- Name: Héctor Peralta
- Concentration: Education and Ethnic Studies
- Year: 2016
- What type of fellowship/research experiences have you been involved with during your time in college?
The Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) is a 2-year fellowship that one applies to during the spring of their sophomore year. Its main mission being to increase the representation of people of color within academia and to fortify commitments to social justice-oriented scholarship, the MMUF fellowship provides funding for undergraduate students to conduct an independent research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor at Brown.
- How did you find out about this opportunity?
I found out about this opportunity through Professor Evelyn Hu-Dehart in the Ethnic Studies department, as well as through conversations with former Minority Peer Counselors (MPCs) who I would interact with at the Brown Center for Students of Color. When seeking to learn more about the fellowship, I visited Dean Besenia Rodriguez during her office hours, as well as chatted with other faculty on the MMUF Faculty Advisory Committee.
- What is your favorite part about being a Mellon Mays fellow?
My favorite part is being part of a community of administrators, faculty and students who are all dedicated to transformational education through progressive and reparative knowledge-production processes.
- How has being involved with this fellowship shaped your future goals and plans?
The MMUF has exposed me to the value of pursuing academia as a career, for it provides both flexibility and potential for positive social work. The MMUF was also my bridge to the Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers (IRT) program that I participated in this past summer, and together, these two opportunities have helped me be admitted into some of the top PhD programs in the country.
- Any advice for students looking to apply for fellowships?
A simple conversation with your favorite professor or with an upperclassmen who you admire can go a long way. Make sure to tap into that intergenerational knowledge present on college campuses– use your resources wisely, including older people who have experience in fields that interest you.