Doctoral Student Spotlights

Christina Lopez

Sociology of Education

I chose this Doctoral Program Because:
I applied to the sociology of education doctoral program due to the educational inadequacies I had experienced in my early schooling. Early on, the experiences of my peers and my own in under-resourced schools sparked my research interests. I have a strong commitment to research that provides remedies for improving the educational experiences of students from disadvantaged communities. More specifically, my research interests have focused on the schooling experiences of Latinos in the U.S. and their parental homeland, particularly the experiences of second-generation Dominicans in four-year U.S. colleges.
My academic passion is:
to use my work to tell the stories of those students who beat the odds and to work towards ameliorating the racial disparities that exist within the educational pipeline.
In 5 or 10 years I hope to:
be tenured faculty at a school of education.
One of the things I enjoy doing in New York City when I'm not being a doctoral student:
is dancing the night away to merengue and bachata in Washington Heights.
A hobby I have is:
watching Yankee games.
My favorite place to get coffee or eat around NYU:
Crumbs
Focus of my research of scholarship:
is on the lived experiences of second-generation Dominicans who persist in four-year U.S. colleges.
I'm interested in this topic because:
I'm interested in steering away from a deficit lens when understanding the experiences of students of color in college and rather focus on how they are able to strive even when they face instances of isolation, alienation, and at times lack of support from the colleges they attend.
Academic or other experience that most influenced my choice of doctoral study:
Growing up in disadvantaged communities in the Bronx, I attended schools that were under-resourced, with few teachers that cared to teach, and where 1 out of every 2 students made it to graduation. I was interested in pursuing a doctoral program that would provide insight in to how systems of education function in the United States.
Research or scholar I most admire:
Paulo Freire
Professor who has influenced me the most:
It's hard to choose because I can not just list one. Every professor that I have had has in some way shaped the young interdisciplinary, critical-thinking scholar I have become.
Research project I've most enjoyed working on:
The IGEMS Latinos in Community Colleges study.
Scholarly presentation of my work I'm most proud of:
The presentation I will do at this year's AERA conference in New Orleans.
Favorite course as a doctoral student:
Development of Immigrant Origin Youth
What I like most about being part of a community of doctoral students:
That we are able to support each other throughout every step of the way. No one really gets what it's like to be a doctoral student in your program as much as your cohort does, and they become like family.

Background Information

Where you grew up:
Bronx, NY
Career Goals:
Tenured Professor at a School of Education
Honors, Awards, and Achievements:
NYU Steinhardt 's Dean 's Grant for Student Research, 2010 American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education Graduate Fellow, 2010 Gates Millennium Scholar Graduate Fellowship, 2006-2011 Gates Millennium Scholar, 2001-2005 Rensselaer's Emily Roebling Scholar, 2001-2005 Hispanic Heritage Awards- Mathematics Youth Award, 2001
Other professional or service activities:
AAHHE Graduate Student Fellows Program Selection Committee Member, 2010 •Reviewed applications for the 2011 AAHHE graduate student fellows program. Harlem Educational Activities Fund, Inc., Mentor, 2009-present •Provide guidance and assistance to college-bound high school seniors from the Harlem area. South Africa Nellmapius Primary School Library Project,Co-Founder, 2007 •Implemented the beginning of an annual fundraising library project as part of NYU 's Educational and Social Reform in Post-Apartheid South Africa program, in which more than $7,000 in monetary funds and book donations were collected for the opening of a library in a disadvantaged, predominantly black school in Mamelodi, South Africa.