral Research 2010
Other professional or service activities:
Research Assistant, Social Sciences Research Council, Brooklyn, NY Teaching Assistant, Departments of Humanities and Social Sciences & Teaching and Learning Teacher Mentor, Ahimsa Center for Nonviolence and Social Change, Cal Poly Pomona Education Director, Educational Theatre Institute, Los Angeles, CA National Council of Teachers of English, Member of Standing Committee Against Censorship