Fellows | 11 May 2021

Announcing Eight New THI Public Fellows

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Graduate Students to Work in Organizations Serving the Arts, GLBT, Filipino, and Domestic Worker Communities and Beyond


A group of workers pick green beans at the Rosser-Lazo ranch on San Miguel Canyon Road in Watsonville. They are filling an order for a large agricultural business under the guise of “share-cropping.” The photo is by Johnny Rosser, c. 1950s, and it is part of the Watsonville is in the Heart project, which THI Year-Long Public Fellow, Meleia Simon-Reynolds, will work on in 2021-22.

Eight Humanities graduate students will bring their scholarship and academic expertise to Santa Cruz, the Bay Area and Los Angeles communities, developing new skills outside of the university setting as the 2021-2022 cohort of THI Public Fellows. Public Fellows contribute to research, programming, communications, and fundraising at companies, non-profit organizations, secondary schools, and cultural institutions, and they gain valuable experience lending their academic skills and knowledge to local communities.

“THI Public Fellows build bridges between the university and the community, and, in the process, they experience new ways to implement their research and academic skills to areas that they might not otherwise have discovered,” says Irena Polić, Managing Director of The Humanities Institute. “The Fellows learn about a broader range of possibilities for their scholarship, which gives their work a renewed immediacy as they discover how their research can serve the larger community as well as the partner organizations in need of their support and expertise.”

The organizations in Santa Cruz County, the Bay Area, and Los Angeles gaining the support and expertise of THI Public Fellows in 2021-2022 are the following: Watsonville is in the Heart, a public history project on the experiences and contributions of early 20th-century Filipino immigrants to the Pajaro Valley; the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History; Stone Soup, a Santa Cruz-based children’s literary magazine; Sausalito Marin City School District; the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) Historical Society in San Francisco; the TG/ENBY Project, a trans fitness initiative in LA; Critical Resistance, a prison abolition organization in Oakland; and the California Domestic Workers Coalition based out of San Francisco.

Their work will support community arts engagement, curriculum development, queer history archival management, public exhibitions featuring the Santa Cruz County Filipino community, oral histories of public school integration in Sausalito/Marin, and more. In turn, graduate students will sharpen their skills in editorial and archival work, community organizing, events coordination and management, public exhibitions and publications, and museum curation. As Polić states, “It’s a benefit for everyone involved.”


Congratulations to our 2021-2022 Public Fellows!

Please join us in congratulating the following 2021 Summer Fellows and 2021-2022 Year-Long Public Fellows:

Summer 2021

Conner Basset (Literature) – Stone Soup Magazine
Mia Tempesst Boykin (Literature) – TG/ENBY Project
Jess Fournier (Feminist Studies) – Critical Resistance
Kaiya Gordon (Feminist Studies) – Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) Historical Society
Anny Mogollón (Literature) – California Domestic Workers Coalition

Year-Long 2021 – 2022

David Duncan (History) – Sausalito Marin City School District
Morgan Gates (Literature) – Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History
Meleia Simon-Reynolds (History) – Watsonville is in the Heart

Learn about more about THI’s Public Fellowship program and read our profiles of previous fellows here: https://thi.ucsc.edu/public-fellowship-program/

The GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco, where Kaiya Gordon will undertake a Public Fellowship this summer.  Aaron  Aruck was  a Public  Fellow  there  in  Summer 2020. Eric Sneathen was a 2019-2020 Year-Long Public Fellow and a Summer Public Fellow in the Society archives in 2018.


Featured image: The Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History.