"Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night."
--Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)
My name is Joel and I am a first-generation college student, born and raised in a small rural/agricultural community in Guanajuato, Mexico. My family immigrated to the United States in 2001. We have lived in California and Arizona ever since, where my parents have held jobs mostly in the agricultural fields as farm workers. I am the first in my immediate and extended family to graduate from a four-year university and to be accepted into a graduate school program.
My interests and hobbies include reading, collecting books, listening to music, biking, watching films and documentaries, and participating in culturally-relevant activities and events. I am particularly interested in reconnecting with my own Mexican cultural traditions (as well as learning about other cultures), which I have been able to do through my participation in Grupo Folklorico Miztontli, a student club that teachers Mexican folklorico dance; collecting and researching books, articles, and music on the Mexican folklorico; attending events such as Dia de los Muertos, the All Souls Procession, and the Tucson Meet Yourself festival.; and through my undergraduate education in Mexican American Studies and Spanish. I also enjoy spending time at bookstores, such as the the University of Arizona BookStores, Bookmans, and Barnes and Noble. And as a (very) amateur cyclist, I like exploring the different bike paths in Tucson.
I received my Bachelor's and Master's degrees at the University of Arizona in 2014 and 2017 respectively and started my Ph.D. in Mexican American Studies (also at the University of Arizona) in August 2017. My graduate advisor and mentor is Dr. Patrisia Gonzales, Associate Professor of Mexican American Studies and American Indian Studies, and affiliated faculty at the Native American Research and Training Center (NARTC).
As an undergraduate, I gained experience working in students affairs, international education, health and wellness, and medical translation and interpretation. I worked for the office of International Student Services for five years and for the Spanish Translation and Interpretation Program for one year. I was also a Resident Assistant with UA Residence Life for three semesters and worked as a Resident Assistant and Tutor at a summer camp for high school students with the Upward Bound Program at Arizona Western College for two summers. Lastly, I was an intern at the Tucson Medical Center with the medical interpreters for one semester; and interned, through Southeast Arizona Area Health Education Center, with the Migrant First Aid Station in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, providing aid and support to deported migrants; and with the Flying Samaritans of Tucson as a Bilingual Health Education Volunteer and Interpreter in El Rosario, Baja California, where I provided talks and information about diabetes to the patients waiting to be seeing, as well as assisted non-Spanish-speaking providers communicated with their patients.