Claudia Torres

Name: Claudia Torrestorres-claudia_deans-award_400pixels.jpg

College: Oakes

Department: Psychology

What Award/ Scholarship did you receive? 2021-22 Dean's Undergraduate Award for Social Sciences, and 2021-22 Sociology of Race, Class, and Gender Senior Thesis Award in the Sociology Department.

What year do you expect to graduate? June 2021

Where do you call home? Bay Area

With all of the choices for college, what made UC Santa Cruz stand out? I really appreciated the physical beauty of the campus itself and the sense of community I first felt when I visited the campus.

What is your field of focus? Social psychology, Legal violence, Immigration, Access to Higher Ed, Intersectional/ Interdisciplinary approach to understanding multiple forms of othering and individual vs collective thriving. More specifically, what thriving looks like for individuals with multiple marginalized identities.

What do you hope to do once you graduate from UC Santa Cruz? Since graduating from UC Santa Cruz, I have transitioned into my new role as an Admissions Advisor for UC Merced. Moving forward, I hope to continue to work in higher education and eventually get my master’s degree in social work or counseling so I may continue to support students transition and be successful at the university within advising or counseling roles. I am incredibly passionate about destigmatizing mental health and improving access to adequate care and hope to pursue that and continue to use an interdisciplinary approach within my work in higher education and the mental health field.

What is one memorable moment that stands out for you as a student here? I have a few! Definitely my long walks through the woodsy parts of campus after rainy mornings and running through Oakes to catch the 22 last minute and picnic at Natural Bridges. The most memorable moment though has to be during the ending ceremony of a week long orientation Undocumented Student Services hosted on-campus the summer before my freshmen year. For the first time in my life, I found myself surrounded by a large community of undocu students that were passionate, unapologetic, and also just trying to figure out how to navigate higher ed as undocumented youth. I met a welcoming community of people that I could finally see myself in and connect to. In that moment, I knew I had picked the right fit for me. I knew I would be okay and I knew I had found life-long friends and mentors.

What is your one piece of advice for incoming students about life at UC Santa Cruz? Appreciate the beauty of the campus itself! Take some time to truly appreciate and admire what this campus has to offer. Time flies and you will miss venturing through the redwoods and seeing wildlife every morning on your way to class. Most importantly though, believe in yourself and take advantage of the different resources and opportunities available to you. It’s easy to feel lost, intimidated, or even scared within predominantly white institutions but always remember you have a community of people here to support you, a community that believes in you and wishes to see you succeed. You deserve to be here and you deserve to take up space.

How will this scholarship impact your academic life /research? This scholarship motivates me to continue to explore research opportunities and active learning as a passion. Engaging in research at the university has allowed me to explore various areas of interest and develop a passion for learning, for asking questions, and critically analyzing the world around me. Thank you!


See Also