This week we caught up with Daniel Ulises Rios Arroyo a Ph.D. student in the Department of Education. Rios Arroyo was born in Mexico, and immigrated to the U.S at the age of 9. He received his B.A in Sociology with a minor in education studies in 2019 from the University of California, Los Angeles. His research interest centers around the educational experiences of English learners (EL students) in public k-12 schools. He is particularly interested to see how high school EL students perceived teacher attitudes and biases towards them, how teachers can then use EL students lived educational experiences to build strong teacher-student relationships, and how schools can better provide EL students with opportunities to learn that lead to adequately preparing EL students for a college education. (Note this 5?s format is taken from one of the School's internal communications, and is meant to help the Gevirtz community get to know itself better.)
GGSE: Who (living or dead) do you most admire?
Rios Arroyo: My grandfather Vicente has always been the person I have admired the most. He was a hardworking, loving, and compassionate person that always put others’ happiness before his own. My grandfather was part of the Bracero program and shared his experiences with his grandchildren working long hours in the fields and always made sure to end his stories with “esa vida no es para ustedes, necesitan estudiar para no vivir una vida abajo del sol” (“that life is not for any of you, you need to go to school so that you will not live a life under the sun”). My grandfather always wished for a better life for his grandchildren. The day I immigrated to the U.S my grandfather pulled me in and whisper to my ear “no desperdicies esta oportunidad” (“do not waste this opportunity”). I am positive that he is watching over me and I hope to keep making him proud.
GGSE: What is your favorite place in Santa Barbara?
Rios Arroyo: Sadly, due to COVID19, I had less than a year to truly enjoy and explore Santa Barbara. While I was living in the area my favorite place was M Special Brewing Company, where my friends and I would hang out and talked about non-academic-related topics.
GGSE: When (besides now) would you like to live?
Rios Arroyo: My hometown in Mexico is located 10 minutes away from a pre-Hispanic archeological Chichimeca site. My great-grandmother spoke the native language of the region but sadly never passed down the native language to her children. I would love to live in the time where the Chicimeca ruled the region to learn the native language.
GGSE: Where (besides Santa Barbara) would you want to live if money/job were not an issue?
Rios Arroyo: Before immigrating to the U.S, I thought that New York City was the entire U.S (I was very disappointed when I landed in Fresno, CA). I still remember watching the first Spider-Man movie in Mexico and dreaming about visiting the U.S (New York City) and hoping to see Spider-Man (I was 6). My goal is to visit New York City in the near future.
GGSE: Why do you do the job you do?
Rios Arroyo: I love being a TA because I get to build a relationship with all of my students and learn about their backgrounds and cultures.