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Episode 3 Transcript

Michael Hayes 02/09/2021 25

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I am who I say I am

Time: 1:01:23


students, people, imposter syndrome, luis, marina, chico state, campus, stereotype threat, intersectionality, podcast, experience, hear, feel, called, stereotypes, learning, impacted, belong, support, teresa


Joshuah Whittinghill, Teresa Hernandez, Luis De Paz Fernadez, Marina Lomeli-Fox, Introduction Music


Introduction Music 00:29

Introduction Music


Joshuah Whittinghill 00:42

As we are recording this podcast in Chico, California, and are employed by the university we acknowledge and are mindful that CSU, Chico stands on lands that were originally occupied by the first people of this area. And we recognize the Mechoopda and their distinctive spiritual relationship with this land and the waters that are run through campus. We are humbled that our campus resides upon sacred lands that once sustain the Mechoopda people for centuries.


Joshuah Whittinghill 01:10

Welcome to Episode Three of first generation one of many. I’m Josh Whittinghill, along with Teresa Hernandez. Hello there.


Teresa Hernandez 01:19

Hello everyone, hope you’re all doing well today. So welcome to our podcast. Before we begin, I want to read you to you all our mission and sort of what we’re all about. So first generation one of many. Our mission is to create an archive of discussions with and about first generation student experiences in and out of the classroom. We hope to continue raising awareness and understanding provide voice for students and alum as well as present resources for faculty and staff working with first generation students.


Joshuah Whittinghill 01:47

Yes, and in fact, to kick off our episode, we’re gonna do lyric today. We try and do a poem lyric or quote, today we have a lyric, it’s very simple straightforward, is from Kendrick Lamar. Song, let, let me be me. And the lyric is just let me be me. That’s the only way I know. Just that brief part right there. And it really speaks to the topics we’re having on the podcast today of stereotype threat and imposter syndrome today. And that quote is a little bit deeper in the sense of maybe, of him speaking to other people, just let me be me. But if we look at imposter syndrome, and we take it into that realm, it’s a way of, of him speaking to himself, just let himself be himself even to be impacted by stereotype threat or imposter syndrome. I thought that was a great, great quote for today’s episode. And to help us accomplish sort of discussing these two topics.


Joshuah Whittinghill 02:54

We have some great guests who have volunteered their time. And our first guest is Marina Lomeli-Fox is a local from Butte County because we are here at Chico State. Her hometown in her in her bio hometown of good old Gridley with a big smiley face next to it. Her parents were immigrants from Mexico, and like many families wanted to start a better life in the United States for their children. Marina is a first generation college graduate and the only one her family to get a college degree at Chico State and EOP alum. She earned her bachelor’s degree in social work in 1998 and returned years later obtaining her master’s in social work from Chico State as well in 2015. Currently, Marina is the Program Coordinator of PATH Scholars, which stands for Promoting Achievement Through Hope, which is also our campus support program for students with a foster care and or accompanied homeless experience. One personal tidbit I will share about Marina that she left off of here while she was a community college student, her last year at community college at Butte, she was awarded and honored as the EOPS Student of the Year for all of her hard work in the classroom and on the campus at the time,


Marina Lomeli-Fox 04:11

I have a great picture to prove it.


Joshuah Whittinghill 04:17



Teresa Hernandez 04:18

Awesome. Well welcome Marina. Um so it is also my pleasure to introduce our other guests, Luis De Paz Fernadez. So Luis is a proud alumnus from San Francisco State, where he received a Bachelor’s in Latino and Latina Studies and International Relations, As well as the graduate degree in Public Administration. Luis has held the various positions at SF State with the most recently serving as Administrator support for the Office of the President. Luis now serves as the interim AB 540 Dream Coordinator for the Dream Research Center at SF State. As a first generation undocumented student he advocated for the Dream Research Center at SF State since its establishment in 2016. The Dream Resource Center provides resources such as legal services, mentoring, advising, advocacy and programming for undocumented students. So thank you, Luis for being here and taking bringing your time. It’s nice to see you a little personal tidbit tidbit about Lisa nice. We’ve known each other for about eight years since 2012, when we first met in college, so it’s nice to see our growth and progression as professionals, from friends to professionals and so, welcome.


Luis De Paz Fernadez 05:27

I also have a picture to prove it.




Joshuah Whittinghill 05:33

Photo photographic artifacts are always great, right? Especially during this time, it seems like a wonderful thing to reflect on pictures, and look at those things. Because we’re not getting to see a lot of people obviously in person, I, I happen to bump into a few people out in the park randomly. I had a picnic one day offered up to people at work, Hey, I’ll be in the park. If you happen to want to stop by and even then it’s still very few. And the other day my kids were asking me, why do you take so many pictures? Why are you taking so many pictures of everything I said, it’s prosperity like you know, not all of us are gonna be around all the time together. And all the people that we all have in these pictures may not be around for different reasons at some point in our life. So it’s just for that I know, you’re, you know, just turning into teenage years, it’s hard to see what that means. But hopefully they’ll appreciate it down the road one day when they have those to look at. So like you all saying now even looking at those, it’s really a nice thing. You know, I think the podcast is really proving to be already even in our in our nascent stages right now. A um the ability to get together and sort of bring this group of educators together because we already have a guest from from a different campus, from Teresa’s background and Marina and I have worked together for years, but also just sort of circling back to different relationships sometimes with our guests that we may have started 10 years ago, or even more, but very had very few interactions along the way because of where our paths have taken us. Right.


Teresa Hernandez 06:53

Very true. So regarding this specific podcast, we Josh has mentioned it in the introduction. So some of the things that we’re covering a lot of things, but primarily what our goals are a stereotype threat and imposter syndrome. So I’m going to define stereotype threat for you all briefly, um, and give you kind of an example of how it came about. So stereotype that I really refers to the risk of conforming to a negative stereotype. And this can be about an individual’s racial, ethnic, gender, cultural group. And so the term was coined by two researchers named Claude Steele and Joshua Aronson. And one of the studies that is probably the most well known from the study that they did is, so they had two focus groups of students, one was controlled, and then another one was under kind of like the stereotype threat, in a sense, and how they phrased it was, so they had two students, they had two groups of students, and they were told that they’re going to be given a test that measured their intelligence. So and this was the group that was also under the threat of the stereotype threat. So when they told them that they’re going to be taking a test that measured their intelligence, what ended up happening is that black students perform significantly worse than their white peers. And in the group that they weren’t told that they that this, it was for their intelligence, it was just a test that they were going to take about, like, you know, simple math skills or whatever. And essentially, a not one, what ended up happening is the students performed quite similar to their white peers and say, performing worse. So really kind of adding that extra emphasis on like, Oh, this is measuring your intelligence, this is going to really be a mark of kind of how you’re performing or how smart you are, really added extra pressure and extra, you know, threat around them, because students of color have always historically been told that they’re not as smart or as intelligent as their white peers. So that’s something that was very interesting to see. So if you’re interested, go ahead and look them up. Claude Steele, and Joshua Aronson will also provide that within the resources later on.




Joshuah Whittinghill 08:58

Excellent, thank you for that. And it’s a fascinating also in that study of the where they did stuff with math specifically. And they had the two groups and they told one group, remember, you, you have some how often have struggles with math. And as a I’m going to put blank for now as a blank, we see that it’s, you know, you don’t do as well as as others in math. So they took it and of course, that group didn’t do as well. And then they didn’t, they had another group of similar two groups. And they told them, Hey, this is just to kind of see how you feel about this, and what you’re doing with this and where you’re at. And then all of a sudden, the group, the first group that performed so poorly, all of a sudden was performing equally and even doing better. And it was when they told women remember, math is always hard for women, it hasn’t been part of your thing. So then we’ve see boom, same sort of, of idea once it was in their head and when it kept kind of just perpetuating. And that leads us right into this concept of imposter syndrome. And, excuse me, and there has been discussion and debate. It’s been developing more as a common phrase people are hearing it at younger ages, students are coming to college already hearing about it and trying and kind of understanding it or experiencing it. And then there are people that are saying it’s not really a real thing. It’s this negative mindset we have. So if we, if we just keep perpetuating it, yes, it’s going to happen. But then there’s the other side saying, hey, well, you know, people are saying they’ve experienced this, but they’ve never heard the phrase before. So does that mean that it is real, then do we see that people are suffering from in one sense? So there’s two sides to that. And so that is the imposter syndrome is a psychological term that is referring to this pattern of behavior where people doubt their accomplishments and have this persistent, internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud. Right, I don’t really belong here. And so the term was coined by the psychologists, Pauline Clance, and Suzanne Imes back in 1978. So when they found that despite having adequate external evidence of accomplishments, people with imposter syndrome, remained convinced that they didn’t deserve any of the success they had earned, or that they didn’t really match up or fit in with the people that were equal to them at that point. You know, and so I was, we were talking a little bit for the podcast, as we were prepping this morning even thinking like, Okay, this is perfect for today, because we’re podcasters. But we’re, we’re still new at this. And people have been doing it for years and years. And, and some people even have over 1000 episodes and some of their podcasts and like, Okay, do we really, should we even be doing this podcast, but of course, we should, because it’s important. And I did reach out to a host of a great podcast teaching in higher ed, and Bonni Stachowiak and she replied back gratefully to me, thankfully, to me, and she said, she said, just one thing to keep in mind, always with your podcast is be authentic, you really want it to be true to what you’re saying. And you’re going to learn afterwards, maybe you made mistakes, you may have said something that wasn’t necessarily in path of what you’re trying to do, or something like that, you may or may have even offended somebody in a way. But if you’re being authentic and true to trying to do, you’re going to learn from those things, and you’re going to make mistakes, but you’re also going to do some really good along the way as well, just like the two of you are doing in your two programs, on the two different campuses, the number of students and faculty and staff and people in the community that you’re impacting, right along the way. So that leads us right into kind of let’s hearing from hear from you and have some discussion. And so maybe, if you want to share either one of you, we can start with, you know, what, what has your experience been with stereotype threat. And it’s either as a student, or as you moved into your professional position on a campus,



Luis De Paz Fernadez 12:49

Wherever you want, you can start, and I’ll probably


Marina Lomeli-Fox 12:51

I was gonna say the same thing.


Luis De Paz Fernadez 12:58

So I mean, I think it’s something that kind of traces back all the way back to when I first started school here in the US are like, you know, from the beginning, I started in ESL classes. And so I think within that it’s already like late and ESL is like English as a second language. And so with that, I was already like, a bunch of the friend like stereotypes, right? I was like, oh, like, you know, 11 years old can be really mean, those, you know, like, oh, you’re automatically anyone was in that class, you know, you’re like, you know, a beisa, you know, in Spanish, so you’re like, you know, like, like, almost like an indigenous or like, you know, not belonging, and you’re like, you know, you’re, you’re undocumented, right. And back in the day was like, illegal. Where the word document, you know, it was like, very normal for anyone to use it. So I’m definitely started back then. But I think when I started becoming more of a college, and the college setting, it’s still exist, it’s just more of like, institutionalized is more of like, it’s not as direct. You know, you have folks, I mean, even now, like, I dress the same way, you know, as in, you know, I, I walk down the street and like, there’s one thing I’m like a cholo, like a gangster or something like that, you know, I like to wear my, my hat. I like to wear shorts, I wear corteza. So it’s like, it’s kind of like, stereotypes of like, what, you know, a gang member will wear right. And many times, like people, and I’ve had colleagues who have, you know, made comments of like, Oh, you have a Master’s like, you know, it is more of like a doubt, right? Like, like, Yes, I have a Master’s or like, you know, if I wear earrings is like, oh, like, you know, that’s interesting, you know, like, why are you wearing earrings or like, it’s very, very little comments, right, that I, for some individuals, it might not seem like a lot, but it’s like, you’re kind of, you know, it’s a stereotype and you’re kind of making assumptions out of somebody, right? Or many times people confusing me as a student, like, you know, when I when I used to work in specific offices is like, Oh, I’m here to see you know, the the the coordinator or the person in charge and like I’m it, you know, I like, you know that they’re expecting someone different, right? Because of what they have built in that. So that does a little bit of touching. You know, I’m not even touching grad school, which is a whole different experience.


Marina Lomeli-Fox 15:18

I knew I was gonna say like, Where to begin? Yeah. You, um, you brought up a really good point, Luis. That sparked something for me. I think well living in Gridley and growing up in Gridley, like, and I was really in a bubble, probably just because I was a kid too. But, um, I don’t know, anyway. And, um, you know, going into being in high school and then going into see the counselor. And you know, of course, like, everyone’s getting talks about, like college prep, and all that kind of stuff. And I remember going into the counselor’s office, and she was a white woman, and, and she was basically giving me messages like, oh, like, you’re not going to go to college or excuse me, then when I said, you know, yeah, I do want to go to college like, college was the option, like, you know, I heard it from my parents. I heard it from, I guess, my family, my older siblings. Like, I just knew, that’s what I was going to do. That was my path. And, and but then she was like, well, you know, oh, you know, you.


Joshuah Whittinghill 16:33

Yeah, we may have we had, we may have a frozen zoom. Participant. Well, maybe we will get Marina back. She just texted me your computer shut off. Okay. She’s logging back in already.


Teresa Hernandez 16:49

One of my questions for you would be because you’re you work with the AB 540 and undocumented community, specifically at San Francisco State. What are some of the things that you do? Or that you see your your own students do to address stereotype threat? Or do you even see them? Think about those conversations? Or have those thoughts or start trying to problem solve that and just kind of the overall experience? What do you see the most?


Luis De Paz Fernadez 17:15

Yeah, I think it’s, you know, being in a position where you work with students, and especially, you know, referring specifically to the Dream Center, obviously, I’ve been there for a month and a half. So has it been like, long, but I think, you know, I’ve been on campus since undergrad, right, with the different parts, right, there’s, like, the social aspect of it and there’s an institutional aspect of it. And I think that the later the latter one is a little bit easier, like more more acknowledge where, you know, students always are like, no I experiences this with my professor or I experiences this with, you know, this program or whatnot. And so they’re constantly kind of, you know, you know, calling out what they see and trying to see some change and institutionally, like, change it and addressing, I mean, for, you know, there’s a reason why, you know, the word undocumented something that has been more adapted rather than illegal, right, like, there’s been education, you know, we have UndocuAlly trainings that we do, where we, you know, train our campus staff and faculty on a vote, you know, they volunteer to attend, on, you know, how, what are some of the stereotypes, what are some of this, you know, just inclusive language that they can do, right, like, and, and I think that does some of that change institutionally. But also, I think, when it comes to like, the social aspect, like, you know, as where it comes a little bit more difficult, right, because it comes to the individual and, and, and calling out your peers calling out others. But I think as a staff member, it’s really, you know, I can’t let it get to that point where like, a student, like I welcome it, right? But if I’m not being proactive about Okay, what’s what’s offensive, then, you know, like, then am I being really being like, you know, doing my job, like, I think I need to go out of my way to educate myself, to not perpetuate those stereotypes or, you know, the imposter syndrome. And not just when undocumented, like students, right, but when members of the LGBTQ community members, you know, students with disabilities, homeless students, right, like, what is language, you know, adapting to my, my day to day habits, to make sure that I’m being inclusive, and I don’t perpetuate or repeat the cycle that was at one point, you know, kind of put an end on myself right and use on me.


Teresa Hernandez 19:24

Thank you. So, Marina I’ll pose the same question to you. So working with your specific community of students or even just community students at large, what are some things that you’ve done? Or that you see your own students do to address stereotype threat and if they’re, if you see them having kind of that conversation with themselves and coming to that realization of what that is or their their feeling, and what do you what are your experiences with that?


Marina Lomeli-Fox 19:51

I definitely think that with the students that I work with in terms of you know that they do get those messages, a lot of, you know, what’s wrong with you, or because you experienced foster care in your childhood, you know, you’re not as smart or you’re not as capable to be here, and a lot of the students definitely feel like they don’t belong, and you know that this isn’t a space for them. But I think for me, um just continuing to believe in them, and, you know, and reinforce the message that they absolutely do belong here. And really validate and remind them about their strength and what they’ve been through and what they’ve, you know, overcome. And, and then again, I think, looking at the intersectionality of the students with those experiences, um, because, of course, that plays into it, as well. And there’s so many layers. And I think that, I think, for me being a professional of color, I do see that a lot of the students of color. It’s, it’s, I think it’s unspoken, but I think that because they do see me as a professional, who supports them, and, you know, cheering them on through this whole higher education journey. You know, they’ve seen that, you know, they know what I’ve been through, because I do share a little bit with them. And I think it helps them to believe in themselves and to really mitigate some of those threats that, you know, they get, I think, on a regular basis, really? Um, yeah.


Teresa Hernandez 21:57

Yeah, I definitely agree. And I feel, I feel that in, at least in my personal experience, what I remember are the people I remember the most, of course, I remember, you know, this, the little stereotypes with little comments here and there, where maybe they’re not aware of what they’re saying, but I definitely, you know, I know what it means I know what it is that they’re implying. Um some, you know, more direct than others and although you remember those moments, I feel that when I was a student, I also really would cling on to the moments where if professionals who would look up to my advisors, my professors, um, you know, leaders within the community, my organization leaders that I would really just look up to, if when, because from them is who I felt support from, of course, my family would be number one, but also them saying, like, you know, you can do it, or push me and challenge me to do something. And once I’ve accomplished that task that I really didn’t think I could do, then just kind of like, see, like, you’re your own worst enemy, in a sense, like, you’re so hard on yourself, like, believe in yourself to some degree. And so I feel like, you know, professionals, like yourself Marina and professionals like you Luis are, are those people, to your students and to other students at large, where you’re the ones their supporting them and pushing them through. And if they, whatever they go through, and whatever they hear, at least they’ll, always have your voice in their heads and telling them they can do it, and they should keep going forward to keep achieving. So I think that’s really great.


Joshuah Whittinghill 23:25

Yeah, those are all great, wonderful points about this topic because we’re talking about, you brought up at least in your both of your points that we’re talking about some stereotype, the things that are happening, and people are seeing and experiencing. And then on top of that, the the fact the aspect of stereotype threat, where they’re actually, you know, internalizing it themselves, and then perpetuating some of those beliefs that they hear people in comments that are made, or just a glances they get or experiences that they witness even then they’re part of saying, Okay, now, do I need to be aware of that next time, I’m in the same kind of situation, and then it becomes even more real and pushes them forward. And I’ve, I’ve been thankful to learn quite a bit in the 20 years of working with first generation students now. And a lot of the students that seem to benefit the most are the ones that Teresa was just sort of touching on, and the students who really don’t feel like they belong, and the students who really then feel like when you do challenge them, at first, they quite often put up a defense and thinking, you know, hey, this person is really not going to be helping me. They’re trying to challenge me and push me and it doesn’t feel comfortable. But then over time, those are the students that seem to sometimes get the most from our support, because they realize, oh, all along, there were people there to help me. I just didn’t kind of notice them. Because I had this this veil up or had these shadows. I couldn’t see the people who really wanted to help me and push me through and make me understand that hey, I do deserve to be here, I belong here, I have earned what I’ve gotten to be here, I’ve worked hard to get to this point. And now I need to keep working hard moving forward. And yes, there may be trials and there may be obstacles, but they don’t have to be one of them doesn’t have to be me doubting myself. One of them doesn’t have to be me thinking that I’m on this journey all alone, you know, and I don’t have to give into or help add to any of those stereotypes that are out there. So that’s, for me has been a great experience to learn through that and see the different choices and the different options that students have they they realize, Oh, I do have those choices. I’m not on this one way path only. There are different things for me. So that’s really good to hear. Um, and in hearing those things is sort of you did both of you did did a great job of advertising our last episode, because the last episode, we had a great discussion on assimilation, and intersectionality. And you and you kind of and you brought that up, Marina and Luis was nodding his head. Yes. Uh huh. So the, and I know it might be touching on something from last episode, but how do you see your intersectionality maybe, or people you work with or students who work with even if you want to give a specific example, sort of seeing how intersectionality impacts the idea of imposter syndrome? Or how imposter syndrome impacts your intersectionality? Because, because we see those two overlapping, you know, very much.


Marina Lomeli-Fox 26:35

Well, I’m not sure if this answers your question, but I can think of because this just happened recently, I’m working with a student who she is. She’s multiracial, and, and also part of the LGBTQ community, and she was a transfer student, and she just graduated, so she was at Chico State for two or three years, felt super quick. And she, after all of this stuff that’s been happening in our country, just the racial tensions, and just, you know, the protests and all that, um, you know, I was hearing from a lot of students that they were struggling with seeing what was happening. And, anyway, so we did this, we did some zooms on this one day, just to like, get students to come in and kind of just talk about process their feelings kind of share about, you know, what they’re experiencing with all of this, you know, just unrest and social injustice. And this one student, she just broke down and, you know, like, was really emotionally impacted by what was happening. And, you know, again, she just graduated, and she’s off already, she moved in doing onto her next adventure, but it was just incredible to see the safety that she felt in sharing with us. And, you know, she was very emotional and just kind of was sharing about her experience growing up, and the different messages that she heard as a, as a child in foster care, you know, being being black. And, anyway, just yeah, just how that really impacts you. And I think one of the great things that we do get to do, I mean, I feel really privileged to be working in this system where we do provide a space for students to feel safe and encouraged and built up and I mean, even for her again, she’s often doing like a pre med something. And it’s like, oh my gosh, it’s it’s incredible, you know, what these students are capable of, once they do get that, you know, that environment of feeling safe and secure and and just really built up and so I don’t know if I answered your question, but it just you know, just thinking about her and and all all the messages that she has heard throughout her life and even at Chico State I mean, she struggled and then but just to see her and what she’s capable of and what she’s gonna continue to do it’s it’s really remarkable.


Luis De Paz Fernadez 29:37

I think for my my experience in working with with students, the intersectionality is huge, right with my commuinty because like I don’t work with the student that are just undocumented and that’s it, like, right like they’re, they’re the black or they’re Latino Latina or Latinx. Like I mentioned earlier, they are they might be have a disability visual and non visual, homeless, and so I think with our students, you know, just being on undocumented, it’s already a big burden. And so are adding to that any other type of, you know, identity that they might also have. I do see, however, a lot of students use it, you know, I think after a while, it’s it’s as build a pride in it, right? Like, and I know, for my, for me my like, getting through grad school, my intersectionality, almost, it helped me a lot in combating the imposter syndrome that I was dealing with, because I didn’t realize that what I was, like, I was about to drop out of grad school, like after, I think it was, like, third semester in. Because I was like, I feel like I don’t, you know, like, I don’t belong, like, I don’t know, like, I felt like my peers knew what they were doing. And I did it. And to break down kind of like, my, my classes, right? Like, my incoming class are, like, 30 of us, there were only I believe four men. Now the fourth, you know, everyone else was was a woman, which is nothing wrong. But again, you know, it was like, okay, like, right away, I gravitated towards, like, you know, let me see, like, what I can you know, what what can I get along from, from the men, then from the men, only one of them was a Latino, you know, so there was only two of us. And in our classes, they still confused us. Like, there was I had professors call me their name, and then calling my name, and we’re completely different. Like, I’m taller than him. I’m chubby, like I have a beard, like, you know, like, it’s not like you can, like, it’s not like, you can confuse us, right, like, but then yeah, like, I will be called his name, and he will be called mine. And, like, it was mostly done from the professor’s it wasn’t enough for my students. So that takes a burden, right? It’s like, okay, like, what am I doing? Like, am I doing, you know, and, and when you add, like, I’m, I’m a dad. So it was, like, you know, trying to add that into my intersectionality. I had DACA as a grad student. So it was, it was always kind of, you know, at first I was like, oh, my God, this is a lot, but then having a conversation with one of my peers, another Latino man who joined the program later, you know, he was like, telling me, like, look, the system is created for you to know, like, so you like, You’re not supposed to be here, like, why are you gonna give up and it was literally the ride the bart ride from work to school where I was, like, I’m gonna drop out, like, I can’t, I’m just not gonna do this, like, my last class, I’m just gonna do that. And I literally sat next to my, I ran into my classmate. And he had this competition with me on BART, as if he knew, right, like, I was about to drop out. And we had a conversation. And, you know, he, he literally told me, like, I don’t even remember, but you know, there’s that pyramid that they teach us when we’re little Latino man. And you start with 100. And then as you keep going up, there’s less, you know, the dropout rate in high school. And then it’s like, you’re literally, like, at the top of the ladder, almost, like only, like, I know, like, three of us or five of us are going to make it and is like, that started encouraging me, like, you know what, that’s true. Like, I’m so close to, like, you know, being in that kind of, like, top part of the pyramid and improving the system wrong, right. And when you add all those different, like layers of my identity, like it just like, I shouldn’t be here. Right. And so I think, at that point, is when I started kind of, like taking pride of like, my intersectionality, and like, my identities and is like, like, I, you know, like, yeah, right now, I feel like I don’t belong, but I need to make this a point that we do belong here and we should be here, right? And by we is like anyone who shares an identity as me. So that’s kind of how I compared the two almost like one challenging the other. So


Teresa Hernandez 33:26

I think um Marina one, to your response, I think one of the most powerful things that you mentioned was a was in it seems so simple, but it’s providing that safe space for students period, just allowing them the opportunity or a place that’s especially physically a place on campus where they’re at all day every day, and to be able to go in and just say something or just kind of really vent and unwind and say what’s on their mind the things that they’re feeling, what they’re going through what their experiences it experiences are. And even now, this COVID-19 is happening virtually that’s still you know, that relationship they’re building with you it’s still someone that can reach out to and talk to especially when you they are also you know, their mental health is also being affected by this everyone is by not being able to to do things that they want to do. And then Luis I think you brought up, like a sentence and this may sound like dramatic but I think hearing or having someone tell you, you are in a place where you’re not meant to be is something that literally even saying it like gives me chills I don’t know if you can see but it gives me chills just to think about we are, you have the potential to be in a place where people don’t want you there. And people you were never meant to succeed enough to get to that point. And I think that for some it could sound very like daunting like oh then maybe I shouldn’t but I feel like the way I internalize it very much like exactly some gonna do it even more on purpose like is make as many more of those sacrifices I have to make to stay here and to push forward. So, you know, kind of paving the way in a sense, but I think those are really two important themes and concepts that we can take away, at least for this.


Joshuah Whittinghill 35:20

That’s, I’m glad you said those couple things of mental health. And it’s just, it’s just to me still baffling that we’re talking about a system set up, right, it’s 1646, right. You know, 300 plus years, we’re talking about that still has large extreme amount of the system is still in place. Right? From those times. So, so that part of it is, you know, still part of that Luis mentioned and touched on just of just not being here and seeing students come into to EOP you know in campus, seeing students even just walking around. And then the classes I get to teach are usually multicultural gender studies, for the most part, and usually, usually, majority of the students, if not, the whole class is first generation students. And, and having them even come in and break down about, you know, not feeling like they’re doing well that they should be on campus, they just don’t feel other than maybe one class, they still feel out of place. And these are students who are doing really well and have, you know, above a 3.0 GPA, if you want to look at the gray part of it, but they’re also doing well and learning about themselves, learning about people around them learning about their identities, learning about experiences, and what they mean to them now, because they were only, you know, they’re only 19 20 years old, and they’re realizing like, oh, what happened when I was 15 16. Those are meaningful, powerful situations, that they didn’t really see how much it impacted them on who they are as a person. So those, those things are all you know, really extremely important to be talking about still, and then helping with students, and especially during this zoom time. Right, this remote time, we’re getting very few connections quite often with students. Luckily, I’ve had a few who come in, and they just are so appreciative of like, wow, I’m just glad someone is actually still here to help me. Because now that I am home, it’s great being around my family. But I even lost more connection to what it means to be a college student. So that’s extremely important. We’re doing that because I wanted to share even touching on this mental health a couple of things in the last couple of years, even before being sent home remotely and doing this virtually, in 2018. The Center for Collegiate Mental Health put their annual report out, and 179,964 students across 152 campuses that they were doing their study on had access counseling centers. Right and in that 54% did it for mental health concerns. 34% claim that indicated that they take medication for mental health concerns, and 35% attempted considering the attempted committing suicide during that time. And then the same year a report a study that was done just inside the CSU us so 23 campuses right throughout California. And then the report for Chico State specifically showed that 67% of the students felt some level of anxiety. And I think from what Luis shared Marina shared, and what we hear from students and see already, when it comes to imposter syndrome, or not feeling you belong or the stereotype threat, there’s a extreme amount of anxiety that comes with that, because it may be relieved while you’re in the classroom, or maybe heightened while you’re in the classroom, unfortunately, but is there a place where you can feel safe or feel comfortable and feel confident, but then those moments seem to be the minority amount of time for people who have this on their mind, right? If you’re really working through these situations, and internalizing, because people don’t always feel comfortable being vulnerable. Right. And that’s one thing that I’ve learned, unfortunately, with a lot of first generation students, they come with a very focused mindset of I need to do this and do this on my own. I can’t take support, I don’t need to ask and then all of a sudden, it’s hopefully they’re learning more and more, they’re seeing like, Oh, I do need support. This isn’t about accomplishing it by myself. This is about gaining resources and friendships and relationships that really, really benefit me. Because we feel that at Chico State those numbers of the 67% I felt anxiety. 21% reported depression had an negative impact on their academics. And 20% of the students had been diagnosed or treated for depression or extreme depression within the last 12 months of that of that school year. So


Luis De Paz Fernadez 39:45

I wanted I wanted to ask you, someone you mentioned setting for the longest time and I think I don’t want to generalize, you know, but I from what I see, I think for for many of first generation students and students who you know from underrepresented communities. You know, the many times it’s painted as if like going to college is the goal and that’s the end line. Right? And that’s how I also feel felt like in grad school, right, like, once I graduate grad school, yeah, like, that’s a, you know, like, we can celebrate, but it’s really like, all this places, and I think that’s one of the institutions is kind of step up a little bit and provide those resources, like you mentioned, mental health, right. And, but a lot of the times, like, student first generation student, are not and it’s not a thing of, Oh, I don’t want to go, but it’s really kind of in our cultures, right? Like, mental health is like, like, You’re crazy, right? Like, that’s where you’re going to see mental health or like, so it’s really kind of normalizing that as well. And like the universities, making it more of having people that look like the student, help the student and making those spaces of, you know, welcoming, and just normalizing, I think it’s some of those issues. And I think, you know, part of it too, it’s, you know, our, the way our colleges said, or college system is like, it’s more like pins, communities against each other of like, you know, you’re, you’re gonna make it, but you’re not gonna make it right. Like, like, or, you know, so it shouldn’t be that way. Right? It should really be on like, you know, a more holistic approach or like, okay, like, if you’re trying to go here, like, let’s see how we can help you get there, right? And you as well, not really like you versus you. But I think though, those, I think all add up into the imposter syndrome, because then once you get there, you’re like, Okay, I made it here, but like, how did I make it here? Right, like where that person didn’t, so I think just wanted to add into the some of the conversation.


Marina Lomeli-Fox 41:27

Well, and I think I want to just add to the, just the whole cultural tax piece of it, because like, as we’re talking, and all these different subjects, like, it’s so exhausting, like, as a, as a former student, but now as a professional, you know, and then we’re supporting our students of color. And like, just, it’s, there’s so much work because, you know, they’re, they’re seeking us out because they feel maybe more comfortable or more connected. And so like, just all these different pieces of like, how much extra we’re working and, you know, being like being on the Chicano Latino Council, and you know, that that’s something that’s coming up in the next couple of weeks of we’ll be meeting and But again, it’s like, we’re always trying to do something kind of, like you mentioned these with, like, the University stepping up, and, and not not putting different groups against each other, you know, cuz it’s, a lot of it is about resources, right? Like, okay, well, we’re going to give you resources, but then that means that you don’t get any, or you get less, and it’s just, it’s tough.


Luis De Paz Fernadez 42:38



Teresa Hernandez 42:39

It’s difficult to and I, with all this makes me think of is one is being of some personally my first gen student, right. And so, to go to college, and I’m thinking a particular moment, when I think it was like my junior year, as my undergrad, I joined this organization on campus, and essentially, what is the student ran a non-profit clinic and the Mission District of San Francisco, which the Mission District is predominantly known to be the largest Latino Latina, Latinx community in San Francisco. And with that also comes, you know, the community being underserved on especially when it comes to health. And so one of our professors at San Francisco State who recently retired, is running a. I miss him. Is hurting a non profit clinic and the mission and so he gave his students who took a particular course of his opportunity to volunteer. And so I was incredibly interested in that because my, I initially went to college wanting to do pre-nursing a bunches of stuff happended happened, I ended up realizing I want to help, you know, people but not necessarily as a specifically a nurse. So I went in a you know, it was a lot of time you had to dedicate it was I, we were open on the weekends. So those were also weekends, I couldn’t go back to Chico go back home and see my parents. And that was very hard to translate over to my parents and kind of have them understand, like, what it was that I was involved in. Um also partially at being for a class and just kind of, how do I how do I say this to my parents, like, Hey, I can’t go home, I can’t go home this weekend to help you out and do this. Because, you know, I have to do eight hours at this clinic on Saturday, or and it’s, you know, a couple weekends a month. And so, um, I was having a really hard time with that. And I didn’t want to say anything, because I didn’t want them to think I wasn’t committed, but it was this particular professor who was just so incredibly easy to talk to. He’s so open and allows you really to build a relationship with him. And he was kind of like, he just looked at me one day and he was like, what’s going on? There’s something going on with you and you’re not telling me and I was like, Okay, I just unleashed. I said, I’m frustrated. Like, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to make them understand that this is something I need and I want to do, you know, and it’s because they don’t haven’t had the opportunity to have these experience. Just like I’m currently having. And so he went out of his way. So that next weekend, it just so happened, my parents were coming up to visit, but he offered to give them a call. And so they were coming to visit, and I was working the clinic that Saturday, and he was like, bring them, bring them to the clinic. And I’m like, but you know, all this stuff, you know, bring him to the clinic, so they see what you’re doing. So, you know, we’ll we’ll talk to them. So they came down. And he had this whole conversation with my parents and explaining what it is that we do what they saw me doing it at work, you know, they spoke to my peers who were also volunteering their time. And it just felt amazing that someone was willing to kind of do that, for me, to really make me feel like I’m making the right decision for my family that I’m not, you know, putting them on the back burner if I decide to do this and dedicate a few weekends to so I think that’s also huge is just even simple things like wanting to be committed to something or giving up time, especially within our culture. And that takes time away from your family, but that gets put that time towards something else. I feel like even for me mentally that’s something that’s difficult for me to adjust to and to be okay with, even to this day with certain things.


Luis De Paz Fernadez 46:08

Shout out to Cody, that’s the professor.


Teresa Hernandez 46:10

Yes, shout out to Professor Cody.


Luis De Paz Fernadez 46:13

Yeah, no, I agree. Because I think it touches upon what Marina was saying, like cultural taxation, and how many, like even now, as a professional staff, like, you know, for we’re trying to implement Spanish orientations and and yet I find the same peers are doing Spanish orientations are the ones that I meet in the transfer community, the first generation committee that I would like it, you know, I see some colleagues that are like, the colleagues of color that are always in this committees and task boards, and like, you know, equity, like, you know, talks and all that. And it’s like, it gets exhausting a point where, like, I’m doing 50% of work, not in what am I getting paid for? Right? So and that also is with imposter syndrome, where it’s like, well, you’re telling me that I don’t belong here. And I need to find my way for me and other students to like, belong. So.


Marina Lomeli-Fox 47:01

It’s like this constant, like, battle.


Luis De Paz Fernadez 47:05

And if you don’t do it, you’re like, I feel bad. Because and I, you know, I can do it. But I, you know, I’m, yeah, like, it’s just think of like, I guilt as well, right? I’m like, well, I know, I can do it but it’s not fair that I should be doing it because I’m not getting the support. But if I’ve been doing it then it’s not gonna get done.


Marina Lomeli-Fox 47:20




Joshuah Whittinghill 47:21

I’m glad you mentioned the word guilt, because that’s one thing I do hear from students quite a bit. And especially working at an HSI, right spanic serving Institute, a lot of students identify is also growing up in a Catholic community, whether their family did it or not. And some students, even if their family didn’t really practice Catholicism strictly, they were surrounded by a community of it. And so they were influenced. And they were also impacted by this idea of how guilt works. And a number of students talk about how I bring that with me, because I’ve learned it from my family and my community, whatever it may be. And so then they have a hard time exactly walking away from something they know needs to be done for the betterment of for themselves for larger for groups of people and for bigger communities in general. And then there’s, there’s answers that we hear from people of how are we going to fix this? How are we going to change some of these things? And people put up there at the forefront? Oh, hire more people of color? And then people say, okay, that’s great. We want to have Yes, we want to have diversity in long along the lines of faculty and staff. But then we can’t just say, okay, people of color now do the work for this white situation that’s been created over hundreds of years. Right? And so how do we address those things? And like, like Luis mentioned, people use the phrase, oh, it’s, we’re just singing to the choir quite often, right? Because then you go to these meetings, and it’s the same six people, it’s the same 12 people. And in the topic might not even be related. But it’s another topic around social justice or equity. But it’s a different sort of focus. And it’s still the same 12 or 15, people showing up to doing diversity Academy or doing a diversity training or whatever it might be. So it is and now I think some of its being pushed more on campus. Two years ago, we were able to create a program on campus a student success summit called tipping point. And so we bring together faculty and staff, and show and have different resources and talk about different concerns. And so it is getting more awareness. And other campuses are doing different things. But now, with just the ideas of what’s in the media on the news, those things, it’s being pushed a little bit more in general. So maybe more people are going to be comfortable. I know some of it often people say I don’t really feel comfortable doing that, because I didn’t grow up with those experiences. But you have grown up inside the experiences of higher education. And if you’re working in higher ed, for the most part, you have been there for some time in some capacity, whether it was a student or your position on campus. So you’re, you’re still part of the experiences, right? You’re still impacting it, you’re still influencing it, you have a you have a part in it. And then one thing I learned years ago was great was something happened. And one of my mentors would always ask me, what was your role in that situation? Right. And it comes back to that phrase thinking about, okay, what was my part in that? It could have been positive, it could have been negative. It could have been sort of new And what does that mean? So all of these topics are coming up. Now. And, unfortunately, whether you believe time if time is real or not, it’s a social construct we want to talk about time has put a wall up in front of us, some of us need to get to other appointments here in a few minutes. And for for the sake of that, we want to get to our recommendations. And so Luis, I know your appointments coming up soon, if you want to share first, what recommendations did you have for the listeners today and for us? Oh, let’s get you unmuted.


Luis De Paz Fernadez 50:41

There you go I was mute. Sorry


Joshuah Whittinghill 50:43

That’s good.


Luis De Paz Fernadez 50:44

There’s one author that I read when I was growing up, and his name is Francisco humaneness. And he wrote a series of books called, like the circuit breaker, I read them in Spanish or like La Mariposa, La Caja de Carton , but they’re also in English. And essentially, it’s just his, his life, that he writes. And there’s three books, and each one has a different stage. And one is when he went to like, you know, first came to the US as an immigrant, his family was like, you know, work in the fields, and talks about elementary school and all that. And the other one took a little more about high school. The last one talked about a little more college. And, you know, I love the book, because it was my first experience, learning about a Latino man in the US going through college talking about like, having a girlfriend, you know, all these different issues that you know, masculinity that you don’t really talk and at least in my culture, as open with with men, I actually even say culture, my house will read like just making more my experience. So I recommend that out there. If y’all want to check it out. It’s very simple read. His name is Francisco Jimenez and his textbooks. The first one is the circuit and then you can just find the series. The second one is break, breaking through in the sense that there was reaching out I believe. He was a professor in Santa Clara for a while, and Santa Clara University. But last, lastly, I also love comedy. And I think comedy is a great way to actually talk about serious topics. And so I love Dave Chapelle. I love different different comedians out there that now we’re talking more about. And they have been talking about issues of diversity and color, especially the black man experience, right. And so, recently, I watched a documentary for Dave Chapelle, I was given an award, and he his mom give, you know, give him a quote that I actually became very inspired by and is that, you know, sometimes you have to be the line that you’re not to be the sheep that you want to be. And so essentially, it’s, you know, sometimes, you know, I feel that as a first generation, you know, men of color and dealing with imposter syndrome sometimes had to be some someone that I didn’t really want to be, and step up to be a leader. Even though in the back end, I wanted to just hang out and just like, enjoy my college experience, you know, but but the situation and the guilt kind of forced me to step up and be that leader and be that lion and fight for like what I needed to accomplish. But in the inside, I really wanted to be more like calm sheep, right. So yeah, just kind of wanted to live with those recommendations. And thank you very much for inviting me. And being in this in this podcast. I really appreciate it. So we’ll see you all in the future, hopefully.


Joshuah Whittinghill 53:15

Yes. I know, it’s our pleasure to have you on thank you for sharing those. And we’re gonna put all of these recommendations because Marina’s are coming up next. And we’re going to put them all onto our website. So you’ll see them there. And then we’ll also have them in the show notes when you go to any of your podcast listening apps as well. Marina, what would you like to share for us today?


Marina Lomeli-Fox 53:36

Um, well, nothing is great as what Luis just share. But I will say that I really enjoyed the book in common a couple of years ago, it was Reyna Grande, who did a distance between us. I really loved that book. And I think as a as a first generation college student, who was the only one in my family to, to have that experience. And she talked about just that distance that you know, she had with her sister and I definitely feel that with my siblings. And so anyway, it was an incredible book. I really enjoyed it um and empowering too, because she went on to do all kinds of things. And then I wanted to just mention a musical artist. Her name is Natalia Lafourcade. Oh my gosh, I’m in love with her right now. It’s like Mexican folk, but she does like pop, rock and it’s she’s incredible. She has a beautiful voice. I love the more of the like the folk, you know, old school Mexican songs. It’s an it’s fun and but then there’s like, you know, heartbreak and sadness and pain and solitaire, which is something I can really identify with right now. And anyway, if anyone has never heard of her, definitely check it out. I can see Luis’s nodding his head.


Luis De Paz Fernadez 55:14

Yeah. She’s great she’s great


Marina Lomeli-Fox 55:16

She’s amazing. So those are my recommendations.


Joshuah Whittinghill 55:20

Yes, thank thank you very much, Teresa, what do you have today for us?


Teresa Hernandez 55:24

Um, wow. So I would say one of the first things that comes to mind, at least drawing from my experiences that were really helped me and one of the resources, I would encourage students if you’re student listening to this, um is to seek out communities of support, so like, like minded people, and surround yourself by peers, and just kind of, um, at least someone you can talk to, or an organization or somewhere you can go to, that will offer kind of a support, and for me particularly was most important is being able to be around people who had shared like cultural and life experiences, that really made a huge difference, because I felt, Okay, you know, I’m not this anomaly. I’m not the only one who comes from this family background, I’m not the only one who’s experienced this or that. So I feel like that was one of the first and it really catapulted me into feeling like, okay, like, I feel supported, I feel like I can keep going. And this may be really random, but one of the first books I actually ever picked up all in Spanish, um, and it really changed kind of the way I perceive certain things. And so it’s called Como Agua Para Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. And so it’s the plot is, is, it is kind of like a romance like, it’s magical realism, but one of the biggest components of it is food. And I feel like in our culture, food is huge. And so when I read about these recipes, and when Tita the main character was cooking, and making these, you know, recipes, and at the same time talking about, like her emotional turmoil, what she was going through, you know, how I’m feeling like this, and this and all she’s thinking while she’s cooking these, right, these traditional recipes, it really made me feel like, well, you know, how Tita feel right now is how I felt, and like, the food she was creating is like, Oh, my God, my grandma cooks that. Or, you know, my mom knows how to make that, or I just recently learned how to do this. So it really ties in just kind of that feeling of like, homeiness, in a sense, you feel comfortable. And I think that kind of being able to pick something up after coming, you know, getting out of class and reading something that I could really, really relate to 100% just makes the process that much easier.


Joshuah Whittinghill 57:37

Thank you. This these are all good. I’m gonna make sure I get all those after the show and spelled correctly and the right name for the publisher.


Marina Lomeli-Fox 57:45

What’s the name of that one Teresa? What was the name of the book?


Teresa Hernandez 57:48

So it’s called Como Agua Para Chocolate by Laura Esquivel.


Marina Lomeli-Fox 57:53

Okay. Thank you.


Joshuah Whittinghill 57:55

And I guess a lot, I had a different idea of some recommendations. But now my mind was spinning as you all were saying yours. And I think some good thing because my recently my my family, I think the last time and we’re just finished reading Esperanza Rising. So it’s a fiction, right of sort of the journey of a mom and a daughter into the United States to get away from a very dangerous, violent, difficult situation, and come to a place but then to realize, like, oh, how do we adjust now. And it’s well, but it was fixing, but it’s a great young adult book. And so I think all for my family members who have finished it now recently. So that’s a good one, I would recommend Esperanza Rising. And then another one more of the fiction side have an experience of immigration and a story of working through and trying to understand sense of belonging and these things is Enrique’s Journey. Which is also a great story of a young man who comes on train to get to United States to find his mom who’s already here. So that’s a good one as well. And then sort of a thing to do recommendation in these times. Now, whether whether whether people are home, living with their family, or people that they call their family, whatever their situation may be, where they’re staying the people there with, for first generation students, or if they’re back living in their campus, the town of their, you know, their campuses, and they’re living with roommates. Still, I think the recommendation is, is as whether a staff or faculty, so in the classroom, out of the classroom, create opportunities, where our students are able to share. Like Teresa mentioned, I brought my parents to the clinic, they got to see what I was doing, encourage and create these opportunities, whether they’re assignments or projects or class or just something to give the student you’re working with in your program, to have them share with the people they’re staying with or people are living with what they’re learning. Have them show them something I know that came about for me in the last semester that the final project for the course I was teaching in spring completely got shifted and turned into that because everyone in the class was pretty much back home somewhere. And all of a sudden, it was an opportunity for first generation students to really share with their families who didn’t have a connection to higher education, who didn’t really still understand what it meant to be a student, or what was there, what was their son or daughter or child learning during these times. So that’s my recommendation to try and create those opportunities for the students we’re working with. So again, thank you all very much for being here. Luis and Marina. It’s been it’s been a pleasure. It’s been amazing to have you here. You did a great service being here for this episode, you advertised last episode, and you brought up topics we’re going to talk about in future episodes. You mentioned microaggression, and you didn’t say the word but talking about where Professor got people mixed up. It’s not that difficult, right? Learn someone’s name their face and call them their name that they want to be called, is example of an example of a microaggression. We’re gonna talk about those. We have a podcast lined up right, Teresa for food and family is a topic. So you touched on a lot of our future topics. So thank you very much. There’s free advertising we got.


Joshuah Whittinghill 1:01:06

All right. Well, take care of yourselves. Enjoy the rest of your day out there and look forward to future endeavors together.


Marina Lomeli-Fox 1:01:14

Cool. Thank you.


Teresa Hernandez 1:01:15



Joshuah Whittinghill 1:01:16



Marina Lomeli-Fox 1:01:18



Luis De Paz Fernadez 1:01:18

Nice to meet you. Bye. Take care.

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