HTI Giving Day: Making an #HTIimpact

#GivingDay is tomorrow! When you give to HTI, you support mentoring students and providing a space for Latinx students to feel empowered and encouraged. Read more below about the significance of the HTI community for Dr. Gilberto Ruiz and join him by giving!

Creating Community

Gilberto Ruiz, Professor

Anxiety and self-doubt have always been part of my life. Can I accomplish what I am supposed to do? These feelings would often surface in my years as a little leaguer. Thoughts of dropping the next ball, or striking out at a key at-bat, plagued me. These feelings took a different form during graduate school. Other doctoral students just seemed to know the “game” of academic discourse, while I felt like an “imposter.” Could I do what I signed up for when I applied to get a PhD?

Even before I set foot in my first doctoral seminar, these feelings of inadequacy were strong on the day of my interview for an HTI fellowship. Truthfully, I had no idea what to expect. What questions would I be asked? Could I answer them? Would my answers reveal me to be the “imposter” I thought I was? Would I drop the ball hit in my direction?

That I would be so nervous before (and during, and even after!) that interview was not surprising. What did surprise me, however, was a conversation I had that same afternoon with another interviewee, Victor Carmona, whom I had just met that weekend. Outside, beneath a bright sun, we shared our apprehensions over our respective interviews. While I cannot remember the details of our conservation, I still feel its impact. Though we were not yet official members of the HTI community, my conversation with Victor was among the first palpable experiences that showed me the promise of HTI, that HTI is a community of past, present, and future scholars who support each other in many different ways at many different levels. On that day, this simple conversation was enough to get me through the fears I was experiencing then, and even if I had not been awarded an HTI fellowship, I would have left the interview weekend knowing that HTI was a mutually-supportive community.

For me at least, HTI lived up to its promise as a community that empowered me through my years as a doctoral student. However deep I was buried under my “imposter syndrome,” my HTI family–among others, Joanne Rodríguez, María Kennedy, Ángela Schoepf, my HTI mentor Sharon Ringe, my HTI editor Uli Guthrie, and the many wonderful colleagues with whom I shared conversation and fellowship at the summer workshops–was there to resurrect the self-confidence that I needed to complete my doctoral studies.

There is still a need today for the promise HTI offers to Latinx doctoral students who may, as I still do, experience nagging feelings of inadequacy and inferiority. Please consider becoming a contributing member of the En Conjunto Association to help HTI continue living up to its promise of supporting Latinx doctoral students as it supported me during some of my most isolating and anxious years.