HTI Giving Day: Making an #HTIimpact
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We’re so grateful to everyone who has given today.
Will you be the next person to contribute to changing the landscape of theological education?
Dr. Matilde Moros shares her experience as a Latina PhD student, and the significant role HTI played in supporting her through many challenges. Read her story below.
Graduate School: “I Don’t Know How You Do It”
Dr. Matilde K Moros
Assistant Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies
Virginia Commonwealth University
Although, I am wholeheartedly devoted to the academy, the world of ideas, critical reflection, writing, and teaching, I equally love being a mother of three and I thrive on connecting to my family and friends in various parts of the world. When I began my doctoral work, I did not realize how challenging it would be to maintain all the relationships that feed me. While small things were concerns to me—like trying keep the frijoles cooking and arepas on the grill while I write a dissertation—life was a bit more complicated. I had family in various parts of the world, children in early stages of elementary school, and financial commitments well beyond the typical need of graduate students. My mother was near death twice during my program, my son had an emergency with an asthma crisis, my eldest child broke and then dislocated an arm, and my health took a toll to the point of my pre-cancerous six months in which I had many medical close calls. I struggled to navigate a life that seemed to be quickly crumbling and shattering.
As I was ending my program, two of my strongest supporters passed away. Otto Maduro and Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz were both members of my department who had closely monitored and advocated for me through my program and through living life against many small deaths. When they each died of cancer a year apart, I thought my world was nearing a shift from which I might not recover.
In the midst of near death or crisis moments, I had HTI friends, mentors and financial assistance to aid me. I also constantly heard from both HTI and my program faculty, “I don’t know how you do it.” This comment from people who work with graduate students every day made me realize that my particular situation was “extra,” as they say. I finished my program, I defended my dissertation and three months later, my mother passed away, one of my children ended in a deep depression, and I was near the most extreme of exhaustion. Again, I heard, “I don’t know how you do it.” Aside from my own stubborn will, and the love of my family, friends and mentors, I counted on the love and consistency of HTI, which supported me by giving life during my many deaths—the deaths that were not because of my doctoral work, but in spite of my life as a student. When any adult goes to graduate school, life will get hard. It will be especially difficult if, in addition to the many little deaths, one must face the many social, cultural and structural barriers that come with being Latinx. I depended on the support of others who might say, “I don’t know how you do it” and immediately follow, “here I am to do it with you” as HTI did for me.
I encourage you to be part of doing life with the next cohort of HTI scholars. What will you do to support another HTI Scholar through their doctoral program? Please consider giving to HTI so that resurrections continue to happen and our witness to life continues to grow.
Dr. Moros accompanied by her family after graduating from her doctoral program.