College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) doctoral student Shine Trabucco has been awarded the Crossing Latinidades Mellon Humanities Fellowship by the Crossing Latinidades Humanities Research Initiative, acquiring funding for tuition, medical insurance and fees for the 2022-23 academic year and paving the way for her heritage dissertation research.
“I am excited and encouraged for future academic endeavors because of this involvement,” Trabucco said.“It is wonderful to have someone believe my work is good enough to be in academia and to know that I don’t have to be limited, that I am not excluded because of my ethnicity.”
Hispanics are the largest minority group in the United States. In her dissertation, tentatively titled “Returning to Roots,” Trabucco uses her research acumen and Latina/indigenous identity to explore her family’s lived experiences.
“The fact that people of color have been excluded for so long, the fact now that we finally have a space to conduct our research and a voice to tell our histories as Latina and indigenous people is important to me,” Trabucco stated. “This fellowship shows that there is space not only for the stories to be told but for our own perspectives to be included.”
Trabucco has gained insight and community awareness through involvement in various Hispanic-focused and Hispanic-led initiatives — as well as formed relationships with Latinx faculty from the University of Houston Department of History.
“As chair of the history department, I am exceedingly proud of Shine,” Nancy Beck Young said. “She is an amazingly talented and brilliant student, and I’m not the least bit surprised that she has been awarded the Crossing Latinidades Mellon Humanities Fellowship. I can think of no one more deserving.”
Trabucco was awarded a one-year stipend of $30,000 from the Mellon Foundation to focus on research proposal writing and dissertation development, group research and faculty mentorship. This rigorous program targets professionalism, and Trabucco will participate in virtual workshops, meetings and gatherings to expand her project’s outreach and receive general support for its ideas and concepts.
Led by the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Initiative is a product of Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Research Universities (HSRU), a higher education consortium designed to increase opportunities for those historically underserved in higher education. Featuring 20 of the nation's top R1 research universities from nine different states, the University of Houston is one of the most recent universities to join the consortium.
The combined institutions enroll more than 766,000 students, one-third of whom are Hispanic. Targeting advancing social mobility and economic opportunities for Latino communities, the HSRU aims to double the number of Hispanic doctoral students enrolled at Alliance universities and increase Hispanic professoriate in Alliance universities 20% by 2030.
According to HSRU, currently less than 6% of graduate students are Latinx, and faculty representation ranges 5-7%. “By uniting these research powerhouses, we can truly make a difference and improve Hispanic representation in the highest levels of research across the country while also creating a diverse pipeline to fuel the workforce,” said President and Chancellor Renu Khator in the University’s announcement about joining the Alliance.