Access is Key

This Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow is researching financial literacy in the Latino community.

To conduct her research, Claudia Ruiz ’18 returned to her own high school. There, she interviewed students to find out how their college access program was preparing them for the social, academic, and financial components of college. 

Combining STEM with social sciences:  

The thing I love the most about sociology is the ability to ask questions and question the world around you. I incorporate a lot of math into my research, and I think about numbers when talking about financial literacy. In the future, another project I would like to work on is how numbers and bilingualism work together.

Opportunities with the Mellon Mays program:

The true opportunity is being able to study something you are passionate about. One of my favorite memories was going to a sociology conference in New Mexico with my advisor. You get to hear what people are producing at the conference while really getting to know your professor at a personal and meaningful level.

Working with a mentor:

As a person of color and a first-generation college student, being able to have a professor mentor me in how to navigate this institution is very helpful. Specifically relating to Mellon, with my hopes of becoming a sociologist and obtaining my Ph.D., there is no way I could obtain all of this information without my mentor. My mentor helps me with everything from life to my thesis, so having a mentor is incredibly beneficial while working through college.

On Bryn Mawr and women’s colleges:

I chose to come to Bryn Mawr because I was offered a choice to attend with a group of individuals from my hometown through the Posse Foundation. Now that I am a senior, one thing I have been able to reflect on is the opportunity Bryn Mawr has given me to identify more with my Latinidad and deconstruct and reconstruct what that identity means to me. The intimacy and support that exists at a women’s college eliminates worries that may be present on a coed campus.

Plans for the future:

I’ve applied for a research and teaching fellowship abroad, so I am hoping for that. I also will probably take a year off to refresh, then apply to graduate school immediately after so I can jump back into this world of academia.