Fulfill the McNair Scholar: Camisha Fagan

As a first-generation university student, Camisha Fagan had couple of resources that she might rely on for assistance as she made her way through her undergraduate studies. But the double significant in sociology and English found that support in the McNair Program. The program prepares undergraduate trainees for doctoral research studies by including them in research programs. It’s goal is to increase the rolls of first-generation and underrepresented students in graduate programs.

This summer, Fagan studied microaggressions– negative, unfavorable, or hostile comments– directed toward queer black males. Here, she shares how she came into the sociology fold and where it led her these previous few months as a McNair Scholar.

I fulfilled sociology professor Anna Smedley-Lopez during my first semester at UNLV when I took “Ethnic Groups in Contemporary Societies.” She’s such an enthusiastic teacher and mentor, and she is among the reasons why I chose to major in sociology.

I got involved in UNLV SLICES, a community-based research effort where students deal with neighborhood members to deal with the inequalities and barriers that they deal with. There I fulfilled Matt Della Sala, assistant director for undergraduate research in UNLV’s Center for Academic Enrichment and Outreach. He informed me about the McNair Program and encouraged me to apply.

For my McNair project, I chose to conduct focus groups to study microaggressions, derogatory messages discrediting an individual’s identity, that queer black males experience within black communities and society at large. For example, when someone says something like, “That’s so gay!” that person stating it is indicating that being gay is bad. That’s a microaggression.

Due to the fact that the prefix “micro-” belongs to the word, folks frequently interpret the impact of microaggressions to be little and for that reason irrelevant. But “micro-” is used just to highlight the subtle way in which this type of discrimination takes place. Microaggressions are hard to observe and identify, though they’re hurtful just the exact same.

Microaggressions are researched heavily, however generally only in the fields of psychology and education. I’ve taken a more sociological technique by focusing on the neighborhoods that trigger microaggressions and taking note of the words these groups choose because language is culturally transferred.

I’ve pertained to recognize how important it is to be dedicated and bought your work and in yourself since the field I’m going into is really competitive.

The McNair Program assisted me concentrate on enhancing this research study while getting ready for graduate school. The program has likewise provided me with a fantastic support network of pals. It’s handy to be able to rely on peers due to the fact that they understand exactly what you’re going through.

Knowing what I understand now, my recommendations to other trainees is to focus first on being a trainee. In some cases that indicates staying in and studying instead of heading out, but it certainly pays off, particularly in the McNair Program.

It has been an advantage to be in the McNair Program. As a first-generation college student, it’s been excellent to have many resources offered to me due to the fact that I am the very first individual in my family going through this process, so I do not have the assistance from parents or siblings that other students might have. The McNair Program has actually provided me that too.

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