Rutgers GSE CMSI

HSI Pathways Fellows Prepare to Matriculate into Graduate Programs!

Philadelphia, Pa., May 16, 2018— The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) is proud to announce that 20 students in our HSI Pathways to the Professoriate program will be matriculating into graduate programs across the country in the 2018-2019 academic year. 

HSI Pathways to the Professoriate is a program coordinated by CMSI supported by a $5.1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Designed to diversify the professoriate in the humanities at U.S. colleges and universities, the program, which is in its second year, provides 90 students over five years with the tools to apply to Ph.D. programs and to succeed in graduate school and remain successful on the path to the professoriate.
“The Fellows in this program have worked tremendously hard this past year to identify their research interests, polish their scholarship, and apply to Ph.D. programs, all while being undergraduate students,” shared Paola “Lola” Esmieu, Associate Director of Programs for the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions. “We are incredibly proud of their accomplishments and all that they have done while being in this program.”
HSI Pathways success includes students securing admission into the following graduate programs:
From California State University, Northridge:

  • Brian Mercado, CUNY Graduate Center, Ph.D. program, sociology
  • Elizabeth Calzada, University of Minnesota, Ph.D. program, history
  • Eryn Talevich, University of Michigan, Ph.D. program, anthropology
  • Hermes Rocha, University of California, Davis, Ph.D. program, philosophy
  • Jared Diaz, Arizona State University, Ph.D. program, religious studies
  • Kiara Padilla, University of Minnesota, Ph.D. program, American studies
  • Shawntel Barreiro, The Ohio State University, Ph.D. program, linguistics
  • Yaquelin Morales, Northwestern University, Ph.D. program, performance studies

From Florida International University:

  • Amanda González, Rutgers University, Ph.D. program, comparative literature
  • Estefany Lopez, New York University, Ph.D. program, English
  • Francisco Lopez, Emory University, Ph.D. program, comparative literature
  • Gabriela Diaz, Florida State University, M.A. program, rhetoric and composition
  • Janie Raghunandan, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, Ph.D. program, English
  • Jason Fontana, Florida International University, M.A. program, history
  • Joshua Scheer, Boston College, M.A. program, philosophy
  • Maria Ahumada, University of California, Davis, Ph.D. program, English literature
  • Michael Garcia, Florida International University, M.F.A. program, creative writing
  • Stephanie Janania, Florida International University, M.A. program, English literature

From The University of Texas, El Paso:

  • Johanna Lopez, University of Iowa, Ph.D. program, history
  • Star Flagel to University of Nevada, Reno, M.A. program, history

Of note, all the HSI Pathways Fellows who applied for graduate school were admitted; those who did not apply are taking a gap year and will apply for Ph.D. programs next year. 
“Not only are these students — many of whom are first-generation — setting a precedent for their families, but they are exemplars for future cohorts of HSI Pathways Fellows,” shared Marybeth Gasman, Judy & Howard Berkowitz Professor of Education and Director of the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions.

HSI Pathways to the Professoriate is coordinated by CMSI in partnership with three Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) — California State University, Northridge; Florida International University; and the University of Texas, El Paso — and five majority research institutions — New York University; University of California, Berkeley; University of Pennsylvania; Northwestern University; and University of California, Davis. Throughout the five-year program, CMSI is also conducting assessments focused on how selected students are navigating the HSI Pathways program and, once admitted, their graduate programs. CMSI aims to uncover the challenges and impetuses along the pathway to the Ph.D. 
According to Armando Bengochea, Program Officer at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, "Hispanic Serving Institutions are critical for tapping into the rich talent of a very important student demographic that has to be tapped for the next-generation humanities professoriate:  Hispanic students, most obviously, but also first generation, low income, and new-immigrant students. We are excited to see all of this talent in action as they enter Ph.D. programs."

About the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions
The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) brings together researchers and practitioners from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions. CMSI’s goals include: elevating the educational contributions of MSIs; ensuring that they are a part of national conversations; bringing awareness to the vital role MSIs play in the nation’s economic development; increasing the rigorous scholarship of MSIs; connecting MSIs’ academic and administrative leadership to promote reform initiatives; and strengthening efforts to close educational achievement gaps among disadvantaged communities. The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions is part of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. For further information about CMSI, please visit

About the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
 Founded in 1969, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work. For more information, please visit

Wednesday, May 16, 2018
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