Political Science Now

Meet 2015 Fund for Latino Scholarship Recipient Christabel Cruz

The primary purpose of the Fund for Latino Scholarship is to encourage and support the recruitment, retention and promotion of Latino/a political scientists. A secondary goal is to support research on Latino/a politics.

Christabel Cruz: The generous grant from the APSA Latino Fund was used to cover my transportation costs from New Jersey to California in order to attend the APSA Annual Meeting and Women of Color in Political Science Preconference Workshop… This greatly assisted me in being able to attend the conferences and develop my future as a member of APSA and attendee of future APSA conferences.

My ability to attend the conference due to this grant furthered the Fund’s primary goal of encouraging and supporting the recruitment, retention, and promotion of Latina/o political scientists by providing me with the opportunity to attend my first APSA conference where I learned information and made connections that I believe will be greatly important to my career as a Latina political scientist. The opportunity to attend this year’s annual meeting and Women of Color in Political Science preconference in particular helped promote me as a Latina political scientist by giving me the opportunity to meet and network with some of the leading scholars in Latino politics and political science more generally. I also established lasting relationships with some of my peers that so far have assisted me, reinforced my drive, and inspired my work as a political scientist.

Assisting me in attending the conference also served the Fund’s secondary goal of supporting research on Latino politics in the United States. As someone doing research on Latino politics for their dissertation and hoping to contribute to research on Latino politics this year’s annual meeting theme and Women of Color preconference were both extremely valuable for my research. I learned from multiple panels about new research and developments in Latino politics that were very informative for my dissertation research and learned about resources and studies that I am currently using to inform my dissertation proposal. Some of the papers presented were directly correlated with my dissertation research and by being in attendance I was able to get in contact with these scholars producing this work and develop my research based on these connections. The ability to attend also facilitated my first meeting with my external reader on my dissertation committee, Christina Bejarano, and gave me the chance to receive advice from her on my own research and how to develop my future as a Latina political scientist. The colleagues and mentors that I met at the conference helped me gain confidence in my dissertation topic and pointed me to resources that will further my own Latino politics research.

I am so grateful to the APSA Latino Fund for this grant. Without it I would not have been able to have this valuable experience where I developed my own self as a Latina political scientist and my research on Latino politics. I hope that the APSA Latino Fund continues to have the ability to support young Latino political science students like myself in gaining these experiences.

The 2016 Fund for Latino Scholarship Recipients will be announced in July 2016.

Learn more about the Fund for Latino Scholarship here.