Graduate Fellows

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Founded in 1976, the Graduate Fellows Program (GFP) provides an interdisciplinary, intergenerational, and inclusive environment for research and training at the Berkeley campus. The GFP plays an integral part in training scholars to address the pressing challenges that face California, the nation, and the world. Read more about the program here. See recent news of our alumni here.

Make a gift to the Graduate Fellows Program Fund here. 

Your gift will be used to provide training and mentorship to a new generation of scholars engaged in research on race, ethnicity, gender and class in the United States.


Erica Browne, Public Health

Erica Browne is a Dr.P.H. candidate in the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Originally from Los Angeles, with strong roots in Covington, TN, she received her M.P.H. degree in Community Health Sciences from UCLA, and a B.A. in Development Studies from the International Area Studies program at UC Berkeley.  Erica’s interest in public health emerged from her curiosity about the cultural, economic, and social factors that affect health and circumscribe personal choice.  She has previously worked with Charles Drew University of Medicine & Science, Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit, and PolicyLink on various community health and health equity programs, and she is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholar. Her research interests include social inequities in health, hospital community investments, and cross-sector collaborations that promote economic development and health equity in urban communities. 

Omar Davila Jr., Education

Omar Davila Jr. is a Ph.D. candidate at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education. His dissertation examines the nexus of high-performing Latino boys and the social construction of merit.  He employs a two-phase analysis: (1) a critical discourse analysis of the 2014-17 My Brother’s Keeper White House, 2016 Presidential Debates, and 2018 government shutdown over Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and (2) ethnographic methods to examine the experiences of 14 high-performing Latino boys at an urban high school in the Bay Area. Previously, Omar was Lead Researcher of the Bay Area Latino Males in Higher Education Initiative via the Center for Latino Policy Research, and a visiting scholar at Yale and Michigan State University. He has presented his work at several conferences, including the American Educational Research Association Conference and a featured presentation at the Association for Women in Psychology Conference.  

Blanca Gamez-Djokic, Education

Blanca Gamez-Djokic is a Ph.D. candidate at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education. Blanca’s research interests pivot around emotion, affect, critical pedagogy, schools, and practices and processes of racialization. Her dissertation research examines how teachers involved in multi-scale, social justice-oriented partnerships make sense of their roles and in what ways and to what extent these extended partnerships impact teachers’ emotions. Blanca has a B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology from Swarthmore College and an Ed.M. in Arts in Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

Isabel García Valdivia, Sociology

Isabel García Valdivia is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at UC Berkeley. Based on a mixed-method approach, her dissertation explores the effects of legal status for Mexican older adult immigrants in the U.S. and return migrants to Mexico. In particular, this research focuses on the factors that facilitate or hinder how older adult immigrants access economic, family, medical and psychological support and the strategies they deploy as they age. She investigates how these differ across countries and by legal status. Isabel received her B.A. in Chicanx Latinx Studies and Sociology from Pomona College and her M.A. in Sociology from UC Berkeley.

Monique Hosein, Public Health

Monique Hosein is a Dr.P.H candidate at UC Berkeley School of Public Health. She completed her Master of Public Health (Community Health Education) at San Francisco State in May 2015.  With the support of the Dean’s Diversity Full Fellowship, the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues (ISSI) and the Center for Race and Gender (CRG) at UC Berkeley, her qualitative research focuses on Black women's experiences, perceptions, and opinions of policing in a historically racially segregated neighborhood. Her quantitative research examines mental health implications of exposure to police violence among Black women using the data from The Justice Study led by Professor Sonja Mackenzie of Santa Clara University and Dr. Rupa Mayra of UCSF Do No Harm Coalition. Her broader interests include institutional racism and health equity.

Santiago Molina, Sociology

Santiago Molina (he/him/el) is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at UC Berkeley. His research focuses on the development of standards of practice and classifications in scientific organizations. His dissertation project, How Science Produces Institutions: The Practice and Politics of Genome Editing, analyzes the institutionalization of CRISPR-Cas technology. Through participant observation, this dissertation project seeks to detail how scientists adopt CRISPR into their work and to explain how, when and under what conditions scientists articulate standards of practice that shape what counts as ethical genome editing. During his fellowship at ISSI he will focus on describing how scientists in the San Francisco Bay Area wield political power to shape the direction of clinical genome editing. Throughout his teaching career he has aimed to stimulate early career STEM students into thinking critically about the relationship between science and society.

Paula Winicki, Sociology

Paula Winicki is a Ph.D. student in Sociology at UC Berkeley, and her research explores how labor organizations effectively organize workers from disadvantaged backgrounds who lack power because of their ethnoracial, immigration, and criminal justice statuses. Throughout her professional life, Paula has been deeply involved in various campaigns on behalf of labor and immigrant right issues, as a worker, a union organizer, and a researcher. She holds a BA from UC Berkeley and a Master’s in City Planning from MIT.


Angela R. Aguilar, Ethnic Studies

Angela R. Aguilar is a Ph.D. student in Ethnic Studies studying the effects of social movements and change affecting biomedical and public health practices in the San Francisco Bay Area. In her dissertation she traces the genealogy of the current cultural, ancestral, Indigenous health movement from the 1960's liberation movements through a reproductive justice framework to learn how emerging social movements can offer a re-imagining of public health and biomedical research methods, methodologies, and pedagogies when designing health regimes in the Bay Area and beyond. She holds a BA in Anthropology and Ethnic Studies, a Masters in Public Health, and an MA in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley. She has been a doula/traditional birthworker for eight years serving primarily low-income, young people, queer/trans, and people of color during their perinatal and early parenting experience. 

C.N.E. Corbin, Environmental Science, Policy and Management

C.N.E. Corbin is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management. Corbin studies the concept of the green city at the intersection of sustainable development and gentrification. Her dissertation focuses on how Oakland, California’s historical processes of urbanization and current urban environmental policies and practices are impacting low income residents and communities of color and their access to public green spaces and local nature. Corbin’s current project at ISSI questions if and how Lake Merritt’s green space creation, restoration, and beautification projects under Measure DD are creating, exacerbating, or mitigating urban environmental injustices. Corbin received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley in 2011, completing a double major in African American Studies and Media Studies.

Louise Ly, Sociology

Louise Ly is a Ph.D. candidate in the Sociology Department and a member of the Designated Emphasis Program in Women, Gender, and Sexuality. Her research focuses on race/ethnicity, immigration, gender, sexuality, family, and aging. Louise's previous ethnographic research analyzes identity and boundaries at a low-income LGBT housing facility. Based on in-depth interviews, Louise's dissertation examines how intermarried Asian and White Americans navigate gendered racial and ethnic differences, expectations, and desires in their day-to-day lives from within the couple to child rearing, extended family relations, and beyond. 

Gabby Medina Falzone, Education

Gabby Medina Falzone is a Ph.D candidate in the Graduate School of Education. Her dissertation project uses collaborative in-depth interviews with 30 formerly-incarcerated adolescents and adults to examine the complex factors that lead to youth incarceration, as well as the factors that can both prevent future incarceration and help formerly incarcerated people heal and thrive. Her long-term goals are to work as a bridge between academia and marginalized communities by translating scientific research into accessible community formats and by prioritizing community experiential knowledge into research. She also aspires to combine her lived experience with interdisciplinary academic research to examine how exposure to structural oppression can lead to detrimental health effects for youth growing up in marginalized urban environments and how community education and youth-led interventions may help youth heal from, disrupt, and eradicate oppression.

Fantasia Painter, Ethnic Studies

Fantasia Painter is a Ph.D. student in Ethnic Studies, a National Science Foundation (NSF) Fellow, and a member of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.  Hailing from Arizona by way of Columbia University, Fantasia’s interdisciplinary dissertation uses ethnography and archival research to examine the Tohono O’odham (TO), an indigenous community divided by the US-Mexico border in southern Arizona.  Specifically, it takes as a starting point the TO Nation’s recent announcement that it will not allow a US-Mexico border wall to be built on reservation land. Not only has the US-Mexico border wall served as a contemporary metonym for racialized US nationalism, culminating in the Trump presidency, but also “the wall” implicates conflicting US, State, and indigenous agendas. Thus, using race, nation, and Indigeneity, Fantasia’s dissertation examines the conditions of possibility and ultimately the stakes of “the wall” on indigenous land.

Make a gift to the Graduate Fellows Program Fund here. 

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