2018 WHA Graduate Student Caucus Election
Tiffany J. González
I am a Ph.D. Candidate in History at Texas A&M University. For the past three years, I have served on the Western History Association Graduate Student Council garnering skills to establish a strong graduate student presence that helped increase caucus membership. My research interests include Chicana/o-Latina/o history, American political history, women & gender, and borderlands studies. This past year, I worked as a graduate assistant for a community engagement and service learning project titled “Bridging the Humanities and Hard Sciences: Transformational Learning, Retention of Latina/o and First Generation Students via a Global Borderlands Classroom.” Under this capacity, TAMU professors and I trained undergraduate students in pedagogies that fostered multidisciplinary research and methods, as well as collaborative engagement that encouraged critical discussions that centered on globally sensitive topics. Currently, I serve on boards for the Coalition for Western Women’s History, the Coordinating Council for Women in History, and the Texas State Historical Association. My organizational experience and research training has equipped me to stay committed to the mission statement that is embodied with the Western History Association.
As Chair of the WHA Graduate Student Council, I will work to create a collaborative working environment that advances the diverse fields that make up the American West. And work to build stronger bridges for all graduate students who are underrepresented in the organization. The Western History Association is a vital organization that has shown me how to develop a stronger and confident identity in the historical profession. As such, this is why I am running for Chair of the WHA Graduate Student Council.
I am excited for the opportunity to work on behalf of graduate student members of the Western History Association. I plan to work diligently as part of the WHA Graduate Student Caucus Executive Council to ensure that graduate students benefit professionally, intellectually, and socially from their membership in the WHA. It is important that we, as graduate students, have a clear voice in our institutions, something I have learned as I have organized alongside fellow graduate students within my history department and across departments at Saint Louis University. The empowerment of graduate students is vital to the health of our profession, a lesson that motivates me to work within the WHAGSC and the WHA.
My past experience curating events, coordinating participants, and communicating with institutional constituents will be vital to the Executive Council. I spent the previous academic year organizing events for my department's American History Forum that not only benefitted U.S. history graduate students, but also non-U.S. history graduate students and other disciplines. In addition, I obtained practical knowledge coordinating membership and volunteers for a youthrun social center prior to graduate school. Here, it was imperative to regularly communicate across multiple platforms to staff enough volunteers and ensure well-attended events. My professional experiences will allow me to effectively work alongside WHAGSC members and help grow membership through outreach to academics and non-academics throughout the country.
Please accept my self-nomination for the position of Membership Coordinator for the Western History Association’s Graduate Student Caucus Executive Council. As a cultural historian, I focus on community development through early-twentieth century rural road programs throughout the middle and western regions of the United States. This thematic approach to my work also carries over into my every-day desire to strengthen personal relations and foster community building in the academic environment. As Membership Coordinator, I would actively seek and encourage graduate student membership to WHA, and would regularly share news of upcoming events and other news items essential to graduate students. I believe that graduate students should be proactive in their professional endeavors, and membership to historical associations is one way to do that. I have served as graduate representative for my history department at Carnegie Mellon University for two years, where I have increased our graduate student participation in academic and social events. I would welcome the opportunity to liaise with the executive council and membership to increase membership, offer graduate students new membership benefits, and enhance networking opportunities. In serving as the WHA’s Membership Coordinator, I would offer my organizational and communication skills, my diligence and attention to detail, as well as my New-England bred sense of humor! I look forward to this exciting opportunity to serve in WHA graduate student leadership, to meet and collaborate with other graduate students across disciplines and institutions, and to contribute to the WHA community.
I am a second-year PhD student studying under Dr. Angela Hudson at Texas A&M University. I specialize in the American Southwest and the Borderlands, indigenous history, and the history of tourism. My research focuses on the cultural and historic preservation of the Fred Harvey Company and the Santa Fe Railroad. Specifically, I address the intersections of authentic representations of indigeneity and tourist culture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the recent revitalization and portrayal of cultural memory of railroad towns in the Southwest. I would like to pursue historic preservation and museum work, namely in community and educational outreach. During my academic and higher education careers, virtually all of my jobs have centered on aspects of academic outreach, including university recruiting, curriculum development, and event management and stewardship. Most recently, I have acted as the Secretary of the History Graduate Student Organization and as a primary coordinator for the TAMU History Conference. Because of this foundation, I am interested in working with a diverse graduate student body. As an executive graduate member, I would help in providing a strong academic environment to foster collaborative ventures both with and outside of the academy, especially through assisting in organizing graduate caucus programs at the WHA conference. I would like to work within this evolving organization and discipline to connect graduate students with varying career paths.
List of Nominees
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