Ruqayyah (Rue) Mansour is pursuing a doctoral degree in the Department of Education. She graduated with a BA in Political Science from UCSB in 2018. In addition to her coursework, Rue serves as the Development Assistant for Engineering and the Sciences at UCSB. She is one of the founding members of the Development Department's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee and played a key role in creating a climate survey and presenting findings at a department-wide meeting this past spring. We caught up with Rue during another busy week of fall quarter.
GGSE: What degree are you pursuing?
Mansour: I am pursuing a doctoral degree in education with a research focus on academic support systems for youth experiencing homelessness.
GGSE: What class or experience in this program have you enjoyed the most so far?
Mansour: There have been many experiences I enjoyed over this past year, and I feel like I have grown a lot as a student and person. Academically, my favorite courses so far have been Professor Rebeca Mireles-Rios' Human Development course and Professor Tarek Azzam's Program Evaluation course. The material was not only new to me but I was excited to apply what I learned to my own research. On a more personal note, I deeply value the friends I made and the opportunities I’ve had to collaborate on projects.
GGSE: What are you interested in researching or learning about?
Mansour: My research topic centralizes on best practices that support youth experiencing homelessness. Understanding resource distribution and community interpersonal relationships are at the core of my research. Specifically, I am interested in how policy is implemented by those who carry out resources to youth experiencing homelessness in the high school setting. Identifying and efficiently connecting resources to youth experiencing housing insecurity are two key areas that shape a student's ability to get access to basic necessities.
GGSE: Tell us about your work with the Development DEI committee. What motivates you to do this work?
Mansour: My work with the DEI committee in development has not only been a space I can contribute to but learn from as well. I have learned about what it takes to build departmental principles, action items, and have had the opportunity to hear plenty of different perspectives. It has been such a pleasure to work with such a collaborative and motivational group of people. What really motivates me is this recognition that there are amazing attributes about UCSB, but like anyone or anything we can always work together to be better.
GGSE: What do you do for fun these days?
Mansour: I am someone who’s always up for trying new things (or, new experiences, hobbies). I love hikes and kayaking with my kiddo, board games, blasting music, eating yummy food with good folks, planning trips, the list goes on!