Friends and Colleagues:
For those of us in higher education—in Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), in particular—this special issue of the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, edited by Drs. Gonzalez and Fernandez, is high-quality, informative, and policy-relevant. In this piece that I share below, I read and reflected upon every contribution to this volume that I found to be quite troubling on so many levels, as a whole. They raise the key question of what "servingness" in being an HSI actually means.
If you are at a university, check to see if your library carries this journal so that you can have access to the different contributions listed here in the journal's Table of Contents. Certainly, every HSI or emerging HSI should read this, as well as STEM programs in high schools, colleges, and universities nationwide.
Particularly for Latinas in STEM, there is far too little of this research that examines HSIs from a qualitative and critical policy perspective to both ascertain and interrogate struggles experienced within university classrooms and departments.
What actually "works" for Latinx youth must be considered if we are ever to move the needle on their representation in STEM classrooms and careers. Thanks, in particular, to University of Houston Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Assistant Professor, Elsa Gonzalez, Ph.D, for extending this wonderful opportunity and challenge of summarizing this important volume.
Published in QSE Special Issue
I feel like we get discriminated just because we are women, that's never been expressed with me, but I've heard them speak about other women and it's because they question women, they don't think that they’re as smart as them. (p.9)
I think they underestimate us a little bit sometimes…because we are women…their expectation is wrong, just because you are a man does not mean that you're correct all the time…because their intelligence is no better than mine. (p.9)
I know other people have bad connotations, how they view us. Like I know still here I kind of struggle, some people are like, ‘why?' They think I'm lesser than them.
They (male peers) think a female doesn’t know what she is doing or that if a girl asks a question in class or trying to get a point across that it’s okay to interrupt. Someone will interrupt to answer the question because they genuinely want to help, but there are others who just want to talk over you and try to explain it better (p.7). (Contreras, this volume).