Aurora Chang

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Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, Loyola University, Chicago


Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, 2010


What was particularly special about my UT experience was the mentorship I received.  I had the opportunity to serve as a graduate research assistant for the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement under the direction of Dr. Gregory Vincent where I was able to apply the theoretical aspects of my learning and professional experiences as a teaching assistant, project director and researcher.  As my dissertation advisor, Dr. Luis Urrieta was a pivotal figure in my persistence in my doctoral process.  I benefitted tremendously from his heartfelt generosity and scholarly brilliance.  Both Dr. Vincent and Dr. Urrieta demanded nothing but my best work and believed in me through all of my struggles.

Why UT?

The Department of Curriculum & Instruction at UT Austin really spoke to me because of its mission and amazing faculty.

Life After UT

As an assistant professor of curriculum and instruction at Loyola University, Chicago, my degree has been invaluable.  The rigor and social justice focus of the cultural studies program prepared me for life as a faculty member.  Perhaps equally important are the colleagues, friends and networks I developed in my time at UT.  Everywhere I go, I meet people that have a UT connection – this has served me very well both personally and professionally.

Advice for Students

My advice for current students is to remember why they wanted to pursue their doctorate in the first place and keep that front and center, especially during trying times.  For prospective students, understand the intense commitment that a doctoral program entails and ensure that you have a burning passion to earn that PhD – it is not for the weak of heart!  Finally, take calculated risks, knowing that the greater the risk, the greater the potential reward.