Cira Roxana Tapia

Major: Global Studies
Minor: certificate in Intercultural Communication

Portrait of Cira

Title: Latino Students enrolled at Howard Community College with very low participation in the success programs offered for the college.

Describe your project: The goal of my research is to explore and find the stories of students of Hispanic descent registered at Howard Community College. My research will focus on knowing why Latino students do not use the institution’s resources for academic success. Will students be afraid to ask about a program that can help them be successful, or will they be afraid because any of them are undocumented? Or they will have other obstacles like the English barrier, there are many questions that I want to find out because the students have little participation in the improvement programs.

Who is your mentor for your project?
Dr. Cristopher Brown, department of Global Studies. I chose my mentor because Dr. Brown is very passionate about teaching his global studies class. He is also my teacher in GLBL-401 Independent research class, and I want to learn a lot from my teacher, I know that with his guide I will go very far.

How did you become interested in this project?
I became interested in this project because I am a Latino immigrant and I have observed young students in college, the low participation in the programs offered by the institution, and it strikes me because the low interest of Latino students in not making the most of the resources that the college has. I want to know the reasons, reasons or circumstances of the students for this behavior of not taking advantage of all the opportunities that this institution has.

What has been the hardest part of your research/what was the most unexpected thing about being a researcher?
The most unexpected thing about this research is discovering the factors or circumstances that prevent students from participating and taking advantage of the resources of the college institution. And I also want to be able to do something with the information or research I get so I can help students reach their goals so they can graduate. Not only will I focus on the students, I will also focus on the programs that the college has for Latino students or programs for all students and see what they do to get students to participate in successful programs. I will also focus on whether Latino students are failing or is the institution that does not have enough programs for Latino students.

What has been the most rewarding part?
The rewarding part of being part of the research is learning a lot from my mentor, his advice and experience will help me a lot to get me to do an excellent research.

How will you disseminate your research?
I will disseminate my research through research work and visual presentations, such as videos of the interviews. As a URA Scholar, I will present my project at URCAD in April.

What is your advice to other students about getting involved in research?
The research method is a way to apply the many things you learn in class and it is also a way to come to your own conclusions on topics you are passionate about.

I invite students to participate in these investigations.

What are your career goals?
My professional goals are to first finish my studies and graduate in Global Studies from UMBC, in the course of my graduation I want to have an internship in a non-profit organization or do an internship also in international offices of the state government. I want to always be of service to people, those who need help.


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