GSE Brown Bag Lecture: Awakening to Disaster and Contesting Recovery: Plática-Testimonios of Puerto Rican College Students by Nichole Garcia

Wednesday, April 14, 2021 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Zoom Meeting - Virtual

Brown Bag Lecture Series

Pre-COVID-19, on April 6th, 2017, college students in the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) system, mobilized across 11 campuses for an indefinite strike to protest austerity measures which cut approximately $450 million from the university’s budget to remedy the massive debt crisis on the Island. Five months later, two natural disasters occurred (Hurricane Irma and María) causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to Puerto Rico’s infrastructure resulting in the closure of the UPR system for college students once again. Roughly 35,000 college students left the island to enroll in colleges and universities in the diaspora—the majority of them migrating to Florida, which now has the largest community of Puerto Rican residents, surpassing New York (Hinojosa & Melendez, 2018). Just three years later, COVID-19 strikes. The magnitude of these cascading disasters make it evident that Puerto Rican undergraduates are experiencing aftershocks in their pursuits of a higher education (Bonilla & LeBron, 2019). Puerto Ricans constitute the second largest proportion of Latinxs in the U.S., yet there remains a dearth of research regarding their experiences in higher education (Garcia, 2018). The purpose of this talk will be to share emerging findings of Puerto Rican college students through a Chicana/Latina feminist methodology— plática-testimonios—as they have come to experience and understand disaster.
   Nichole M. Garcia is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education and College Student Affairs in the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. As a Chicana/Puerto Rican her research focuses on the intersections of race, feminisms of color, and Latinx/a/o communities in higher education. Specifically, Garcia focuses on the differences and similarities between Latinx sub-ethnic groups, students, and families regarding their college readiness, retention, and completion.   

Event Location
   Zoom -


Who to contact:

Colleen McDermott