Claremont, Calif. (April 8, 2016)—Pitzer College student Adriana Ceron ’18 has named a 2016 Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) program fellow. An initiative of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, MMUF aims to increase faculty diversity by supporting underrepresented students who want to pursue careers as professors.
Ceron, a sociology major and Chicano/a-Latino/a studies minor, is a first-generation student from El Salvador. She will not only be the first in her family to graduate from college, but she will be the first to pursue a PhD. She plans to become a professor and researcher in sociology of education, specializing in educational access, college counseling for low-income, first-generation and Central American students.
“I know that my goals can be achieved with the help of mentors and programs like MMUF that want to invest in my academic success,” Ceron said. “Being an MMUF fellow will be a stepping-stone for me to guide future research and policies intended to increase higher education access for students who rely heavily on counselors for academic guidance.”
Ceron has been selected to participate in the UCLA Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Writing and Research Training Program this summer. Her first research project will analyze how the structure of college counseling departments—including student-to-counselor ratios and time spent advising students—impact college counselors’ ability to assist low-income minority high school students with access to higher education. Ceron’s MMUF study will expand on the findings from previous research on institutional agents and educational attainment in Pitzer Professor Roberta Espinoza’s Sociology of Education class.
“I am excited to be working with Adriana,” said Espinoza. “I am confident that this opportunity will help Adriana reach her goal of becoming a professor and expanding college access for other under-represented students.”
The Claremont Colleges became members of the MMUF program in January 2015 and received a $1 million grant to implement measures designed to create a more diverse faculty for America’s colleges and universities. Last year, Gabriela Ornelas ’17 and Sara Roschdi ’17 were selected as Pitzer’s first MMUF fellows.
MMUF fellows are selected based on their demonstrated academic ability and their aspirations to pursue a doctoral degree in humanities and select social sciences and physical sciences. The program continues to support fellows during their graduate and postdoctoral careers through grants, close mentoring and training.