In Their Words: Joanna Beltrán-Girón

May 11, 2017

Name: Joanna Beltrán Girón

College: Merrill

Department: Psychology

What award/scholarship did you receive? I received the Chancellor’s Award.

What year do you expect to graduate (e.g. 2017)? 2017

Where do you call home? My heart will always be in El Salvador.

With all of the choices for college, what made UC Santa Cruz stand out? I only had two options: attend SFSU and live with my parents, or attend UCSC and experience what is like to move away from home and be independent. I did not see the campus until my first day in my freshman year. Now that I am about to graduate, I can certainly say I will miss UCSC’s trees, animals, lavender and rosemary plants as well as the student organizing community.

What is your field of focus? Psychology, particularly liberation psychology.

What do you hope to do once you graduate from UC Santa Cruz? I am going to attend a master’s program in latin american studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

What is one memorable moment that stands out for you as a student here?
All the student led actions, marches and rallies led by black, queer and brown bodies. These actions have resisted privatization of our education, structural racism and sexism as well as U.S. imperialism.

What is your one piece of advice for incoming students about life at UC Santa Cruz? Prioritize school over parties, and make sure you make meaningful connections with your professors and TA’s. They will eventually write you letters of recommendation and will mentor and guide you through your academic and professional experience. Also, don’t be afraid to speak your mind, especially if you are a black or brown person.

How will this scholarship impact your academic life/research? I come from a poor, working class family background. This scholarship will greatly alleviate my financial needs. #EducationShouldBeFree #StopPrivatizingOurEducation