Pitzer Spotlights

2003-2004 Spotlight Archives

Brianne Davila '04, Receives ASA Fellowship

Brianne DavillaBrianne Davila '04, has been awarded a Minority Fellowship from the American Sociological Association (ASA) to pursue graduate studies at UC Santa Barbara in the fall. Her award, the fifth for a Pitzer student in the last two years, establishes a national record.

Davila majored in sociology and minored in Spanish at Pitzer. She worked closely with professors Jose Calderon, Maria Soldatenko and Ann Stromberg, who "really encouraged me and pushed me to go to graduate school," Davila said.

While at UC Santa Barbara, Davila intends to study Spanish speakers in special education and the way that affects their self-esteem, identity and emotional well being.

"We have to focus on mental health issues because the fellowship is funded through the National Institute of Mental Health," Davila said.

During her education at Pitzer, Davila was a Chicano/Latino Student Affairs sponsor; a freshman mentor; part of the United Farm Workers Student Organization; and worked on a health project with the Pomona Economic Opportunity Center (Day Labor Center).

"My work at the Day Labor Center probably had a lot to do with receiving the ASA fellowship," Davila said. "At the center, I would help host clinics to conduct physical exams for the workers, distribute information on community resources, and I took part in case management. One laborer that I worked with had a bunch of hospital bills pile up on him and I was able to figure out how to get some relief from the charges. We filed a charity application and worked with the doctor to reduce fees, knocking the bill down from more than $2,000 to $115."

Davila said she came to Pitzer because of the emphasis on diversity, the College's ideals, its approach to intercultural understanding, social responsibility and the opportunity to study abroad. She spent a summer with the health program in Costa Rica and the spring '03 semester in Ecuador.

Davila was the recipient of the John and Dora Haynes Foundation award and the Katie Lawson memorial award for community service research while at Pitzer.