Denise Fernández is the new Student Services Specialist at the Center, where she is responsible for tracking students' progress on the human rights minor, shepherding the student fellowship programs, advising students, and many other student-facing duties. Denise grew up in Winters, a small agricultural town in Northern California. She is a first-generation college student who spent several years as a student organizer working with labor unions, immigrant rights organizations, and several cultural community groups.
She holds a B.A. in Ethnic Studies from California State University-Sacramento, and after graduating went on to work in the local community college system for various student equity projects and resource centers. She earned her M.A. from the Mexican American and Latina/o Studies department at the University of Texas-Austin, where she studied Chicana/o/x and Mexican cultural productions. Her senior thesis focused on the complicated representations and exclusions of Mexican and Chicano Nationalism in early Chicano movement print culture. She spent the past two years working as an academic advisor and student program coordinator for the School of Undergraduate Studies, helping undeclared students explore their majors of interest and academic pursuits. She recently relocated back to California after living in Austin, Texas, for four years. She is happy to be back among her friends, family, and super burritos de asada.